NAMS Canada User Group Community Blog

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This article was first published in the Nov/Dec 2018 edition of inspire magazine.  The Internet of Everything. Artificial intelligence. Unmanned aerial vehicles. Technological changes to our world and workplace can be baffling, jargon heavy, and occasionally concerning, depending on the tone of their coverage. For public works and civil engineering professionals, they are reinventing how assets are designed, built and managed.   “Public works and asset intensive entities can use different technologies to achieve optimal performance, and there are myriad options in the market to help us with that objective”, Steve Verity, Strategic Asset Management Consultant ...
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A survey of Australia’s local governments has fuelled concerns about the sector’s ageing workforce and emerging skills gaps, with engineering roles topping the list of those unable to be filled. The Australian Local Government Association’s report , conducted by the Local Government Workforce Development Group (LGWDG), analysed data from the ABS Census and a Local Government Skills Shortage Survey completed by 45% of Australia’s councils. The report paints a picture of a workforce that is considerable older than the Australian workforce as a whole – 53.7% of local government employees are above 45 years of age, compared to an average of 40.6% across all ...
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Peter Newman , Curtin University A unique opportunity exists for infrastructure investment in Australia as transport as we know it faces disruption from autonomous vehicles. Disruption is not a dirty word. Traditional transport models are being transformed for the better by savvy young upstarts: the taxi industry by Uber, for instance, and even bus services by on-demand provider Bridj in parts of Sydney. How do we manage this rapidly evolving technology, and what is the role of local government? Autonomous vehicles will soon be a familiar sight in bush and city landscapes. In New South Wales the transport minister, Andrew Constance , predicted ...
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Land Development Engineers Forum 2019 a success! A big thank you to all the mighty people who made the LDEG 2019 forum a great success. The chair (me) welcomed everyone and performed a Waiata (Te ahora) to start day one. Camia Young of OHU (Office of Holistic Urbanism, Christchurch) got the day off to a great start with her presentation on community buildings. This got everyone thinking and lots of questions followed. Our MC Ché Hedges kept the presentations on time and did a grand job all the way through the day, Thanks Ché. QLDC provided most of the speakers for the day and they covered issued on Transport, ...
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A team of talented female engineers is leading the delivery of one of Queensland’s newest bridges – the new four-lane Underwood Road overpass, in Brisbane’s South. Led by Senior Project Engineer, Jessica England the team consists of Project Engineer, Lisa Carne and Site Engineer Luisa Piacere. Bridge design was carried out by two female designers from Jacobs – Natalee Davies and Megan Strong. The new bridge replaces the existing two-lane bridge and is being built in a live traffic environment with more than 150,000 vehicles per day passing through the work area. Bridge construction will involve installation of four spans of deck using 52 pre-cast concrete ...
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Zhaga is an open, global, lighting-industry alliance that is working to standardise LED lights and associated components, including LED modules and LED drivers. Their aim is to streamline the LED lighting supply chain and to simplify LED luminaire design and manufacturing. Ahead of his appearance at IPWEA’s Street Lighting and Smart Controls (SLSC) Conference in Sydney on 2–4 April, Zhaga Secretary Dee Denteneer discussed the consortium’s goals and how it can benefit the industry.  intouch: In your own words, what are the main goals of the Zhaga industry consortium? Denteneer: Broadly, to create interface specifications for components of LED luminaires ...
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Crushed glass sand and recycled plastic strips have been used in a footpath construction project trialling environmentally sustainable materials. Lake Macquarie City Council crews poured the 'greencrete' along a 30m stretch of footpath on Steel Street in Redhead, with plans to monitor its performance and condition in the coming months. Manager Asset Management Helen Plummer said 50% of the fine aggregate used in greencrete was crushed glass sand, rather than natural sand. The mix also contained thin polypropylene strips made from 100% recycled plastic, which help reinforce the concrete and replace steel mesh traditionally used in concrete. “These Australian-made ...
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The final 3km section of the Te Awa River Ride, built along the Waikato River north of Hamilton, saw a broad collaboration of stakeholders create a New Zealand first with the launch of the iconic Perry Bridge. The bridge’s 130-metre green arch is a truly recognisable landmark for anyone following the Waikato River northward out of Hamilton on New Zealand’s North Island. Now the country’s longest network arch bridge, its weaving design represents togetherness, unity, and strength, and was inspired by the region’s historical flax industry. The bridge allows the safe crossing of the river for those travelling along this section of the route, which begins north ...
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The Central Desert regional council, based in Alice Springs, covers around 283,000 square kilometres, and is made up of nine unique communities. The council provides a range of services to residents, including aged care, local maintenance and safety patrols alongside power, water and sewage maintenance. To do this, the council relies on a fleet of 160 vehicles, which are often required to travel along dangerous unsealed roads for up to 1000km. The remoteness of the council means that mobile coverage isn’t stable. Concerned for driver safety, the Central Desert team turned to new technology to improve communication. The value of reliable communication Driving ...
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At Fleet intouch we never cease to be amazed by the range of roles, challenges and experiences our fleet community has. This month we talk to Melisa Clarke, Fleet Administration Officer at East Arnhem Regional Council in the NT.  FI: How did you get started in fleet and plant, and what was your first job in the industry?  MC: My first exposure to fleet and its management was through my role as branch manager for an LPG company. We didn’t have a fleet department at that stage and each branch looked after their own tankers, trucks & light vehicles. My interest in fleet management was sparked then but it wasn’t until we started to travel around Australia ...
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By Anonymous Fleet Manager As if we don’t have enough on our plate! Being a fleet manager at this point in time has additional challenges. With the looming shift in electric vehicle technology, we all are, or should be, struggling with the concept of when to jump and how far. With the pace of EV technology ramping up, governments and OEMs firming up positions and discussion going on all around us, the blow torch is being turned up on the good old fleet manager and his or her crystal ball, to be at the forefront and keep abreast of all the information to determine the correct course of action to take from both an economic and environmental position. EASY? ...
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The Senate select committee on Electric Vehicles has published its report making a range of recommendations relating to supporting the uptake of electric vehicles in Australia. Recommendations include: That the Australian Government develop a national EV strategy to facilitate and accelerate EV uptake and ensure Australia takes advantage of the opportunities, and manages the risks and challenges, of the transition to EVs. That the Australian Government consider establishing national EV targets for light passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles and metropolitan buses. That the Australian Government coordinate with operators in the charging infrastructure ...
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By Lynne White, Chevin Creating better, safer drivers not only minimises the risk of accidents and injuries but also reduces costs too. Here's how you can create better drivers. Did you know that it is your drivers that are the primary cause of most accidents, not the vehicles that they are driving? Safety effects the entire business – vehicles, maintenance, operations, and of course your drivers, however, despite advancements in technology to improve vehicle safety, the number one cause of accidents is the driver. 90% of all reported accidents are due to driver errors such as fatigue, speeding or driver distractions. According to the Transport Accident ...
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IPWEA FLEET Manager's column

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How do you know your fleet is well managed? Is your perception based on an absence of complaints or is it about hitting defined performance and budget targets? All of these are important, but one of the best ways is to assess your fleet against best practice is to benchmark. The IPWEA Third Party Fleet Management Health Check is a convenient and cost-effective way to get a check up on the current state of your arrangements compared to best practice (as defined in the Plant and Vehicle Management Manual and ISO55000 for asset management). Not only does a health check tell you where you currently stand, it identifies where you can improve. This process of ...
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Do you speak fleet?

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The importance of a common language in fleet management cannot be overstated. Do you have utes in your fleet, or utilities, or are they light commercial vehicles? Do you have out-front mowers or front-decks? The fact is, if we don’t speak the same language, we can’t communicate effectively. A common basis for communication is fundamental in all professions. So why not fleet management? Common terminology provides a consistent and codified way of expressing our business. Think about accountants and doctors – they have well-defined lexicons that enable precise and efficient communication. In a fleet context, we want to be able to benchmark between fleets, specify ...
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By Caroline Falls Fleet Auto News has signed on again to be media partner for the increasingly popular fleet conference organised by IPWEA. We’re looking forward to all the stories we find at the conference and will share them with you over the coming months. The 2019 conference, to run in Brisbane from March 25 to March 27, will be IPWEA’s third annual dedicated fleet management conference, and organisers have planned for an increase on last year’s attendance of 160 and have expanded the space dedicated to exhibitors. “Our delegates have increased each year since our first conference and we’re expecting the same to happen this year,” said Rob Wilson, ...
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This article was first published in Fleet Auto News.  Caroline Falls can’t wait to meet the California-based Tom Johnson, the creator of the 100 Best Fleets in North America contest, and hear his stories.  He will be keynote speaker at the IPWEA 2019 Fleet Conference, the third such event organised by the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia. Caroline spoke to Tom as he anticipates his trip down under. Fleet Auto News :  It’s a little bit exciting for us that you — the creator of the 100 Best Fleets — will be addressing our conference. Are you excited? Why? Tom Johnson: One reason is that I’ve travelled to five different ...
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Every year, people around the world come together on March 8 to celebrate International Women's Day (IWD).  The theme of this year's IWD is #BalanceforBetter, and businesses and communities around the world – including IPWEA – are taking a stand to see gender-balanced boardrooms,  government, employees, wealth, sports coverage – the list goes on! Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive. We asked the women of IPWEA why gender balance in the industry is important to them.  IPWEA Queensland President Seren McKenzie demonstrates the #BalanceforBetter pose for IWD 2019.  Rita Excel, IPWEA's Vice President and Executive ...
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Know what to look out for when it comes to taking out life cover as a professional engineer. NobleOak explains the main reasons why insurance products can protect your family’s financial future in case the unexpected occurs.  It’s deeply entrenched in the mindset of engineers to look to reduce the risk in everything they create, but how well have they applied this same thinking to the potential risks in their personal lives by securing financial protection for themselves and their loved ones? Chronic medical conditions such as lung cancer, heart disease, dementia, stroke and obstructive pulmonary disease claim the lives of almost 60,000 1 Australians each ...
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South of Hobart, Huon Valley has been at the centre of fires that have been burning in Tasmania since January, destroying homes and businesses.  Huon Valley Council General Manager Emilio Reale tells intouch that local government infrastructure has only suffered minor impacts and that the focus is now on the community's recovery.  "We have had minor impact with burnt/melted guide posts, loss of some signs and damage to some road shoulders – however, only a small number of roads were affected," he says. "Three significant businesses have been shut down: Tahune Air walk (approximately 100,000 visitors per year), the Ta Ann veneer plant (42 staff and 30 ...
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