We're delighted to have delivered our first dedicated Engineering Heritage Week – where speakers presented the fascinating range of papers, originally prepared for the 2021 Australasian Engineering Heritage Conference.

Covid-19 forced the cancellation of the 2021 Heritage conference, so instead, we reworked the original conference programme and delivered a series of free regional events based off the papers.

Sessions were held in Auckland, Canterbury, Dunedin and Wellington and were grouped by theme. If you missed the presentations, the videos are now available below along with the papers.

Strengthening and refurbishing heritage structures

Wellington, Monday 7 March 2022

How do you balance the heritage values and original fabric of a structure, and the engineering work required to strengthen and adapt it for current and future uses?

Our speakers discussed their approaches to complex strengthening projects, the challenges they faced and how they worked through these.

  • Chessa Stevens: The tale of two bridges – how understanding heritage significance can guide the treatment of our country’s unique structures.
  • John Finnegan: Dunedin Law Courts seismic strengthening and refurbishment.
  • Greg McFetridge and Eoin Norton: Strengthening Wellington's Town Hall – maintaining heritage in a complex seismic retrofit.

Watch the 'strengthening and refurbishing heritage structures' presentation

Working with communities to preserve heritage structures

Auckland, Tuesday 8 March 2022

Communities often face multiple challenges in preserving heritage structures. They must weigh up heritage values and community needs and comply with legal requirements.

Our speakers discussed finding pragmatic solutions for heritage projects, involving the community and using emerging technologies to guide engineering work on heritage structures.

  • Hamish Tocher and Matthew Cutfield: Simple Strengthening – an outline of a non-specific design approach for unreinforced masonry buildings in Aotearoa.
  • Mark Dyer and Ray Hudd: Historic wharf restoration using modern materials.
  • Lennon Bedford: “Reality Capture” and its place in digitally preserving the past.

Watch the 'working with communities to preserve heritage structures' presentation

Early engineering invention

Christchurch, Wednesday 9 March 2022

Drawing on archival research, personal recollections, and re-creation, our speakers for this session take you on a journey back in time to the beginnings of these exciting technological developments.

  • Ian Bywater: 'Bottled Lightning' – New Zealand's first public electricity supply.
  • Ian MacGregor and Miles Pierce: Dunedin's cable car system – a bold venture in the antipodes.

Watch the 'early engineering invention' presentation

Refurbishing engineering heritage for present day use

Dunedin, Thursday 10 March 2022

How can old technology and infrastructure be brought back to life and put to new use?

Our speakers discuss diverse projects that tackle this question, with valuable results.

  • Robert Storm: A series of most fortunate events – bringing new life to old technology at Mandeville Railway Trust.
  • Ian Walsh, Sam Kurmann and Scott Kvick: Refurbishment of Ross Creek reservoir dam, Dunedin's first major water supply scheme.
  • Anne Stevens QC: Dunedin Law Courts - campaign for restoration.

Watch the 'refurbishing engineering heritage for present day use' presentation

Read summaries of the papers and speaker bios

Read proceedings from past engineering heritage conferences

First Australasian Conference on Engineering Heritage, Christchurch, 1994

Second Australasian Conference on Engineering Heritage, Auckland, 2000

Third Australasian Conference on Engineering Heritage, Dunedin, 2009

Fourth Australasian Conference on Engineering Heritage, Christchurch, 2014