Futurespace 2023: Beca sponsors Awards Gala and selected to present

Beca is proud to be the sponsor of the Awards Gala at the Futurespace conference in Wellington, from 20-21 September 2023.

The conference is organised by ACE New Zealand (Association of Consulting and Engineering) and gives professional consultants the chance to learn about the latest innovations, market trends and solutions, while building connections across the industry.

Alongside keynote international and local speakers there will be presentations by people from Beca and other consultancies. 

The conference concludes with the Awards Gala, where the winners of the ACE Awards, Emerging Leader Award, President’s Award, Student Award and Honorary Members will be celebrated.

The finalists for the ACE Awards include two Beca projects:

Auckland Harbour Bridge emergency repairs
Consultant: Beca
Client: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

On 18 September 2020, a freak 127km/hr wind gust caused two trucks travelling over the Auckland Harbour Bridge to tip over, causing critical structural damage to the historical truss bridge. Waka Kotahi called upon its trusted advisors, Beca and the Auckland System Management alliance to get the bridge back into safe operation as soon as possible, anticipating a four-week programme and social disruption costs of $40 million.

Beca leveraged its 25-year knowledge of the bridge to help deliver the repairs quickly, reliably and accurately during limited night-time closures, delivering an elegant, structurally-sound solution in 18 days. Find out more.

St James Theatre and Ballet Building
Consultant: Beca
Client: Wellington City Council 

Wellington’s iconic 1912 St James Theatre and Ballet Building have been sympathetically strengthened and upgraded, bringing an important arts venue back into use.

Deconstruction revealed unwelcome discoveries from the 1990s seismic retrofit, necessitating significant redesign and resequencing of the construction programme. Heritage theatre buildings are notorious for their poor climate control systems and the St James Theatre was no different, presenting complex challenges for Beca’s HVAC team.

Beca is recognised for the architectural sympathy with which the structural strengthening was undertaken; the delivery of an enhanced level of user comfort which is world-leading; and the responsive, collaborative leadership it provided – delivering the project on time for opening night.

Beca New Zealand Managing Director Darryl-Lee Wendelborn says it is the recognition of excellent projects as well as people that make these awards special.

"The Awards Gala at ACE New Zealand’s conference is a key event in the calendar for the professional consulting and engineering sector, so it’s something we’re really pleased to support. It recognises the innovative contributions that consultants make to communities around Aotearoa, through the projects they’re involved in. I particularly enjoy seeing the winners of the Emerging Leader Award and Student Award – they represent the next generation who will lead our industry in the future." 

Beca’s General Manager: Transport & Infrastructure Andrea Rickard and Vice President of ACE New Zealand says the quality of speakers on this year’s conference programme is particularly high:

"The Futurespace line-up this year is outstanding. Some of the speakers I am really looking forward to hearing are Johann Hari (author of Stolen Focus), Michael McQueen, Jodie King and Siobhan Proctor - just to name a few. I’m looking forward to spending time with colleagues across the industry and making the most of new networking opportunities."

Several people from Beca have been selected to speak at the conference: 

John Blyth and Jenna Poff from Te Ahi Tūtata (the Māori business team at Beca) will co-present a session titled The body language of mana. John and Jenna will explore the landscape of behaviours and non-verbal communication in engagement. Through the lens of mana they will seek to define what equitable partnership with iwi and Māori might look like.

Fellow Te Ahi Tūtata member Wharehuia Dixon will present a session titled He aha kei te reo? What’s in a language. An advocate for the increased use of quality te reo Māori, Wharehuia will explore its value within engineering consultancy, its standing as a professional skill and the cultural wellbeing, benefit and burden of being a Māori professional in a technical and mainstream profession.

Beca’s Group Head of Workplace Transformation and Wellbeing, Chloe Stewart-Tyson, will present a session titled Creating a culture where psyschological wellbeing is a #1 priority. Beca is proud of its high-performing culture, but we know that some projects can impact on people’s wellbeing. After identifying this as a top risk in 2016, we implemented a programme that changed our organisational culture to make wellbeing a priority. Chloe will discuss the nuances of mental health within professional services consulting, and how we’re continuing to evolve our programme.

Digital Innovation leader – Transport & Infrastructure Jack Donaghy will present a session titled Unlock the power of AI to keep your infrastructure in optimal condition. Jack will discuss how Beca is using AI to assess the condition of infrastructure in the transport and infrastructure sector, by encouraging innovation, changing mindsets about AI and showcasing its value. 

Manager – Southern Infrastructure Matt Harris will present a session titled Future fit infrastructure – innovation in civil engineering consultancy. Matt will discuss the evolving complexity and demands on the design requirements for civil design projects, which mean that consultants must innovate to continue to develop cost effective solutions for the delivery of those designs and their construction. 

Find out more about Futurespace here.