Seren McKenzie is the first female President of IPWEAQ in its 47 year history. She is currently the Manager,
Infrastructure Planning and Design at Lockyer Valley Regional Council. Seren’s
focus is on improving her department’s efficiencies including the development
of strategies, policies and procedures that result in higher levels of customer
service. She ensures all members of her team are offered the opportunity to
achieve their best.
Seren’s diverse experience in infrastructure services includes managing pre-construction services of design, survey, and associated roads and drainage technical services, as well as waste services, water and sewerage operations and soils testing. She is also experienced in operational works, asset management and strategy development.
Seren has a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), a Masters in Engineering Technology (Environmental) and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental). She is a qualified Registered Professional Engineer (RPEQ) and a Fellow of IPWEAQ. Seren was awarded the IPWEAQ Woman in Engineering (2012).
We’ve started 2018 with a focus on the future at our Strategic Planning Day on 8 February. Held every three years, our planning day is an opportunity to bring together our representative members – Board members and members from our four branch committees – and our staff to ensure our relevance and standing in the years to come. We now have seven Young IPWEAQ members in these leadership positions on our branch committees and on our Board with several of those members taking the time from their work to attend the Strategic Planning Day. It is a courageous organisation in these ever-changing times that is not guided by their input on the type of organisation they want to belong to. Our Strategic Plan is available on our website.
The March issue of Engineering for Public Works is our International Women’s Day (IWD) feature. According to an EY report, ‘building a better working world’, it will take 217 years to achieve gender parity in the workforce yet gender-diverse leadership has been proven to increase the skills businesses need to navigate the disruptive trends transforming industry. Female graduates in engineering as a whole are currently 14% while IPWEAQ has only 10% female members. We have developed strategies to improve this over the coming years with support from programs such as the Dream Big project (aimed at high school girls) delivered by our Young IPWEAQ Chair and Ambassador, Jessica Kahl. Our IWD feature this year includes articles from TMR’s Chief Engineer, Julie Mitchell and Madeline Price, National Director of the One Woman Project, a youth-led organisation dedicated to education about and advocacy promoting global gender equality.
At the state conference in October, we launched the Fourth Edition of the Queensland Urban Drainage Manual (QUDM). There is now a multi-user option for councils and organisations to purchase QUDM for upload onto intranets. For subscribers of our PWTS (Public Works Technical Subscription) a 20% discount will be offered with the new subscription package to be released this month. Please contact our CEO, Leigh Cunningham for more information.
Since the launch of QUDM, we’ve been rolling out a QUDM Manual workshop across the state and will soon develop another program specifically to address the controversial issue of lawful discharge in more detail.
Another key publication under development is our proposed new Street Planning & Design Manual (SPDM) intended to be the most comprehensive contemporary manual for the planning and design of streets. SPDM will supersede Complete Streets which is widely adopted in council planning regulations across the state. Our Steering Committee comprises representatives from key stakeholder groups including engineers, urban designers, architects, consultants, UDIAQ, Department of Main Roads & Transport (TMR), local and state government. We also have buy-in from the Office of the Government Architect. The Steering Committee which will shortly break into task-specific Working Groups to better manage the complexity of this project which is due for delivery in July 2019. It is critical for your council to be informed about this developing publication which aims to solve development issues across the state, not just in our cities, and we encourage you to register your council’s interest in updates using the form on our website.
The 2017 IPWEAQ excellence awards is now preserved for posterity in our commemorative book featuring all nominees, winners, sponsors and judges. Our awards program and gala ceremony at our conference importantly recognises the people and projects that make Queensland great. The 2018 awards program opens early April so please consider nominating your projects and colleagues so we can highlight these on your behalf to our communities and councils.
Next up, we get together to share learnings and network at our branch conferences in Cairns (18-20 April) and Barcaldine (14-16 June) but firstly, I look forward to catching up with our SWQ branch members in Goondiwindi, 15-16 March. Members from other branches also most welcome!
And finally, I would like to thank Emeritus members, John Hawkes and Ian Woodyard who have served as trustees on the IPWEA Queensland Foundation for over a decade. Thank you John and Ian for your dedication and commitment! John and Ian are replaced by myself and Andrew Johnson, SWQ Branch committee member who join continuing trustees Dawson Wilkie (Chair), Patrick Murphy and David Wiskar.