Meet the Board
Mike Welten - interim Chair
Mike is the General Manager of Tīra (formerly NDA Engineering). He joined the company as a Project Manager in the late 1990s and was previously Production Manager at the Pacific Aerospace Corporation. Mike also has a post-graduate Diploma in Management Studies from the University of Waikato.
“Involvement in WECA is a great opportunity to network with other people from various engineering businesses, educators and training providers. There is plenty of opportunity for dialogue on hot discussion topics at the great events that WECA co-ordinate throughout the year and to have some real input into how we promote engineering as a career.”
Dr. Trudy Harris
Trudy is Team Manager of Wintec – Te Pūkenga’s Centre for Engineering and Industrial Design, with a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering. She was a Lecturer in Engineering Materials at the University of Glasgow in the early 2000s, and moved to the Mighty Waikato to take up teaching development roles at the University of Waikato. She been with Wintec for more than a decade in various engineering-related leadership roles, including team management, teaching, marketing and research.
“Waikato is a wonderful place to be an engineer, and WECA is an excellent way to celebrate and showcase that. We have a vibrant and active engineering community, which boxes above its weight on the global stage, and world-class tertiary providers producing work-ready graduates.”
Pr. Mike Duke
Professor Mike Duke is the Dean and Dr John Gallagher Chair in Engineering at the University of Waikato. Mike is a founding member of Waikato Robotics Automation and Sensing (WaiRAS) research group. Mike is active in New Zealand’s research landscape. He a principle investigator of the MaaraTech MBIE Optimising Horticulture project, led by Professor Bruce Macdonald at Auckland University. He was on the PBRF panel, is an EIS Marsden panellist and a member of AgriTech NZ.
Adrian (DipEng (Mech)) is a Director of family-owned JP Marshall, one of New Zealand’s most experienced steel fabricators and industrial engineering providers, based in Hamilton and Christchurch.
“It’s important to be involved with WECA as we need to work together to promote engineering – a largely hidden industry. Our sector is vital, but we have an ageing workforce and we need young people to step up to lead us into the future.”
Bob (CMinst, MBA, GDip Quality Assurance, NZCE (Plastics), Trade Certificate Plastics Engineering) is a born and bred Hamiltonian and currently the Business Unit Manager for Pact Packaging’s Alto Packaging Site in Te Rapa.
It’s the same site where Bob started his career in 1983 as a fresh faced & very young 16 year old apprentice, leaving in the year 2000 for 4 years in the US working with Automotive Electronics before returning to NZ in 2004 to start a family. Bob returned to the Pact Te Rapa site on 2021 after 11 years of project and Programme management in Fonterra and preceded by a couple of stints in Operations and start-up management.
Bob has been fortunate to experience a wide range of Engineering career options in a number of industries and countries. As such, He is a strong believer in the idea of emergent career development, and has always looked to take on career opportunities that serve to grow his experience and or capability, whilst taking the opportunity for formal academic capability development along the way.
“A career in engineering has boundless opportunities, and it’s critically important to keep balancing practical experience with formal learning and credentials. It’s a career that can start with humble beginnings as an apprentice and lead to Multi-million dollar project and business management opportunities. Wouldn’t it be great if all school leavers could see that and follow that path wherever it may lead?”
Nick is Stainless Design New Zealand’s Fabrication Manager, who cut his teeth in high-spec stainless steel workshops in the United Kingdom.
Nick and his family moved to New Zealand about a decade ago, where a short stint with Longveld introduced him to the Waikato’s engineering community. He joined 120-strong Stainless Design shortly thereafter.
After being on the tools most of his career, Nick now enjoys a management role where he can foster the next generation of talented engineers.
“Encouraging growth of young engineers is definitely the way forward for our region and our sector. Being involved in WECA is a great way to do this. It’s excellent to see the range of people coming in the doors these days is increasingly diverse.”