WSP Opus Technical Directors are dedicated to helping clients bring complex projects to life. Our Technical Directors span a diverse array of disciplines including transport, property and buildings, power and asset management, the team collectively harnesses experience gained on some of the largest transformational projects in recent times – both here and abroad.
Think London’s Docklands, the Adelaide Oval, Auckland Council’s landfill management, London’s City Hall, Heathrow Airport’s masterplan, auditing Air NZ’s environmental performance and much, much more.
This depth of experience and multi-discipline approach ensures WSP Opus Technical Directors offer an unparalleled level of expertise not seen elsewhere in the New Zealand market.
Our Technical Directors work collaboratively with key clients and relationship managers to deliver technical excellence on projects and will remain active on the project until completion
Fergus TateTechnical Director Transport
Fergus is widely acknowledged to be a leading expert in road safety in New Zealand, having spent over seven years with the NZ Transport Agency where he was the Lead Safety Advisor for Roads and Roadsides and previously the National Manager Traffic and Safety.
He has applied his expertise to some of the most innovative road safety projects in New Zealand, such as the introduction of the New Zealand Road Assessment Programmes KiwiRAP and road Infrastructure Risk Rating (IRR), as well as Rural Intersection Active Warning Systems (RIAWS) and out of context curves.
Fergus started his career as an Engineering Officer Cadet with the Ministry of Works Porirua, working in the construction survey office before moving into highway maintenance. His boss persuaded him to study for a Bachelor of Engineering and was advised to focus on either highways and transportation or three waters, as there were skill shortages in both. Having a background in road construction and maintenance he went down the transportation line, and went on to complete a Master of Science and PhD in Transport.
For Fergus, the transport sector has provided a huge range of opportunities.
“Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects in a range of countries. Working in transportation is rewarding, in many cases you can see things you have worked on come to fruition. Even now my kids know that Dad worked on this or that as we drive down the road.”
Fergus is passionate about accumulating knowledge and then using it to deliver great outcomes, something he says will be needed to overcome the challenges the sector faces.
“The development of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) looks set to be the most disruptive technology in transport. However, we cannot simply sit back and wait for this technology to arrive – we need to continue to develop our existing tools and practices to ensure as few people as possible are killed or seriously injured while we prepare for CAV’s, and all that these initiatives will bring to the sector.”
Ph: +64 27 281 0478
Phil HarrisonTechnical Director Transport, Civil
Phil is passionate about working towards the vision of a safe and sustainable transport system for New Zealand that reduces harm on people and the environment and delivers a great legacy for future generations.
His defining moments are numerous, ranging from crash reduction studies with the MoT in the 80s, working on the regeneration of London Docklands in the 90s, delivering transformational projects in the 2000’s such as Canary Wharf, London Bus and Tram projects and transport planning for the London 2012 Olympics.
In New Zealand he has led the planning and delivery of the first phase of the AMETI project in Panmure, completed the business case for the Northern Corridor Improvements and led the transport planning for the additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing. Currently he is leading the Programme Business Case for road safety in Auckland.
“The best projects I have worked on over the last 35 years consistently involved working collaboratively with clients and stakeholders to develop great solutions to complex transport problems. At WSP Opus we love nothing better than utilising the collective knowledge of our team and our client’s teams to generate great ideas and turn them into reality.”
Phil has a Master of Science in Transport Engineering from the University of Nottingham, an NZCE Civil from AUT and a Certificate in Transport Planning and Control from the University of New South Wales. His areas of expertise include Transport Planning, Public Transport Infrastructure, Business Case Development, Traffic Engineering, Pedestrian and Cycle facilities and Planning for Special Events.
Ph: +64 9 356 1124
Carole SmithTechnical Director, Environment
With over 20 years’ experience in environmental consulting in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, Carole has a well-earned reputation for being strongly committed and versatile, with a multi-disciplinary background involving project management, technical and management roles.
She is passionate about understanding how technology can be used to deliver better results for clients, and believes that being at the forefront of new technologies and approaches is one of WSP Opus’ major strengths.
Carole’s defining career moments include auditing Air NZ’s environmental performance over a 10-year period and managing Auckland Council’s closed landfill team.
“Sometimes when we work for our clients in the environmental area the benefits of our efforts aren’t always immediately obvious - it is quite different from building a bridge or a new road. Yet when I reflect back on my career I can see that I’ve made a difference for the environment and for our communities. This is what gets me out of bed in the morning.”
Carole is an Environmental Scientist, has a Master of Science in Environmental Assessment from University College Wales and a Batchelor of Science in Geography from the University of Dundee.
Daniel JurgensTechnical Director Digital Engineering
Daniel is passionate about sustainability and is genuinely excited about harnessing the power of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and smart build initiatives to realise project efficiencies and increase sustainability of the build environment.
His defining career moments include working on the Adelaide Oval redevelopment project in south Australia where he was exposed to a proper BIM project for the first time, with all disciplines collaborating in a model based environment. It was the sheer scale of this project with a 140-metre wide steel diagrid roof shell that really got him interested in engineering. Earlier this year Daniel was invited to visit the site of the $2B (NZ) Slussen redevelopment project in Sweden, which blew his mind. The entire project is required to produce model-based deliverables, almost no traditional documentation at all and hosted in centralised databases: a proper “level 3” BIM project.
"Everything is converging right now and we are being flooded with data, but not intelligence. As Technical Director of Digital Engineering I am across all our disciplines and tasked with connecting the dots to extract collective intelligence. It’s very exciting and the potential is limitless.”
Daniel is co-chair of the NZ Institute of Architects BIM working group, is on the Leadership Committee Member for Collaborate ANZ, and was honoured with an industry advisory award in 2017 by the Australian Construction Industry Forum & Australasian Procurement and Construction Council.
Ph: +64 4 471 7235
Wayne HatcherTechnical Director Asset Management
Wayne is passionate about sustaining, managing and maintaining our built environment in harmony with society needs and the environment.
Career defining moments include developing a compelling case for increasing investment in motorway maintenance and renewal in the UK in a time of financial austerity, and winning the Hertfordshire County Council Whole Client Service Professional services contract in the UK; a 12-year contract employing over 150 people full time.
Regardless of the challenge Wayne says he is driven to exceed expectations and is stimulated by opportunities where he can make constructive contributions.
Wayne is a Certified Asset Management Assessor (ISO55001) and a Chartered Professional Engineer and has published a number of papers on asset management and whole of life costs. He also has CMEngNZ, MTech (Pavements) and BE Civil (Hons).
“Throughout my career I have gained significant experience working for a broad range of clients in various sectors, countries, political systems and cultures. These experiences and technical knowledge make me well placed to deal with complex and high risk asset management projects.”
He sees technology as the biggest industry disruptor, particularly advancements in data capture that enables better decision making. There will be an increasing need for collaboration around road and water projects in order to overcome the skills shortage, and to gain greater efficiency and productivity across the industry.
+64 6 833 5108
Jason BrethertonTechnical Director Buildings
Jason has been blessed with opportunities to work on a diverse range of projects across a broad range of sectors ranging from pumping systems in power stations, to electrical infrastructure and control systems in road and rail tunnels. As his practice has grown, so has the scale and complexity of the projects and this has seen him involved in building and infrastructure projects associated with schools, hospitals, prisons and commercial buildings.
One of the highlights was the establishment of a Strategic Asset Management Framework for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Of all, the most career defining experience was was living through the devastating earthquakes that have occurred in Christchurch and Canterbury since 2010.
“We are living in an ever-changing world which is heavily influenced by climate change, immigration and urbanisation, social and democratic change, rapid technology advancements and limited resources. I’m passionate about setting up the platform for future success by joining-up the experts across our teams and indeed the entire industry, to create what matters for future generations in the most efficient and effective manner, with a move towards resource regeneration wherever possible.”
Jason is passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability, and strives to deliver a high degree of integration by applying a whole-of-life approach. This challenges traditional thinking and propels it into horizons well beyond the (often) short duration of the design and construction phase of many projects.
In 2017 Jason was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for his outstanding contribution on Christchurch’s Justice & Emergency Services Precinct construction project. His areas of expertise include Project Director & Principal Designer for Multidiscplinary Projects, Electrical Building Services Design, Power Reticulation & Distribution, Energy Management, Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) including Greenstar & NABERS Ratings and Engineering Services Infrastructure Development & Strategic Planning for Portfolios.
+64 3 371 9459
Bruce CurtainTechnical Director Buildings
Bruce is passionate about opportunities to solve complex technical challenges and is keen to see WSP Opus sought after for the high calibre of its teams, and the unrivalled quality of work.
Career defining moments include collaborating with the artist Billy Apple on a high-rise office competition and the opportunity to work on London’s City Hall Building.
“I relish the technical stimulation of design. Each project is different, with new challenges and opportunities. Teasing out the project brief, analysing and understanding the site constraints and generating a design response is a truly inspiring career. Every day is different and the energy of working with a like-minded team to solve a design makes my job truly enjoyable.”
Bruce says his key strength is the ability to communicate a strong vision for a project and to draw together the specialist disciplines to achieve it.
Some of Bruce’s key projects and areas of expertise include the Memorial Park competition entry with the late Ralph Hotere, working as an urban designer for a wide range of transportation work, and advising on low damage timber structural design for community and commercial building
Bruce holds a BBSc, BArch Hons, ANZIA, RIBA and is currently working on the Wellington concert arena and the Government/university Pasifika Fale building
Theunis Van SchalkwykTechnical Director Transport
Theunis Van Schalkwyk’s career has seen him help shape Auckland’s transport landscape, a formidable task that has involved working on some of New Zealand’s largest and most complex integrated urban transport systems.
Through this work, which includes the most recent role of Group Manager Strategic Projects at Auckland Transport, Theunis has been involved in unlocking urban growth – both through greenfield expansion and the intensification of existing urban areas.
“This helped me develop a holistic understanding of what’s required to develop large scale, integrated urban transport systems that integrate well with existing and planned land-use. The benefits of getting this right include unlocking social and economic opportunities for communities. I also developed an appreciation for the revenue constraints on councils and government, and the need for careful consideration of affordability issues.”
As Technical Director - Transport, Theunis will bring this expertise to help clients solve challenges that require strategic and lateral thinking.
He says that while there are very real issues facing New Zealand’s major cities and the solutions required are complex, this presents an exciting challenge and a good platform to innovate.
“We are living in an age of accelerated change. Understanding how these changes might impact future demand for infrastructure and services is becoming a major challenge for cities and governments and I look forward to the opportunity to help solve this.”
Theunis Van Schalkwyk