Events

Find out about the events that bring our alumni together.

Beaufords Lunch 2021

The AUEA hosted another successful Beaufords Lunch on 17 March, with over 50 Ardmore graduates and their partners in attendance. The weather was excellent as usual, and Peter McGregor noted that the previous year’s lunch was held just before New Zealand’s Level 4 lockdown was announced. To his knowledge, thankfully no harm came to any of the attendees.

Some prominent reflections include the ones we’ve lost in the previous year — Bruce Cato, who was one of the very first group of Ardmore graduates, Graham Wheeler, Peter Hicks, and Bruce Goodfellow. All were well known and liked by many Ardmore graduates as well as valued supporters of the AUEA, and will be sorely missed.

The attendees were also given an update on Joyce Irving, Professor Neil Mowbray’s widow. She notably turned 100 this year, and sent her best wishes from the Kapiti Coast.

This was also the first Beaufords lunch attended by John Cheah as the AUEA’s latest President, and our new Development Manager, Graeme Steven. The latter had only been in his role for about four hours at the lunch, though he brought good spirits and aims to keep up the culture of excellence upheld by the AUEA and our faculty so far.

COVID-19 was predictably another prominent topic of discussion. Our faculty’s acting Dean Professor Gerard Rowe gave an update on how we’re bouncing back through lockdowns, and AUEA President John Cheah noted the challenges that we’ve faced.

We’d like to especially thank Peter McGregor for his efforts in organising the Ardmore Lunch over the number of years.

Beaufords Lunch 2020

The annual Beaufords Lunch for Ardmore graduates took place in March, which included attendance from Bruce Cato who was at Ardmore in 1948, its first year of operation. There were also alumni who graduated in 1968, so the full 20 years of Ardmore's history was covered.

Acting Dean Gerard Rowe gave faculty updates, addressing the concepts behind the new Engineering building that opened earlier this year. He also acknowledged the importance of the annual Beaufords Lunch and was delighted that alumni from the Ardmore era continue this tradition.

AUEA Vice President John Cheah attended the lunch in place of AUEA President Brent Meekan and noted that a number of younger graduates had recently joined the executive. He also talked about the two successful AUEA Spotlight events that took place in 2019 and brought AUEA members together with industry experts for informative evenings focused on Engineering topics.

Development Manager for the Faculty of Engineering Paul Cunningham attended too, acknowledging the value this event has to the Ardmore cohort who continue to attend year after year.

“It was great to see so many of our Ardmore-era alumni attend the annual lunch. It was a highly enjoyable afternoon and as it transpires, the last social event many of us would enjoy before we went into lockdown!”, Paul said.

“The spirit and camaraderie amongst the group is truly unique. There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the University. The Faculty of Engineering considers itself incredibly fortunate to have such a engaged group of alumni who continue to care so much about their faculty.”

EVOLUTION - AUEA Alumni Dinner 2018

The AUEA celebrated 50 years since the closure of the Ardmore Campus with a dinner at Sunday, 6 October at the Pullman. Sponsors for the event included Beca, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, and Watercare.

The over 200 attendees included a mix of current staff and alumni from across the past 70 years.

The dinner is notably one of our landmark events that brings together cohorts from Engineering’s Ardmore years. This year, we additionally toasted to the five decades since the closure of our Ardmore Campus, and to the faculty's future with Building 405, an 11-storey, purpose-built space set to open its doors next year for New Zealand's next generation of engineers.

Dean of Engineering Professor Nic Smith’s speech focused on how the future of our faculty depends on us drawing from the ingenuity, creativity and ‘can do’ attitude established since Ardmore, while also welcoming new perspectives and embracing change, so we can truly lead the way as a technologically, economically, and socially conscious body of experts.

The festivities were emceed by Duncan Bakke, a current PhD candidate in Engineering Science, and featured speakers from Beca, Watercare and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. Some common themes discussed throughout included the impact of good engineering as we move towards a technologically-dominated future, and how success relies on the way we adapt to the speed of social change.

MEPM launch

The new Master of Engineering Project Management programme was officially launched with an event that brought industry professionals and academics together. Hosted in the University of Auckland’s Fale Pasifika, attendees took the opportunity to hear from guest speakers, network with each other and find out what the new programme will deliver.

The guest speaker on the night was Professor Ray Payne, an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Engineering. Ray shared insights of project management success he gained working in senior positions across the globe, including for the Olympic Delivery Authority, where he was responsible procurement, programme and project delivery of the venues and infrastructure for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

After an introduction to the programme, PMI Northern Branch Chair Ashleigh Waters spoke about the upcoming Project Management Conference. The focus for this year is on the three main aspects of evolution that will help to develop the next generation of project managers.

The new Master of Engineering Project Management programme is being launched in Semester Two (July 2018). Students on the programme will be developing their project management knowledge, skills and competencies, preparing them for exciting and worthwhile careers as project managers in any engineering-related sector.

To find out more about the programme requirements and study options, head over to our dedicated Master of Engineering Project Management page.

AUEA Beaufords Luncheon 2018

Ardmore Engineering alumni recently gathered for the tenth annual luncheon event at Beaufords in Manurewa. The event was attended by almost 50 graduates from 1952 through to 1973, with John Fitzmaurice the earliest graduate in attendance.

The group were updated on the faculty’s current state by the Dean, Professor Nic Smith, who spoke of the student leadership programme’s success and plans to further acknowledge the generation of Ardmore alumni. Paul Cunningham, who took up the role of Faculty Development Manager late last year, talked those gathered through his favourable impressions of the faculty. He also had updates on the For All Our Futures campaign to raise capital and reinforced the need for ongoing philanthropic support from alumni.

There were important updates on the state of the scholarships offered to engineering students too. The new Maori and Pacifica Pathway Scholarships were introduced this year, and the AUEA were proud to award three scholarships worth $5,000 each to excellent applicants. Applications for the Ardmore Scholarships closed on April 20. There were funds available to offer $20,000 worth of scholarships this year, which is up from $15,000 in previous years.

Looking forward to the future, the Beaufords Luncheon will remain on the calendar to keep Ardmore alumni in touch with the faculty. A date and theme has also been set for the AUEA dinner which alumni can register for in late April. Scheduled for October 6, the event will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the closing of Ardmore Engineering School and is limited to 400 places.

There will also be opportunities for alumni to stay engaged with the faculty through tours of the Newmarket Campus. The Class of 1968 Reunion was held there and alumni who have visited have been amazed by the breadth of research.

The Faculty of Engineering is pleased to see the annual lunch remains an enjoyable event for Ardmore alumni and would like to thank them for their ongoing support.

July 2018: Spotlight on Auckland's infrastructure

On Thursday 26 July, the Faculty of Engineering hosted a “Spotlight on Auckland’s Infrastructure”. The Spotlight series is a new collaboration between the faculty, AUEA and industry, replacing the old AUEA Champion events.

The inaugural Spotlight event was held at the Newmarket Campus where alumni, staff, students and industry representatives enjoyed a series of presentations and a panel discussion that focused on the key infrastructure challenges and opportunities facing our growing city.

The presenters and panel members included engineering faculty, industry leaders and professionals from both the public and private sector, including Watercare, Auckland Council, Transpower, Beca and WSP-Opus and AUEA. Despite the diverse panel, key themes emerged including the need for cooperation amongst key players and the importance of people and communities as we seek to address infrastructure issues.

Dean of Engineering, Professor Nic Smith and Head of Department for Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Jason Ingham spoke from an academic perspective. Professor Ingham discussed the responsibility the faculty has as educators, and how we can anticipate changes in a way that means the curriculum can evolve and effectively prepare the next generation of engineers.

Professor Smith talked about the way infrastructure development arises in response to a population’s needs. For a large city such as Auckland, he said it’s important to understand where we are now, where we want to go and how to continue to function on this journey.

Another theme echoed across the other presentations and panel discussions is the ongoing population growth that continues to put pressure on Auckland’s infrastructure. Professor Smith provided long-term statistics that outlined the predicted population rise all the way through to 2041, while the COO of Auckland Council Dean Kimpton provided a much more immediate statistic: 1,000 new people come to Auckland to live every week.

The presenters and panel members discussed potential solutions to these challenges as well, with Watercare CEO Raveen Jaduram noting that the long lead times associated with large infrastructure projects would be better replaced with more flexible approaches. Other topics discussed included the need to embrace technology, the impact of climate change and the growing importance of the concept of a smart city.