Engineering New Zealand’s Otago Heritage Chapter has been selected to host next year’s Australasian Engineering Heritage Conference.

Date: 19–25 November 2020 
Location: Dunedin

More information and registrations will be open closer to the conference date. For more updates join the mailing list.

Titled ’Engineering in a 2020 World – The Future of the Past’, the conference will spotlight how heritage engineering and technology has endured, developed and undergone restoration and repurposing, and its place in the future.

Call for Papers 

The conference organisers invite submissions of abstracts and will accept them along with formal conference papers and proposals for presentations until 3 April 2020.
Papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings. Presentations will be programmed into 30-minute increments including a 5-minute allowance for Q&A sessions. Papers selected for keynote presentations will be allotted longer time slots. 

Conference themes include (but are not limited to):

  • Transportation
  • Information Technology 
  • Industries 
  • Energy 
  • Agriculture
  • Water
  • Natural Hazards
  • Regulations
  • Resource Management
  • Recreation/Entertainment
  • Engineering of Heritage
  • People, businesses, communities
  • Outer Space
  • Hazards
  • Climate Change
  • Education
Submission guidelines
  • Provide sufficient evidence of alignment to the conference’s theme.
  • Include the paper’s title, your full name, and your position or affiliation (or a brief bio).
  • Don’t exceed 300 words.

Send inquiries, submissions and presentation ideas to 

About the conference

The conference will focus on heritage engineering or technology which has endured, undergone development, restoration and repurposing to claim its place in the future. 

It’s a theme that aligns well with the story of the Otago region of New Zealand.

Situated at the southern end of New Zealand, Otago is bordered in the west by the Southern Alps and in the east by the Pacific Ocean. Abundant natural resources supported a population of Māori who were joined by small numbers of European sealers and whalers through the early 19th century. Scottish settlers founded the city of Dunedin in the 1840s, and in 1861, gold was discovered in Central Otago, fuelling a further influx of migrants, supercharging the region’s economy and creating a demand for engineering infrastructure which has not been seen since. Our distance from other manufacturing and industrial centres necessitated both local ingenuity and industrial capacity. 

Times change, but some things endure. Much of our past has a future. 

Three of New Zealand’s largest construction companies were incorporated in Dunedin – two of these well over 100 years ago. The entirely Dunedin-built steamer TSS Earnslaw still plies Lake Wakatipu after 106 years of service. A vast network of water races built to provide water for gold mining now carry the water which irrigates much of the Central Otago farmland, while Dunedin City has just finished the overhaul of a 151-year-old water supply dam.

Dunedin’s economy is increasingly underpinned by its considerable information and communications technology (ICT) resource and even this has strong links to the past. A 105-year-old engineering company has become a world leader in assembly line, meat processing and robotics technology. Once a staging post for exported wool and grain or imported goods, the city’s re-purposed warehouse precinct now houses companies creating real-time animations for globally televised sports events such as the America’s Cup or Masters golf, building fine instrumentation for the life sciences or creating genetics management software for farmers. 

The future of the past. This conference theme not only fits our region, it provides a platform for a wide range of papers across the full spectrum of engineering and technological endeavour in what promises to be an engaging and enlightening event.

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