NZSSES Annual Report, 1 October 2008 – 30 September 2009

4 December 2009

During the 2008/2009 Financial year, the NZSSES has been actively fulfilling its Statement of Purpose, which is to advance sustainability engineering and science.

Our third International conference, Blueprints for Sustainable Infrastructure, was held from 9 – 12 December, 2008, and attracted two hundred delegates and guests, offered eleven keynote speakers, and fifteen workshop presenters.

The conference hosted four workshops on topics such as Modelling for a Sustainable Community, Managing your Carbon Footprint, Infrastructure Management, and Future thinking scenarios and ran two forums on Global Responses to Climate Change, and a Case studies session, which addressed a number of sustainable projects outlining their successes, their issues, and ways to improve design and management. In addition, two discussion panels debated the Business Reality of Today – Transitions from current method of IF development and
management and how we change our mechanisms to achieve sustainable infrastructure and
another on Visions of the Future – Delivering longer term visions for sustainable infrastructure: a
total of eight sessions.

The exceptional standard of speakers who have given freely of their services to NZSSES was a particular highlight for our Society. At the conference, we were honoured to have Dr Jean Venables OBE, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers UK, and Chair of the Thames Estuary Project speak, along with Dr Jan Wright, NZ Parliamentary Commission for the Environment, and Jeanette Fitzsimons, NZ Green Party. Other speakers included Professor Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at The CUSP Institute in Curtin University; Professor Terry Collins, Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU); and Professor Peter Guthrie who leads the Centre for Sustainable Development at the University of Cambridge. Workshop speakers and presenters included Professor Jorge Vanegas, a world renowned expert on sustainable living for disadvantaged communities, and Nick Main, then Chairman of Deloitte NZ, and who has recently been appointed to the position of Global Managing Partner, Climate Change and Sustainability Services for Deloitte Touche Tomatsu.

As a result of the conference, NZSSES is working on the development of a book incorporating many of the top papers presented by both keynote and delegates. NZSSES also co-authored
the brochure, Sustainability: Engineering the way Forward, in conjunction with IPENZ.

NZSSES has held seven Friday Forums, on topical issues such as Sustainable Transport, Air Quality, and Conservation versus Mining. As well as presenting selected papers from the Blueprints conference to the public in both Christchurch and Auckland, a Forum presentation was held on Complexity, Decision and Innovation. These Forums are run along similar lines to the Washington Forums, insofar as they are morning sessions, have two or three speakers presenting their expertise on the topic, followed by question and answer time and discussion from the audience and finishing at 12 noon. The format has been very successful and attracts a regular audience averaging twenty-five. A further two, two-day workshops were held on Life Cycle Analysis with over twenty people attending.

By bringing Dr Annie Pearce of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, an international Green Buildings and LEED expert to New Zealand we were able to a host a Winter Seminar Series on Sustainable Facilities and Infrastructure in four cities. These Seminars were very successful. For the first time we successfully worked in conjunction with the IPENZ Professional Development team to assist in the promotion of these events.

In all, twenty-five learning sessions have been offered to members, engineers and scientists in the last financial year. Forty-seven different speakers have addressed these various sessions, which were attended by over four hundred people.

The National Committee met eight times over the year in addition to the Annual General Meeting as set out in the rules, and two long-term strategy meetings on planning for future workshops, forums and conferences.

Two Member’s cocktail evenings were organised in Auckland that allowed members to meet
new members, network and discuss business and topical issues.

The NZSSES Chair, Dr Carol Boyle has been particularly busy forging links with like organisations in Australia and the United States, with several keynote presentations being given this year.

April: Melbourne, Australia – 2009 National Local Government Asset Management and
Public Works Engineering Conference; Conference keynote presentation: Visions for
Sustainable Infrastructure
June: Austin, Texas – 2009 Annual Conference, The American Society for Engineering
August: Cincinnati, Ohio – First International Congress on Sustainability Science and
Engineering – The American Institute of Chemical Engineers Congress (AIChE): keynote
presentation: Visions for Sustainable Technologies.
Another committee member, Caleb Clark of Morphum Environmental Limited, won the IPENZ
Arthur Mead Award for The Environment and Sustainability, for their Roy Clements Treeway
Boardwalk Project and the application of environmental awareness to the solution of an
engineering problem.

NZSSES considers the last twelve months to have been a very successful and worthwhile year, meeting all our obligations and expectations.

Dr Carol Boyle