How two deans transformed engineering in New Zealand

The story of two remarkable men who transformed an engineering school that was on the brink of closure into a school producing world-class engineering graduates has been co-written by two exceptional alumni.

Former Vice-Chancellor of the University Sir Colin Maiden and former President of the Auckland University Engineers Association Des Mataga combined forces to write Two Inspiring Deans: TDJ Leech and CJG Dalton.

These two deans were integral in boosting the number of graduates and improving the quality of education in the engineering sector.
Des says his and Sir Colin’s inspiration behind writing the book was to document these graduates’ remarkable careers and the roles TDJ Leech and CJG Dalton played in facilitating these successes before these details were lost forever.

“We decided that if we did not do something on these matters no one would and furthermore, as we were both in our mid-eighties, we had better do it quickly.”

Des and Sir Colin both started at the school in 1952, just four years after the school moved to Ardmore, which many predicted would be disastrous.

Of the 240 students who attended the school from 1947-1954, three won Rhodes Scholarships, two became Vice-Chancellors of universities and two received knighthoods.

Other graduates played leading roles within the industry both nationally and internationally, many of them appearing in this book.
“The success of these graduates in New Zealand and internationally as engineers, as academics, as managers and as senior civil servants is staggering,” Des says.

Profits of the book will go towards supporting engineering students facing financial hardship.

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