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Meet the team…Chris Avery

Chris is our draughting team manager. He has over a decade’s draughting, six years structural engineering and two years on-site construction experience. We talked to him about what he enjoys about his role, a stand-out project he’s worked on and tips for clients wanting to get the best from their structural engineering and draughting teams.

What’s the most memorable project you’ve worked on?

“The project I’m most proud of is Carter Holt Harvey’s laminated veneer lumber (LVL) processing plant in Marsden Point. I worked on this in the early 2000’s taking over from a senior engineer. To see a bare piece of land turned into an LVL plant was amazing. This was a design build contract so I worked closely with the contractor, undertaking research trips to Kinleith and Nangwarry in South Australia. One of the processing stages involved designing log conditioning chambers. I developed a more innovative design to overcome cracking and leaking issues. The design allowed the chambers to move as much as needed. As a result, we won a Concrete Society NZ award for concrete technology.”

What do you enjoy about your role?

“I love the precision of draughting. It’s a form of creativity in that you’re creating something. I get satisfaction from producing a clear, informative and precise set of drawings. I enjoy the challenge of working out how to tell a story in a way people understand. I also enjoy working with a team of draughts-people and the associated challenges and rewards.”

What would you do if you had your time again?

“If I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now, I could see myself in the health industry. The science behind body mechanics and interacting with people both appeal to me. I’d likely be a chiropractor or similar.”


What tips would you give to clients looking to get the best from their structural engineers? 

“Be aware of what people need by when. Try to meet the timeframes we provide and let us know early if you can’t so we can re-programme things and lessen the knock-on effect.”

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

“Speak your truth. It’s important to be true to your instincts and your world view and be able to state your opinion in a non-confrontational way.”


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