The dust has settled from the first of our Future Forum conferences and we’d like to congratulate the winners and runners-up at our 2020 Vision: Nation Dinner.

It goes without saying, that the performance of forward thinking companies play a pivotal part in propelling our industry into the future, and making sure we have relevance.

Companies continue to face increasing challenges to remain relevant and recognising those in pursuit of improvement celebrates a tenacity in our industry to do better, and be better. Our Nation Dinner Industry Awards embraced this sentiment. Giving our wider New Zealand metals industry a glimpse into what others are doing to make sure they’re securing today’s industry by innovating today.

Our first Nation Dinner held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Keith Smith Memorial Award

This is our pre-eminent award for our industry that celebrates and honours our founding Chair, Keith Smith. This was awarded to Warwick Downing.

He was recognised for his contributions to developing the metal additive-manufacturing industry in NZ. This journey started in 2008 with the importation of the first ever metal 3D printer to NZ.

The introduction of this ‘enabling technology’, has allowed NZ to have a significant presence on the world stage, making us world-class – if not world-leading in this space. With possibly more metal additive manfuacturing machines per capita than any other nation, NZ can be very proud of what Warwick has quietly achieved.

HERA Innovation Award

The winner of the HERA Innovation Award was Victoria University of Wellington, and was accepted by Project Lead & Senior Scientist at Robinson Research Institute, Chris Bumby.

The judges recognised the exciting new work that they’re exploring in the development of hydrogen as a reductant for iron ores. This would mean that water, instead of carbon dioxide, would be the bi-product of reduction.

Their work has already developed a small-scale zero-carbon way to make iron that works especially well for New Zealand iron sands. The one-step process is also looking promising in that it produces very high purity iron very quickly.

The team have recently won a $6.5 million grant to start to scale-up the process to tens of kilograms level – taking it one step further towards the aimed eventual commercial scale.

The runner-up for this category was Steltech for their innovative approach to developing artificial intelligence-based software to design optimised clear span portal frame buildings.

Leading Metalhead Award

The winner of our inaugural Leading Metalhead award was Scott Morrison, Marketing and Innovation Manager with Fletcher Steel.

The judges recognised his strong contribution to sustainability leadership across the New Zealand metals industry. In the past 18 months, he has led the delivery of Colorcote Environmental Product Declarations for both the New Zealand and Australian markets.

He then leveraged the EPD to introduce Global Green Tag sustainability eco-labels to Dimond Roofing, making Dimond Roofing the first roll former in the country to do so. Scott also participated in Fletcher Buildings’ “30% by 2030” initiative to reduce Fletcher Building’s carbon dioxide emissions by 30% in ten years time.

All of this work has made Fletcher Buildings the first building materials and construction company to set a science-based target for carbon reduction. He was also elected the Deputy Chair of the reinvigorated Sustainable Steel Council.

2020 Whanake Scholarship Recipient

Announced by our first Whanake Scholarship recipient, Massey University Mechatronics & Graduate of Puhoro STEM Academy, Sarah Lewis. It was a very symbolic moment, with the handing over of the baton (a carved totara tongoa) to Lily Sanson.

Lily will be studying a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at the University of Canterbury.

In her application essay she said “Within the modern world, it is important that each of us are represented in equity. I want to be part of a movement that changes this. I hope to become a Maori leader who helps to positively influence our tamariki into being involved in science and technology. I am rangatahi passionate about creating opportunities through science and technology innovation for women”.

We look forward to the contribution she will bring!