2021
ENGINEERING EDUCATION AWARD

An individual, team, academic institution or organisation who has delivered inspiring engineering education that has had enduring positive impact for engineers, students or tamariki.

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FINALISTS

PROFESSOR ALESSANDRO PALERMO 

The University of Canterbury

Alessandro has a unique ability to inspire, challenge and connect with engineering students. This ability is backed up by dedication and a passion for providing the highest quality learning opportunities for students. 

Alessandro’s leadership in teaching and researching bridge engineering is well-renowned. The infamous bridge building competition is taught to second-year University of Canterbury students – and since Alessandro joined in 2009, he’s completely restructured the competition, emphasizing creativity, innovation, bi-culturalism, diversity, team working, and client-engineer relationship. 

He’s taught over 2500 students from first year to doctoral level, and has created two new postgraduate courses on structural and earthquake bridge engineering. He’s led initiatives to promote bicultural competency and confidence in his students, integrating reflections on biculturalism in engineering design assessments.

Alessandro regularly interacts with Industry by running webinars, courses, and coordinating initiatives across different Industry associations. 

He’s more than a lecturer with a passion for bridges. He inspires his students to think out of the box, be creative, and use their passion and motivation to build the impossible.

UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND'S FACULTY OF ENGINEERING / TE HERENGA MĀTAI PŪKAHA

The University of Auckland

The University of Auckland’s 32,000m² B405 building provides the Faculty of Engineering / Te Herenga Mātai Pūkaha with a new home; a research and learning facility designed to empower future generations of engineers. 

It’s the most complex building the University has ever developed and has earned a reputation as one of the best facilities of its kind in Australasia. It helps raise the profile of engineering in New Zealand. The project was planned and designed with the next 80 years of educating engineers in mind. 

Innovative teaching strategies integrate with the building form to initially serve approximately 5,000 students, with projected growth to come. And given there’s a shift toward online education, the facility is an innovative way to encourage students back to campus.

Engineering plays a role in almost every aspect of our lives – from the buildings we live and work in, to roads we drive on to the equipment we use. Creating a space which improves how we educate the next generation of engineers will ultimately benefit all Kiwis.

PROFESSOR SUSAN KRUMDIECK    

The University of Canterbury

Professor Susan Krumdieck is at the cutting edge of engineering academia, showcasing New Zealand engineering education internationally.

Her development and offering of energy transition engineering, and her world-first development of an online micro-credential for professional engineers are major innovative developments. Her online, international delivery of the micro-credential makes it both creative and inclusive.

Transition engineering is required for effective action on climate change and for building a sustainable future. Professor Krumdieck’s Energy Transition Engineering course inspires and enables discovery and realisation of effective change toward carbon emissions downshift, in a variety of organisational contexts.

Susan has a massive impact on the field both within New Zealand and internationally– as proven by her recent recruitment at Heriot-Watt University in the United Kingdom to lead a major new research centre in energy transition engineering and deliver the course.