Professor Jan Evans-Freeman DistFEngNZ has been confirmed as the new president of Engineering New Zealand Te Ao Rangahau – the first to be appointed for a two-year term.

Jan is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor Sustainability at the University of Canterbury, having previously been the Pro-Vice-Chancellor Engineering at the same university. She was motivated to stand for the role having been “increasingly impressed with the organisation's commitment to developing the future for New Zealand and enabling engineers to become innovative, creative and solve planetary issues…. I wanted to be part of that leadership team and support the management to achieve their objectives.”

In leading Engineering New Zealand, Jan is keen the organisation focus on “raising awareness of issues of the day, such as climate change, the need to be more sustainable and how to support engineers in being able to achieve those goals.”


Professor Jan Evans-Freeman DistFEngNZ

She says the greatest challenge for the profession lies in “finding solutions” to complex global problems. “We need to create a more sustainable planet. We can't continue as we are, and engineers will be at the forefront of solutions – like transport, housing, food security, energy security.”

Jan advocates for greater diversity within the engineering profession, especially where it comes to gender and Māori. She says that although these groups have been underrepresented in the past, things are changing, and universities are already equipping the next generation of engineers to be bold and culturally competent.

“I would like to think that the Board can also become competent in this respect and lead our members to understand the critical importance of this,” she says.

Engineering New Zealand Chief Executive Dr Richard Templer congratulated Jan on becoming President. “The Board has benefited from Jan’s expertise, experience and passion for many years, and she is highly regarded by her peers. Her skillset is well-suited to the challenges currently facing the engineering community, such as the need to support more young people into the profession and develop creative engineering responses to climate change,” he said.

Kennie Tsui CPEng FEngNZ has been confirmed as Deputy President for a two-year term, meaning the Board’s two senior officer roles will be held by women. Kennie is Chief Executive of the New Zealand Geothermal Association.

Anna Bridgman CPEng CMEngNZ has been elected as an incoming director for a term of three years. Anna works at Stantec NZ where she leads water operations.

Results of the Board elections were announced at the Annual General Meeting on Friday 22 March. The new Board appointments take effect on Monday 25 March.