We are pleased to announce our four finalists for this year’s Young Engineer of the Year Award are Jing Siong (John) Cheah GIPENZ, Liam Edwards MIPENZ, Felicity Jensen GIPENZ and Martin Peat GIPENZ.

Our finalists were shortlisted from 30 entrants in the award to find the young engineer under 30 who demonstrates 

  • excellence in the development of their career
  • leadership qualities
  • contribution to their community

Finalists will make a presentation in Auckland on the 18 February, talking about a project they have had an active role in. The winner will be announced at our Fellows’ and Achievers’ Dinner in Wellington on 18 March.

Meet our finalists

Jing Siong (John) Cheah is a Research and Development Engineer at Stormwater360 New Zealand.

During his doctoral research he gained experience designing and building with rammed earth as a structural building material. Poor access to professional engineers and architects in the Far North and a resource rich but money poor community led to the Ahipara Whareuku project where John used his expertise to collaboratively develop and implement a locally appropriate and accessible housing method. The Whareuku project has empowered Maori communities in Tai Tokerau to build on their ancestral lands using an alternative housing method.

John immigrated to New Zealand from Malaysia when he was two years old and is learning Māori to better communicate and understand the communities he works with.

Liam Edwards is a Senior Structural Engineer with AECOM’s Auckland transportation and bridge team.

Liam was the lead structural engineer for the Karapiro Gully Bridge and Kaituna River Bridge, as part of the Waikato Expressway, and is an emerging leader in the field of steel bridge design within New Zealand.

The Karipiro Gully Bridge is the largest bridge on the Cambridge Bypass project. It has a total length of 200 metres and spans over the 45-metre-deep Karapiro gully. Innovations in the design of the bridge, structure type and construction were critical to providing the best solution for the bridge. Liam is actively involved in promoting technical excellence, which is clear in technical papers he has authored and awards he’s received for his bridge design work.

Felicity Jensen is a Senior Production Manager for the Infant Toddler Nutritional (ITN) plant at Westland Milk Products. She manages the efficient production of nutritional products, as well as building and managing relationships with key customers.

During her presentation, Felicity will talk about her role as Project Manager for the construction and commissioning of Dryer 7, the Infant Formula Plant at the Hokitika site. With a total cost of $115 million, this is the largest capital project on the West Coast for many years.

Since moving to Hokitika in 2009, Felicity has thrown herself into community activities including playing in and coaching the local netball team.

Martin Peat is a Senior Transportation Engineer with Beca. He is currently working as the Technical Lead for Crowd Modelling at the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.

Olympic environments are unique and dynamic, often requiring temporary infrastructure, design and planning. His work involves using crowd modelling tools to provide forecasts of spectator movements throughout each day and for the duration of the Games, and to ensure optimal use of resources.

Martin is currently based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, representing Beca on the ground and feeding information back to the team in New Zealand. To strengthen client relations he is learning Portuguese.

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