Engineering New Zealand has honoured three new Distinguished Fellows and 17 new Fellows, as well as bestowing some special awards.

The Fellowships, along with this year’s winners of the President’s medals and Maclean citation were conferred in Wellington on Friday 16 March at our annual Fellowship Dinner, sponsored by WSP Opus.

Our new Distinguished Fellows, which is our top tier of membership, are Peter Smith, President of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering; Bob Hodgson, Professor, Massey University; and Janis Swan, Emeritus Professor at the University of Waikato.

The President’s Gold medal was awarded to Simon Lovatt, the Director, Research and Enterprise at the University of Waikato.

The President’s Silver medal went to Campbell Dawson, who as President of ENSOC has worked to rebuild its credibility and reputation.

The McLean Citation was awarded to Sarah Sinclair, Chief Engineer for Auckland Council.

Our new Fellows are: David Leong, Dirk Pons, Gregory de Costa, Joe Pott, John Mackie, Julie Raine, Kelvin Walls, Lisa Roberts, Murray Robertson, Onno Mulder, Phil Gaby, Richard Cuthbert, Richard Holyoake, Rosalind Archer, Shayne Cunis, Simon Fleisher and Tony Enright. Becoming an Engineering New Zealand Fellow means you’ve made it to the top of the engineering profession and achieved outstanding results. 

Fellows Dinner - News

People arriving at the event

Distinguished Fellows

Peter Smith

Peter Smith has made an outstanding contribution to structural engineering and engineering practice. He has held leadership roles in the Structural Engineering and Timber Design Societies, and is currently President of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering. He has represented Engineering New Zealand and the profession on numerous Standards Committees and advisory bodies. During 2011 and 2012, Peter was engaged by the Royal Commission into the Canterbury Earthquakes to provide independent specialist structural engineering advice, and has subsequently been on Engineering Advisory Panels for MBIE. He has also contributed to engineering practice through his work with the Consulting Engineers Advancement Society (CEAS), the Association of Consulting Engineers, and a six-year term on the Board of Engineering New Zealand. During his 40 years in private practice, Peter has mentored a large number of young engineers, both within Spencer Holmes Limited and the wider engineering profession, many of whom are now engineering leaders in New Zealand and internationally. Peter has been an unselfish advocate for the Engineering profession consistently throughout his career. He became public face for engineers following the Kaikoura earthquake, engaging with the media and explaining complex technical concepts simply and clearly.

Bob Hodgson

Bob Hodgson is a recognised expert in image processing, information, human factors and systems engineering. Bob’s impressive academia career includes a strong record in research and development, interaction with industry, scholarship and teaching, and administration and academic leadership in engineering and technology. Bob served as the Head of Institute Information Sciences and Technology at Massey University from 1998 to 2005, and as Director of the Massey school of Engineering and Technology from 2005 to 2007. He was a founding member of the New Zealand Council of Engineering Deans. In addition to his academic work, Bob was involved in a start-up science and engineering company that has won worldwide recognition for using AI to extract information from microscopic images. He has made an outstanding contribution to Engineering New Zealand, having served on numerous Boards and committees, Engineering New Zealand and NZQA accreditation panels, and six International Washington Accord Panels. As the New Zealand representative, and then President, of the Association of Engineering Educators in South East Asia and the Pacific, Bob revitalised that organisation. He has also worked with the University of the South Pacific, in an unpaid Adjunct Professor role, to support its work towards engineering accreditation.

Janis Swan

Janis Swan has been a champion for quality engineering education and the engineering profession. Janis has held leadership roles with the Meat Industry Research Institute of New Zealand and the University of Waikato. She helped lead the development and promotion of Waikato University’s School of Engineering, successfully bringing together different disciplines to ensure a comprehensive engineering programme, with a strong culture of professionalism and momentum. In 2005, she was the first woman to be appointed Associate Dean Engineering. Working with quiet perseverance and vision, Janet has made a significant contribution to our next generation of engineers. She has served on the Standards Accreditation Board, the Ministerial Science Task Group for Crown Research Institutes, the committee of the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Branch of Engineering New Zealand, and MBIE’s Science Board. Janis chaired the Marsden Fund Panel for Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences, and was on the Board of the Society of Chemical Engineers. She sits on the Earl Fellowship Trust Board and runs the trust’s scholarship programme to attract young women into engineering. In 2009 Janis received a Royal Honour for her service to engineering.

Janis Swan - News

Craig Price and Distinguished Fellow Janis Swan


David Leong

A former director of the Tonkin + Taylor Group, David Leong is currently the Group’s principal water resources engineer and a leading expert on hydrology, hydraulic structures and dam-break hazard.  He has presented expert evidence many times and has also led design teams on large infrastructure projects.  He is particularly recognised for his ground-breaking work on a risk-cost approach for optimising Auckland’s bulk water supply system. 

Dirk Pons

Currently Dean (Academic) College of Engineering, University of Canterbury, Dirk Pons has persistently encouraged engagement between the profession and the teaching institutions. Through his research and Engineering New Zealand committee work, he has contributed to developing a constructive alignment between pedagogy and practice.

Dr Gregory De Costa

Dr Gregory De Costa is currently a consultant at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. He is also Vice President of the Executive Council of the International Association for Hydro Environmental Research Asia Pacific Division.  He has led many international research teams investigating climate change, sea level rise and its impact on coastal water resources and adjacent land. 

Joe Pott

Joachim (Joe) Pott specialises in hydraulic turbines, plant performance and dam safety. He is a partner in Hydropower Engineering, and has been involved in a wide variety of projects in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, Laos, Nepal and the United Kingdom. He is a regular presenter on hydropower technology and dam safety, and a mentor to younger engineers.

John Mackie

John Mackie relocated to Christchurch following the Canterbury earthquakes and is currently Head of Three Waters and Waste for Christchurch City Council. He has been the city’s representative on the Board of SCIRT and acted as a Civil Defence Controller during major emergencies. John is the Chair of the Northern South Island branch of IPWEA, and is on the boards of IPWEA and Water New Zealand.

Julie Raine

Currently Bid Manager – Transport Services for Downer New Zealand, Julie Raine has managed a wide range of transportation engineering projects throughout the United Kingdom, Middle East and New Zealand. She has been a driving force behind the National Association of Women in Construction and she champions diversity. Julie has been recognised as one of New Zealand's Top 50 Women of Achievement, and was a finalist in the Westpac Women of Influence Diversity category.

Kelvin Walls

Dr Kelvin Walls is internationally recognised for his expertise on the built environment and in public health, particularly around building safety in relation to wind, earthquake and fire-safety design. He has made a significant and sustained contribution to Engineering New Zealand, including serving on the Board, the Auckland Branch Committee and Investigating Committees, and developing the PS1 Practice Note.

Lisa Roberts

Lisa Roberts’ career so far has focussed on infrastructure asset management and lifelines disaster planning. She is nationally and internationally recognised for her expertise in organisational resilience, and has developed widely-used guidance on best practice asset management. She is an acknowledged lifelines expert and has helped share and grow knowledge to develop New Zealand’s capability and resilience.

Fellows Dinner - Te Radar

Te Radar hosted the event

Murray Robertson

Murray Robertson commenced his career in geotech and surveying, moved to civil design, and then into contract and project management. In recent years, Murray has excelled in senior business management and strategic planning. Currently General Manager Transport Technology at Downer, he has an unrelenting can-do attitude and takes an innovative approach to problem-solving.

Onno Mulder

Onno Mulder has more than 30 years of experience in the engineering construction and maintenance industry. He is CEO of Citycare Group, a role he has held for 12 years. Under Onno’s leadership, Citycare Group has grown from a small regional contracting organisation to one of New Zealand’s largest maintenance companies, providing services to many of New Zealand’s largest councils and private organisations.

Phil Gaby

In his 37 years of experience of working in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and Singapore, Phil Gaby has made a significant contribution to a portfolio of high-profile, award-winning infrastructure projects. Currently Project Director at Holmes Group, he enjoys mentoring and training, and shares his knowledge and expertise through academic papers, presentations, guest lecturing and an active involvement in industry bodies and societies.

Richard Cuthbert

Richard Cuthbert’s early career focused on planning and feasibility of transport schemes in England and internationally. He went on to senior management, leadership and governance roles with Atkins and then Mouchel — both large, multi-discipline, international engineering consultancies. On relocating to New Zealand in early 2013, he was appointed General Manager of Spiire NZ (originally Duffill, Watts & King). He is also chairman of Ergo electrical engineering consultants.

Richard Holyoake

Richard Holyoake is a Senior Principal in Beca, leading the Infrastructure Business in the South Island.  He has delivered major projects including large-scale demolition, land development, irrigation schemes, feasibility for ports and hydro-electric and feasibility through to construction of many airport runway rehabilitation projects.  Richard is passionate about engineers contributing to society and is actively involved in public art, health and safety forums, the New Zealand Airport Association, a school Board and chairs a community association.

Rosalind Archer

Rosalind Archer’s career combines technical expertise in geothermal and petroleum engineering, and leadership roles in academia and industry. She has served for five years as Head of Department of Engineering Science at the University of Auckland, and she holds a professorial chair supported by Mercury and a non‐executive directorship of New Zealand Oil & Gas. She has been a key part of teams raising research funding from the Government and from international sources.

Shayne Cunis

Shayne Cunis is a recognised leader in the water services sector in the Auckland region. Currently General Manager – Service Delivery at Watercare, he has improved the quality and resilience of service, and developed a significant number of young engineers into the future leaders. He has been on the Board of Water New Zealand and is currently an international representative on the Board of the Water Research Foundation.

Simon Fleisher

Simon Fleisher served as marine engineer in the British and New Zealand navies before changing sectors to the electricity supply industry.  In 2013, he became Chief Executive of Wellington Cable Car and has overseen several complex technical projects.  He is also a Director of Waipa Networks and a Member of the Institute of Directors.  In 2014, Simon became a Wellington City Council Civil Defence Controller. He has served on a number of Engineering New Zealand committee and boards. 

Tony Enright

Dr Tony Enright is at the forefront of international performance-based fire engineering. He is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Australia and New Zealand and is a Fellow of Engineers Australia. Tony has delivered major projects across the building and advisory sectors: most notably as lead fire engineer for the new A$2.1 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital. He has won project-based and academic awards, most notably the inaugural National Fire Protection Association international scholar in fire science.

Gold Medal, President’s Award

Simon Lovatt

Currently the Director, Research and Enterprise at the University of Waikato, Simon is also a Fellow of Engineering New Zealand.  He has served as a member of the Standards and Accreditation Board (SAB) for eight years, much of that time as Chair. Simon has played an active role in Engineering New Zealand’s accreditation process, participating in or leading accreditation visits to Victoria University of Wellington, Massey University, the University of Canterbury and a number of Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics. Key achievements under his SAB leadership have included the development of criteria for the accreditation of postgraduate degrees, and the strategic statement on engineering education. Simon also led the development of processes for the accreditation of the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering and our admission as a full signatory to the Dublin Accord. He has also represented Engineering New Zealand internationally and participated in overseas review missions, most recently leading a review of accreditation processes in the United States. 

Silver Medal, President’s Award

Campbell Dawson

Campbell became President of ENSOC shortly after a difficult incident. Campbell confronted the challenge created for ENSOC and worked to rebuild the group’s credibility and reputation. Under his leadership, the culture of ENSOC has changed and the group has developed a more mature awareness of the impact of their activities on engineers’ collective reputation. ENSOC was most recently in the news for their bread challenge – engineering a giant bread pyramid to draw attention to food waste, afterwards donating the bread to community groups. Campbell is committed to making a difference in the community and is an incredibly positive role model for up-and-coming engineers. He’s assisted with Speed Interviewing nights and Secrets to Success evenings, and run the Templin Scroll speaking competition at Canterbury University for several years. He has actively collaborated with EWB, WIE and the student association at Canterbury University.

Maclean Citation

Sarah Sinclair

Sarah Sinclair is a Fellow of Engineering New Zealand and one of New Zealand’s leading women engineers.  She is currently Chief Engineer for Auckland Council. This is Auckland’s pre-eminent engineering leadership role and Sarah holds significant responsibility for engineering practice and design standards for the region. Her work has a lasting impact on the people of Auckland, future generations, the environment and the economy. Sarah also leads the development and implementation of project management and contract management practice across the Council. Sarah’s leadership is characterised by technical excellence, high influence, a determination to make a difference, and a willingness to do the ‘hard yards’ alongside her colleagues to ensure the best result for all is delivered.  Sarah’s commitment to engineering has also included board roles with IPWEA (NZ), Southern Response Earthquake Services, Sustainable Business Network, and the Women in Infrastructure Advisory Board. She has also held a variety of mayoral or crown agency expert or advisory roles. Sarah is a champion of diversity and inclusion in the sector, and is constantly seen promoting the profession to women.

See the photos from the night