Inspire : Public Works July Aug 2014
Q&A PWPro talks to IFME President Ross Vincent Let's start with a bit of background about IFME (International Federation of Municipal Engineers). Where did it all begin? The name is a good summary; it's the body for sharing knowledge between municipal engineers and public works professionals around the world. It started in Europe in 1960 when engineers recognised the bene ts of networking across borders. What are the bene ts for an organisation belonging to IFME? More than ever, most of us face common challenges of tight nances and ageing infrastructure. It makes so much sense to build networks that help exchange ideas and the good practice we need to meet those challenges. How did you become President of IFME and what does that entail? INGENIUM (predecessor to IPWEA NZ) saw the potential bene ts and we joined in 2009. The presidency rotates around the di erent countries. I became president in 2012, chairing two board meetings each year. Have you had speci c aims as President? I've been working on membership and I'm really pleased that it has grown. We now represent 22 di erent countries with three more that are interested. Having members all over the world means the board meetings have been in some pretty amazing locations. Where have you travelled? Well, I have to admit I've been very lucky with that part, travelling to places like Iceland and Tromsø, Norway, above the Arctic Circle. And the last World Congress was in Helsinki, Finland. That leads us nicely into the next IFME World Congress. It's quite exciting for us (IPWEA NZ). Not only will we host the IFME World Congress for the rst time, but as the newest member of IPWEA, the Congress will be tied in with our rst Australasia IPWEA Conference as well. So it's going to be a lot bigger than our usual conference. We expect about 800 delegates from all over Australia and the world. In Helsinki, I heard speakers from 26 di erent countries, so bringing that same opportunity to our IPWEA members is quite rewarding. Is New Zealand a bit far away for some members? It is quite a way, but the level of interest so far has been amazing. There are a lot of projects to showcase and, of course, New Zealand is a great place to spend a few extra days. Rotorua has built a reputation on hospitality and it's one of New Zealand's favourite playgrounds. Any sneak previews of the programme? This Congress has been three years in the planning. Our annual conferences are already renowned in the industry, so I have no doubt that there will be some show-stopping stu , as well as just a fantastic opportunity to network face to face. The digital world we live in now is great, but there's still nothing quite like making personal connections. Any other comments as you move into your last year as IFME president? I'm retiring as IPWEA NZ CEO as well, so it's gratifying to see both organisations going from strength to strength and to know I'm leaving them healthy and in good hands for the future. I know we've just nished the 2014 Conference, but I really urge everyone to register for 2015. I'd go so far as to call it unmissable! 35’ to next year’s Conference – before challenging each other to a sumo challenge (pictured) during one of the many fun networking opportunities. The Auckland event also paid tribute to retiring IPWEA NZ CEO Ross Vincent and former INGENIUM President Neil Cook, both of whom were instrumental in the IPWEA merger. Both were presented with Life Memberships by IPWEA NZ President Braden Austin, drawing long and hearty applause. As sessions drew near to a close, delegates received a calendar to make sure they plan now for next year’s landmark event, the IFME World Congress on Municipal Engineering & IPWEA Inter national Public Works Conference in Rotorua (www.ipwea.org/rotorua2015).
Public Works Sept Oct 2014
Public Works May Jun 2014