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‘Courage under fire’ wins NZ’s Young Engineer of tthe Year


‘Courage under fire’ – Camilla wins NZ’s Young Engineer of the Year

19 December 2011

Aurecon’s Camilla Gibbons, a team leader during the Christchurch earthquake recovery effort, beat off fierce competition from across New Zealand to win IPENZ’s Young Engineer of the Year at the New Zealand Engineering Excellence awards.

Judges commented “Camilla has met the extreme challenges in her work, showing leadership and courage under fire.”

A team leader as part of the Christchurch earthquake recovery effort, Camilla currently leads a team of 6 to 10 engineering geologists undertaking rock-fall remediation, land movement monitoring and cliff collapse assessment work in the Port Hills.

Following the 5.6 earthquake on 13 June 2011, Camilla immediately undertook an inspection of the most vulnerable areas in her sector of the Port Hills. New sizeable failures had occurred to the cliffs and it was established that there was some new cracking to the face of the cliffs. This was of concern and Camilla acted quickly and decisively to order a partial closure of the road, moving the traffic as far from the cliff as possible. The speed of her action proved critical when a larger M6.3 quake hit just an hour later. There was a catastrophic failure of the over 75m high cliff face with over 15m thick sections collapsing onto the portion of the road that she had just closed to traffic. Thanks to her action, no vehicles were damaged and nobody was hurt.

Whilst working on this project was both challenging and rewarding, there were obvious setbacks following major aftershocks. The New Zealand Engineering Excellence award judges particularly commented that Camilla has taken full advantage of the opportunity to work closely with international and New Zealand experts on landslide/rockfall assessment and remediation.

Camilla holds a Masters degree in Engineering Geology from the University of Leeds, is a Chartered Geologist through the Geological Society of London, and is currently undertaking further study on engineering and construction management. She is a member of the New Zealand Geotechnical Society, and the International Association of Engineering Geologists.

Camilla is also a keen sportswoman, participating in a range of activities both socially and competitively, including climbing, sailing, skiing, mountain biking, surfing, tramping, squash and tennis, mountain biking and adventure races. She has used her sporting interests to encourage others and to raise significant amounts of money for charities.

In the seven years since Camilla graduated, she spent the first half working in the UK and the last three and a half years working for Aurecon in Christchurch. Camilla predominantly worked on a variety of highways projects in the UK and has worked on a vast range of projects since she arrived in New Zealand including tunnels in NZ and Australia, large industrial plants, highways D&C tenders and residential sub-divisions.



About Aurecon

Aurecon provides engineering, management and specialist technical services for government and private sector clients globally.

Employing around 7,000 people, including 500 New Zealand staff located in eight offices across New Zealand, Aurecon has an office network across 23 countries and has been involved in projects in more than 70 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Aurecon works across 11 core industries: construction, data & telecommunications, defence, energy, government, international development assistance, property, resources, transport and water.

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