Engineering Strategy Manager – Meridian Energy
Brent started off his career as an apprentice electrician, and after gaining his electrical registration continued with a NZ Certificate in Engineering (NZCE), the equivalent of a Diploma in Engineering nowadays. Prior to university he gained significant experience working as a high voltage technician, and within asset management teams primarily on lines and distribution networks.
Brent had been working in the power/energy industry for 14 years before attending the University of Canterbury in 2002. He was a direct entry into 2nd Professional Year BE(Hons), completing his degree with first class honours in 2003. Brent was awarded the Electric Power Engineering Centre Scholarship the first year this scholarship programme was launched. He also received the R.D. Neale Memorial Prize for academic achievement and the R.A.F.Ts Achievement Prize for sporting and academic achievement while at University of Canterbury.
After university he entered the hydro generation industry as the Hydro Operations Manager for Mighty River Power (now Mercury) and in 2008 he took on his current role of Engineering Strategy Manager at Meridian Energy.
The Engineering Strategy Team includes electrical, mechanical, automation, civil & dam safety engineers. The team develops and manages Meridian’s long-term hydro asset management plans, and also looks after the engineering for all major hydro capital works.
“Our goal within the team as custodians of these iconic assets is to pass them on to the next generation of engineers/asset managers in the same, or better condition than what they are now.”
Brent also plays a key role in Meridian’s graduate engineering program and has been actively involved in recruiting graduate engineers into the hydro generation industry for 15 years.
Brent took a different path than most to get to university but does not regret that it took many years to get there. He readily admits that he wasn’t ready for university directly out of school and took a more practical route. “Going into university with a few years of work under my belt gave me a different perspective of the concepts discussed in the lecture rooms. I could generally relate that to a practical example I’d seen out in the field. It also gave me an advantage with general planning, understanding priorities and knowing what needed to be done and when. I never had to pull an all-nighter!”
Published April 2019