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Engineering innovation focus of lecture

10 August 2005
Engineering innovation focus of lecture

Engineering innovation is the focus of the annual Hopkins Lecture which takes place at the Christchurch Town Hall next week.

The free public lecture on Wednesday, 17 August, at 8pm in the Town Hall's Limes Room, will be presented by Gavin Cormack, Executive Chairman of Beca Group Ltd.

The event is jointly hosted by the University of Canterbury and the Canterbury Branch of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand and funded by the Hopkins Trust.

Mr Cormack, a University of Canterbury civil engineering graduate, has been a board member of Beca for more than 30 years and Executive Chairman for five years. Beca is the largest New Zealand-owned professional services company and operates in 41 countries and employs more than 1500 people. His non-executive directorships and committee memberships have included chair of the New Zealand Trade Development Board, The Centre for Advanced Engineering, Christchurch, the New Zealand Concrete Society, deputy chair of the Ports of Auckland Ltd and member of The Seismic Commission Fédèration Internationale de la Précontrainte (FIP).

His lecture is titled Engineering Innovation and the Creation of Lasting Value. It will look back at New Zealand's history of rapid development enhanced by engineering innovation, initially in the harvesting of natural resources, the refrigeration and shipping of meat, and more recently, the development of power generation and transportation infrastructure.

Drawing on these examples of innovation and more recent engineering projects, which have added lasting value to their owners and stakeholders, Mr Cormack will describe the conditions necessary in our businesses and institutions for engineering innovation to flourish so that New Zealand can continue to move forward.

The Hopkins Lecture is given annually by an eminent speaker from overseas or New Zealand on a subject that will encourage discussion of engineering matters within the engineering profession and promote public understanding of engineering issues.

The Hopkins Trust Fund was set up in recognition of the major contribution to Canterbury University and the engineering profession by the late Professor H J Hopkins, who retired from the University in 1978 after 27 years as head of civil engineering.


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