Article Wellington and South Island

The Wellington and South Island Local Network is led by local volunteers who come together to organise lectures and technical visits that provide opportunities to learn and meet new people. All events are open to the public and most are free of charge.

The Local Network aims to raise awareness of science, engineering and technology in the local area, and promote membership of the IET.

Visit the events page filtered by Wellington and South Island Local Network to find out about our upcoming events.

Contact us: WellingtonSouthIsland@ietvolunteer.org

Our Committee:

Chair: Mr Chris Lambell
Deputy Chair: Dr Amal Punchihewa (IPRA Assessor & Examiner, CPD Advisor/ CCAP)
Treasurer: Mr Neil Haydon
Young Professional Representative: Mr Riley Willis
IEEE/IET Liaison: Dr Murray Milner
Committee Member: Mr Paul Bagg
Committee Member: Mr Darren Baxter
Committee Member: Mr Bob Cooke
Committee Member: Dr Farzeen Faiz
Committee Member: Mr Jason Hall
Committee Member: Mr Ruwinda Herath
Committee Member: EUR ING. Maarten In 't Veld
Committee Member: Mr Syed Khurram Iqbal
Committee Member: Mr Andrew Linney
Committee Member: Mr Kosala Samarakoon
Executive Committee Member: EUR ING. Lakmal Senanayake

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/iet-newzealand

Recent updates

Date: 12/06/2024

Amal Punchihewa, Deputy Chair of IET New Zealand Wellington and South Island Network presented at IET Sri Lanka Network on the 12th of June 2024. The presentation was titled “Engineering the Future of Broadcast and Media Landscape.”

He informed the audience that technologies are advancing at a rapid pace, not only broadcast and media technologies but also many other technologies that are directly related to broadcasting creating disruptions to the ecosystem. He highlighted that all those technologies could not offer immediate benefits, especially to the broadcast and media (B&M) sector. Further, he said “even if they do offer, every technology cannot be embraced due to cost and other social implications such as the inability to change access devices.” The presentation also addressed challenges that the B&M sector faces serving the audiences either as a public service broadcaster (PSB) or as a commercial B&M operator. Some analysis was provided based on publically available research, on how some broadcasters are adapting those changes to sustain and provide continued services by offering trusted information, entertainment and education.   The presentation highlighted the inevitability of meeting sustainability and universality access requirements as governed by international treaties.

The event was well attended by IET Sri Lanka Network members and it was held at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 5.30 PM. The talk was followed by a networking event.

                    

Date: 08/05/2024

IET Student Awards

As part of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)'s commitment to support the next generation of New Zealand's Engineers and Technologists we are delighted to award this years best Victoria University of Wellington third Year Engineering student award to Georgia Barrand! Georgia is currently in her fourth year of studying Software Engineering.

The award certificate together with $500, was presented to Georgia by IET New Zealand Wellington & South Island Committee Chair Chris Lambell.

When asked why Georgia was selected Stuart Marshall, Senior Lecturer at the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Victoria University of Wellington, responded: “Georgia Barrand is currently a fourth-year software engineering student. She got straight A+s across her courses as a third-year student in 2023, seven of which were at 300-level and one of which was at 400-level.”

Wow! It's fair to say that Georgia is more than deserving of this award!

Joining us to celebrate Georgia's award was James Araci, Lead Advisor for Science and Innovation at the British High Commission (UK in New Zealand) who was presenting to our members that evening on the opportunities available for increased collaboration between UK and New Zealand science, engineering and technology organisations.

        

Date: 08/05/2024

British High Commission - NZ-UK Science & Innovation Opportunities

A huge thanks to James Araci, Lead Advisor for Science and Innovation at the British High Commission (UK in New Zealand), for presenting to our IET New Zealand and Engineering New Zealand Te Ao Rangahau members last night.

It was fascinating to hear about James's role with the British High commission (UK in New Zealand) and the opportunities available for increased collaboration between UK and New Zealand science, engineering and technology organisations.

Of particular interest were the opportunities available through the Horizon Europe Programme, which turns out to be world's largest research and innovation fund! With both New Zealand and the UK having direct access to this fund the opportunities for investment have never been better.

A big thanks to Hugh E., Adrian Ferguson and Yogesh Kumar from the Engineering New Zealand Te Ao Rangahau Wellington Branch for cohosting this event with us.

As always a big thanks to Alison Siu from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Caitlin Oliver from Engineering New Zealand Te Ao Rangahau along with their teams for doing their magic behind the scenes to organise and promote these events to our members.

And... a final shout out to Cedric Williams Chapter President of the IESANZ NZ for joining us and taking a few photographs. Thanks.

                   

Date: 06/03/2024

UK and New Zealand science and innovation

It was great to have the IET Wellington & South Island Network committee members at this evening's UK and New Zealand science and innovation networking event as guests of the British High Commission in Wellington.

As well as the amazing mix of scientists, engineers, academics, researchers and STEM facilitators to network with, it was great to hear of the collaborative ventures being undertaken by New Zealand and the UK. Of particular interest was the announcement of the innovative world leading earthquake detection system based on the use of existing sub-sea fiberoptic cable networks.

A big thanks to James Araci for inviting us all to such a great evening of networking and to the British High Commission in Wellington (UK in New Zealand) for hosting us. It really was a great night of networking!

The event was thoroughly enjoyed by Wellington & South Island Network Chair Chris Lambell, Deputy Chair Amal Punchihewa and Committee member Darren Baxter who was also attending in his role as Chair of the Engineering NZ Electrical Engineering Group. Also joining us for the evening was Cedric Williams the current New Zealand Chapter President of the IESANZ - The Lighting Society, Tania Williams as General Manager of Engineering New Zealand Te Ao Rangahau and Adrian Ferguson representing the Engineering New Zealand Te Ao Rangahau Wellington Branch Committee.

                

Date: 15/02/2024

How can we make New Zealand more resilient?

One of the societal challenges of Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is to contribute to the design and building of people-centric Infrastructure by championing inclusive, resilient, and sustainable infrastructure.

On 15 February, the IET New Zealand Wellington and South Island Local Network Deputy Chair Amal Punchihewa organised a presentation to Engineers from IET, IEEE and Engineering New Zealand Te Ao Rangahau members in the Manawatu region. Members from IET New Zealand, IEEE and Engineering New Zealand Te Ao Rangahau Manawatū branch attended the talk given by Professor Bob Hodgson entitled “How can we make New Zealand more resilient?” It was a very timely presentation and the audience actively engaged in the discussion at the end. Professor Hodgson explained, that as engineers, those most able to improve the resilience of national New Zealand infrastructure, we need to recognise that past practices have been found wanting and in need of systematic improvement. In some areas, the fundamentals of reliable design have not been fully respected and in others, they have been ignored.

About the Presenter:
R M (Bob) Hodgson is an Emeritus Professor of Massey University, a Fellow of the IET and Distinguished Fellow of Engineering New Zealand, who is a recognised expert in image processing, human factors, and systems engineering. His very full academia career includes a strong record in scholarship, teaching and administration with about forty masters and PhD degrees supervised to completion. He has published widely.

        

Date: 29/01/2024

The importance of teaching STEM to our nation's children.

According to a report by Engineering New Zealand, engineering contributes between $14.6 and $18.1 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP.

The report also highlights that New Zealand needs almost 2,500 more engineers every year just to keep up with demand. We have noted in New Zealand like in the UK, a decline in rangatahi (students) embarking on STEM education.

IET New Zealand Wellington and South Island Local Network Deputy Chair Amal Punchihewa presented to the Whanau (families) in the Whanganui region on 29th of January 2024. The aim was to raise awareness to parents, teachers, and grandparents on the need for students taking STEM studies to meet the needs of the country and the world at large.

Amal was hosted at the request of the Rotary Club of Whanganui where he shared some of the work that IET New Zealand has been doing under it's New Zealand wide IET ProjectX initiative in Wellington schools.

For more information, please visit here.

            

Date: 12/12/2022

IET Wellington & South Island Network Annual General Meeting 2022 

We had a Short Presentation: Offshore Windfarms – Science and Applications by Darren Baxter

Also, congratulations to Emanuel Evans from Victoria University Wellington, who received the Final Year Student Awards.

                

Date: 12/10/2022

New Zealand’s Progress Towards a Dark Sky Nation (Hybrid event)

A big thanks to all who attended this evening’s IET New Zealand presentation on ‘New Zealand’s Progress Towards a Dark Skies Nation’. As expected John Hearnshaw, Emeritus Professor - University of Canterbury, provided a fascinating presentation on the health, environmental, and tourism benefits of becoming a dark skies nation. It was great to see so many people in the flesh again.

            

Date: 05/07/2022

Are you aware of the IET’s New Zealand LinkedIn Page?

You may not be aware, but we recently set up a New Zealand focused IET LinkedIn page:

 www.linkedin.com/company/iet-newzealand

If you’ve not done so please visit and follow us.

The purpose of setting up an IET New Zealand LinkedIn page was to:

  • Promote local IET Network events and activities
  • Promote IET Regional and Asia Pacific events and activities
  • Provide a hub for new Zealand based IET members
  • Promote collaboration between New Zealand based IET members.

 With the world opening up again we’re keen to start organising and supporting in person IET events again.

 As such we see our New Zealand LinkedIn page as a great way to engage and understand the needs of our members.    

Date: 17/06/2022

A big thanks to IET Fellow Professor Bob Hodgson (FIET, DistFEngNZ, SMIEEE) of Massey University for presenting to our Palmerston North IET members last night.

It was both fascinating and inspirational to hear how Bob started as a Schoolboy Electronics Enthusiast to becoming a Professional Engineer and Senior Engineering Educator.

His career journey from working in the aircraft avionics Industry on Concord, the Harrier Jump Jet, and the DC10 through to his PhD study with the UK Ministry of Defence was fascinating.

In 2013 his academic and professional achievements were rewarded by winning the Supreme New Zealand Engineering Excellence award.

In more recent times Bob went on to establish the Massey University spin-off and award-winning company VERITAXA LIMITED.

A big thanks to IET New Zealand Wellington and South Island Deputy Chair and Engineering New Zealand : : Te Ao Rangahau Manawatu Chair Amal Punchihewa for organsining an amazing presentation from a truly inspirational Engineer.

This event was another great collaboration between Engineering New Zealand : : Te Ao Rangahau, IET New Zealand , and the IEEE New Zealand.

      

Our committee were delighted to award the 2021 best Massey University third year engineering student award to Ben Orwin-Higgs.

We wish Ben all the best with his studies and in his career ahead. As part of the IET New Zealand's commitment to support the next generation of Engineers, Scientists and Technologists we annually award a prize to the best Massey University third year engineering student participating in a four year degree programme.

Our IET Wellington & South Island Deputy Chair Amal Punchihewa was proud to celebrate Ben’s success in person and present him with his well-deserved certificate.

We were also privileged to award Ben his certificate alongside IET Fellow Professor Bob Hodgson (FIET, DistFEngNZ, SMIEEE) of Massey University who provided an excellent presentation on his amazing career journey.

      

Date: 25/05/2022

The Best Award 2020 in WelTec

Last night the IET Wellington & South Island committee were delighted to finally award the 2020 best WelTec third year engineering student award to Chris Eley.

The certificate should have been awarded last year, however due to covid we’ve only just managed to present the certificate in person.

We wish Chris all the best in his career as an electrical engineer with Norman Disney & Young.

As part of the IET New Zealand's commitment to support the next generation of Engineers, Scientists and Technologists we annually award a $500 prize to the best WelTec third year student participating in a four year degree programme.

To celebrate Chris's success and present his certificate were Chris Lambell (Chair), Neil Haydon (Treasurer) and Darren Baxter (Committee Member and Former Chair).

Unfortunately Chris's former WelTec Tutor, Adrian Ferguson, was unable to join us but wished Chris every success in his career ahead.

Date: July 2021

IET 150th Anniversary: Westport Robotics Workshop

Roll-up your sleeves and support our future engineers!!
Robotics Workshops 2022 hosted by IET Wellington & South Island Network

Will you create the next life-saving device? Or the next iteration of search and rescue robot? Help companies automate their manufacturing processes?

All these things are possible if you become a mechatronics engineer.

STUDENT MEMBERSHIPS of the IET
https://www.theiet.org/membership/

FOLLOW US AT: www.linkedin.com/company/iet-newzealand

If you are interested in participating the workshop, please feel free to contact Mr. Darren Baxter at darren.baxter@ietvolunteer.org