WECA member's update - November
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WECA update 

Hello <<First Name>>,

The year is flying by and members we've caught up with recently seem to be as busy as ever and, in some cases, even busier.

Of course, along with the increased workload comes the frustration of not having enough skilled staff to fill a wide range of roles. While there are challenges around filling current needs WECA been part of future-proofing against skills shortages thanks to the involvement of several members in the development of the Waikato Labour Market Strategy.

John Cook, (Stainless Design) has lead a labour market working group as part of the
Waikato Regional Economic Development Strategy (click to view)
and I am pleased to have been part of this. WECA representatives including Sally Birch (WECA), Roger Evans (Stafford Engineering), Trisha King (Mainline Sheetmetals), Lou Ewington (Mighty River Power) and Amit Kumra (Competenz) attended the recent Waikato Regional Labour Market Strategy workshop in Hamilton.

The workshop included an overview of the six parts of the strategy - workforce mapping, educational achievement, targeted training, skills attraction, transitions and communications.

We will keep you posted, and ask for your input, as this work progresses.

Coming up, we have the WECA AGM on Thursday November 27 from 4.30pm at Wintec Rotokauri. Please diary this date. We look forward to seeing you there!

All the best,
Mary Jensen,  WECA manager

WECA thanks sponsors:



Notice of WECA AGM

The Waikato Engineering Careers Association invites
members, affiliates and guests to the


2014 AGM

Thursday 27 November at Rm G.25, G Block,
Wintec Rotokauri Campus from 4.30pm 


4.30 to 5.00pm:               Tour of Wintec’s new engineering and trades facilities
5.00 to 5.30pm:               WECA AGM
5.30 to 6.00pm:               Drinks and refreshments

Cost:                                 NO CHARGE

Click here for map.


RSVP:    By  November 14th to 




WECA Event:

Engineering for Educators 2014: GEA Avapac


More than 60 people attended this year’s Engineering for Educators, an annual Waikato Engineering Careers Association event encouraging technology teachers to rub shoulders with industry leaders and to visit a high-tech engineering business.

WECA members, affiliates and educators turned out to GEA Avapac in Hamilton for the 2014 event, giving them a glimpse of the “under the radar” company’s state-of-the-art premises and workshop filled with projects in various stages of completion. 

GEA Avapac specialises in the manufacture of bag filling equipment, 85% of which is for export. About 75% of the company's manufactured parts are made in the Waikato, many by WECA members.

WECA manager Mary Jensen said Engineering for Educators gives teachers “real world” connections by taking them from the classroom to the coalface of industry.

Read more.

Check out some photos from the event:
Captions (clockwise from top left): Peter Pooran (Stainless Design), Stephen Buckingham (GEA), Alistair Malcolm (Te Awamutu College) and Donna Prentice (Hamilton Girls' High School). Andrew Harries (St Pauls Collegiate), Shelley Wilson (Wintec) and Steve Andrew (St Johns College). Levinia Paku and Brigitta Warren (Lawson Williams) flank Sally Birch (WECA). Dave Stuart (Stafford Engineering), Andrew Harries, Gary Stannard (GEA) and Peter Drube (Convex Plastics).
Captions (clockwise from top left): Andrew Harries (St Pauls Collegiate), Ian Wilson (JP Marshall) and Gary Brown (JP Marshall). Rainer Kunnemeyer (University of Waikato) and Novell Gopal (Waikato Innovation Park). GEA workshop. Roy Adams (Competenz) and Steve Wilkinson (Stafford Engineering). 

To see all the photos taken at the event click here.

Thank you to GEA Avapac for sponsoring Engineering for Educators 2014.

WECA website - we have lift off!

We are pleased to announce the new WECA website is now live, with excellent feedback from members.

As with any digital media the website will continue to evolve, so please keep us posted with any changes to your listings or with any other comments.

Click here to visit the website.

Email with any comments or changes.
Thank you to VO2 for powering our new website.

WECA members invited to tech talent scope

Talented Waikato secondary school technology students will showcase their projects at Wintec this month.

WECA members are invited to meet and scope the work of m
aterials technology , fabrics, food technology, graphics students from about 10 schools at the event.

Lock in Thursday November 13, 4.30pm to 6.30pm, at Wintec Rotokauri G Block. Tours of the new Wintec engineering facility will also be running.

Please RSVP to by November 10.


Awards shine spotlight on industry stars

Excellence in industry training will be recognised this month at the 12th annual Gallagher Rotary Industry Awards.

The awards have grown from small beginnings to include eight Waikato businesses keen to reward trainees demonstrating excellence, commitment and skill in their industry.

The collar-and-tie event shines the spotlight on employees in the engineering, plastics, construction, plumbing, manufacturing and personnel management fields.

Click here to read more.



Waikato Bearings 

Waikato Bearings Ltd is the region’s home-grown specialist in the technology of rolling bearings, power transmission and lubrication solutions. As an authorised SKF Distributor, the company supplies products to all types of industry, large or small, on the land, underground, at sea and in the air, from one end of New Zealand to the other.

Operating independently and successfully since 1999, Waikato Bearings supplies ball and roller bearings, plain bearings, linear bearings, power transmission, seals, mechatronics, condition monitoring products, lubrication systems and related engineering products. Problem solving and a commitment to excellent customer service set this New Zealand owned and operated, Hamilton-based business apart.

For more information visit or give the team a call on (07) 8506155.

Industrial energy focus for engineering grad

A PhD focused on increasing the energy efficiency of milk powder production has led University of Waikato engineering graduate Tim Walmsley to a full-time job with the research group he worked in as a PhD candidate. 

“My research demonstrated that steam use in a typical New Zealand milk powder factory could decrease by 10% if exhaust heat recovery for the milk dryer is installed. Lab scale tests indicated issues relating to milk powder build-up and fouling, which is a key reason why dairy companies choose not to install this energy efficient technology, can be avoided through smart heat recuperator design and purposefully not being greedy in recovering heat,” says Tim.

The next step in his research is to prove his design solution at a pilot-scale level before further up-scaling to a full-size New Zealand milk spray dryer. 

Click here to read full story.


Engineering great careers for girls

More than a dozen young women, careers advisers and parents turned out to Wintec and Longveld's girl in engineering open day recently.

Wintec has teamed up with Hamilton based manufacturer Longveld to offer an all-girls training course for young women interested in a career in fabrication and engineering. It will see young women at year 11 and 12 level from Waikato Trades Academy Partnership school visit Wintec’s workshop one day a week.

They’ll build a fuel powered mini-bike, while gaining credits towards their NCEA Level 2, and spend up to six days (36 hours) gaining on-the-job work experience at Longveld.

Classes start in early February and run every Wednesday in school term. Enrolments close on Friday November 14.

Click here for more information.


Pick up sticks, engineering style

Picking commercial pine tree seedlings is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to a class of engineering students from the University of Waikato. 

As part of a third-year mechanical engineering design paper, 10 teams of students were each asked to create a prototype that could collect nine metal pins along a track, then reverse and drop the pins in a box at the end. The process is designed to emulate the act of picking pine tree seedlings.
The winning team’s prototype collected and deposited the most pins in the fastest time. The inventions were tested at the Carter Holt Harvey Pulp & Paper Engineering Design Show earlier this week. 

The winners on the day were Gordon Jackson (Paeroa College), Ben Plumtree (Hawera High School), Nate Ryan and Mark Edwards (St John’s College Hamilton) with their vehicle named Zeus, which stood out for its speed and accuracy.

A word from WECA sponsor Lawson Williams:

“Real grasp” of skills equals recruitment success

Finding recruiters who understand engineering-focused skills can be tricky but it’s a secret of success for GEA Avapac.

GEA Group HR manager Taree Smith said recruitment specialist Lawson Williams’ “real grasp” of industry skills makes the company good at filling difficult roles.

For Taree, Lawson Williams consistently comes through with the right talent at the right time.

GEA Group has used Lawson Williams to recruit staff even before John Lawson opened the Waikato branch in 2008.

“Being on the ground allows for a much more consultative process of recruitment. It is more about the relationship we can establish with our clients and says we are prepared to understand you and your business better,” says Lawson Williams senior Hamilton-based consultant Brigitta Warren.

For more information visit

What's the latest??

Keep us posted with your company news and photos and you might see yourself in the next WECA newsletter. We're interested in your achievements, key appointments, awards and anything else of note.

Email items, ideas or photos for consideration to


Thanks again to WECA sponsors:


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