We’re pleased to announce that we’ve had two new team members join HERA this month – Innovation Centre Manager, Greg Buckley, and Research Engineer, Hafez Taheri.

They both bring a unique set of skills and diverse thinking to our HERA team fabric, and we’re excited to see the positive contributions that they’ll bring to our members and our own team dynamics!

We see both Greg and Hafez being an important part of our new vision to secure tomorrows industry by innovating today, and mission to build a passionate tribe of metal heads who innovate successfully.

Innovation Centre Manager, Greg Buckley

Last year saw our Industry Development division pivot in it’s focus. Moving away from it’s traditional R&D projects towards driving an innovation mindset in our industry for future sustainability.

This led to the development of our signature leadership program Innovation READY, SET, GO, as well as innovation cluster interest groups and the concept of building both a digital and physical innovation hub.

With the resignation of Boaz Habib earlier this year, it presented an opportune time for the Industry Development division to pivot even further – restructuring to better suit and support the works it was now delivering.

Greg has come on board to drive that initiative – which is the growth of a purpose built Innovation Centre. We want to drive thinking, inspire adoption of new technologies and provide access to members to explore the possibilities available to our industry in the future. We want our members to prepared for the disruptions that are ahead.

Innovation Centre Manager, Greg Buckley.

Greg brings excellent communications skills to the table, and as a self- confessed futurist and people optimiser, brings over 10 years’ experience working in innovation, new media technologies, education and digital storytelling.

“I know I can offer an experienced and well- informed innovation perspective.”

“With more and more noise to cut through, innovation frameworks that leverage the diversity and human potential already present in organisations will be key to establishing financial sustainability now and into the future.”

Greg’s background is in various business development roles with MIT and other businesses, including Vitality Works and his own communications-related ones. He’s also had exposure to digital optimisation principles and AR/VR development which will prove valuable when it comes to developing out our own technical capabilities inhouse.

Research Engineer, Hafez Taheri

Hafez is a Structural Engineer with almost 6 years’ research experience in assessment and evaluation of structural components, structural systems and welds. He’s also no stranger to HERA!

Working with us since 2016 as a HERA Foundation PhD Scholarship Recipient at the University of Auckland where he was focused on investigating the potential solutions to address deficiencies in both stainless and normal carbon steel welded moment connections in seismic regions. Conducting experimental tests and finite element analysis to delve into this, as well as exploring research in weld sizing for structural steel connections, fatigue analysis in welded connections and structural design and analysis.

“It’s great to be able to apply my knowledge for industrial problem identification to propose scientific approaches to solve them.”

“I’m honoured to work at HERA, and work alongside our strong and reputable research team. It’s a great platform to learn and develop my skills.”

Research Engineer, HERA Foundation Post-Graduate Scholarship Recipient & PhD Research Fellow, Hafez Taheri.

Hafez will be working across both our welding and structural technical teams, and reports into our General Manager Welding Centre, Michail Karpenko.


Connect with our new team members!

Greg has certainly hit the ground running, and is currently on a mission to develop out an HR community dubbed ‘Kotahitanga’ – meaning unity, togetherness, solidarity, or collective action.

It’s in direct response to industry wide concerns around the growing skills gap and ability to attract and retain good staff. Kotahitanga will be designed to foster collaboration and co-creation of metals industry specific initiatives to address this challenge, so if you want to ensure your organisation is prepared for the #futureofwork – then joining ‘Kotahitanga’ is a must!

If you want more details, get in touch with Greg at kotahitanga@hera.org.nz.


Hafez is working on a number of research projects – and continues to oversee the seismic research at the University of Auckland, if you’d like to know more, you can email him on hafez.taheri@hera.org.nz.