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Wellington engineers recognised in awards

March 29, 2006

Cable-layers and terrain-mappers; Wellington engineers recognised in innovation awards

Two groups of Wellington-based engineers have won innovation awards for their approaches to engineering and business problems.

The engineers all work for Beca and they have been recognised in the company’s inaugural in-house Innovation Awards.

The winners were announced on 28 March at a major event for the company’s staff at video-linked venues in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, and Christchurch.

The awards were open to Beca’s 1,600 staff, who are working in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East. Beca staff entered 176 projects in the awards.

The two Wellington projects that won awards were:

- the fast-track conversion of a barge so that it could lay a replacement power cable under Cook Strait

- a three dimensional terrain mapping system that allows Beca to produce digitally-mapped photographic aerial views of terrain for the purposes of analysing specific engineering projects.

Beca staff who ran the Wellington-based cable project are Simon Edmonds, David Young, and Matthew Kuriger. The client was Seaworks, and other parties who worked on the project included Acme Engineering, Capital Hydraulics (2000) Ltd, Three Phase Electrical Ltd, Abode Air Conditioning Ltd, and Bondor New Zealand.

The Beca engineers managed to fit out a barge in three months to undertake the delicate cable-laying job before the onset of winter put extra pressure on the power cable.

The brief for the project was provided verbally and there was no chance for a full functional test of the barge before it was deployed on the job.

Beca staff who worked on the three-dimensional photographic terrain mapping are Bruce Kiddle, Chris James, and Steve Andrews.

In the terrain-mapping project, Beca adapted existing sources of information and data, and software applications, to provide a service for its clients and their projects.

The team uses sophisticated software to view aerial photographs three-dimensionally. The information is cross-referenced to control points noted by on-the-ground surveys, allowing the terrain to be mapped digitally and with high accuracy.

The images can be used for many analyses, including studies of potential obstructions, the potential impact of shadows, hydrological and flood effects, and potential wind-tunnels.

Four other Beca projects have won major awards in the Innovation Awards, and a further special prize for outstanding achievement has been awarded. The awards recognise the practical application of Beca’s corporate values - respect, openness, teamwork, and technical excellence – to projects.

Other award winners were an e-mail management application, a pedestrian-flow modelling programme, a type of grass seed developed for motorway edges, an analytical programme to study the rate of motorway accidents, and an energy and cost-saving tool for optimising water distribution.


Note to editors:

The Beca Innovation Awards were run last night in video-linked events held in Wellington, Tauranga, Auckland, and Christchurch. Beca is providing a total prize pool of $30,000 for the awards, with each winner able to invest in training and development courses of their choice up to a value of $5,000.

Established in 1918, Beca is New Zealand’s largest employee-owned professional services company employing 1,600 staff in 13 countries, with projects in more than 63 countries.

Beca works in five key sectors: industry, building, infrastructure, environmental and resource management, and delivers engineering, planning, project management, applied technologies, and valuation services.

Headquartered in Auckland, Beca operates from three market hubs: New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore, and designs and supervises projects with a total value of more than NZ$2,400 million annually.

Recent projects include terminal expansion at the Wellington and Auckland International Airports, Britomart Transport Centre in Auckland, Westpac Stadium in Wellington, Sky Tower and Casino Centre in Auckland, Manukau Wastewater Treatment Plant in Mangere, Auckland City Hospital, and the 338m Macau Tower.

Beca is ranked 77th in the top 200 international design firms (Source: Engineering News Record 2005). Beca is AS/NZS ISO 9001:2000 certified, and has won more than 50 awards in the last five years alone.


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