BVT had two representatives at the recent Association of Wall and Ceiling Industries (AWCI) conference in Rotorua, with Matt Bishop speaking on how to use your engineer to best effect, and Max Waters attending the conference for the first time. This was the second year that BVT has attended the annual meet, and we will continue to be a keen member and help to develop this exciting industry, particularly with seismic engineering design.
The conference was spread over two days with topics varying from physical testing of seismic systems to encouraging our youth to take up trades in this industry. Key speaker, Dale Williams was particularly passionate in encouraging the industry to give our youth the opportunities to complete apprenticeships and help develop skills and knowledge in this area. Dale was the former Otorohanga Mayor and effectively eliminated youth unemployment in his district by encouraging them to stay in his town, completing apprenticeships. As an unintended consequence of the program, there was a significant decrease in youth crime. The conference was topped off with a Gala Dinner and Awards of Excellence, and as the night progressed, crowds moved to the local pub to see Joseph Parker take the win in fight night.
A personal highlight was the time spent discussing the importance of seismic design for suspended ceilings and partitions. With the major economic loss of suspended ceilings and services in the Christchurch Earthquakes, seismic resilience is becoming more and more critical for the industry. Matt’s presentation emphasized the importance of seismic design and wanted to clarify how BVT’s approach of being available, collaborative, and fast was quite different to the traditional technical, hard to understand, and slowly engineering approach. BVT are here to help, not hinder – using your engineer to best effect.
Overall, the conference is a well worth while experience and is exciting to see how this industry is developing. BVT will remain a strong partner of AWCI and continued to help develop the industry into a robust one.