Past Emerging Leader Award winners

Find out more about our past Emerging Leader Award winners. 


Winner - Simon Fenton, Service Line Leader - Project Delivery, WSP

With 11 years' experience in civil engineering, structural engineering and project management gained in New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and the UK, Simon believes communication is the key to good leadership.  

Simon believes the other recipe to successful leadership is to lead by example, support people's development and give them opportunities as well as empower people and hold them accountable.  

Finalist - Kezia Lloyd, Head of Specialist Services, WSP 

A Chartered Engineer, Kezia is Head of Specialist Services for New Zealand at WSP and leads the multi-disciplinary team of Facades, Acoustics, Fire and Sustainability consultants 

Kezia leadership style is to empower and inspire her team. She believes empathy and kindness and transparency and honesty go a long way. 

Finalist - Amy Patterson-Horner, Business Group Leader - Hawke's Bay, GHD 

A qualified water engineer (civil) and Chartered Member of Engineering New Zealand, Amy leads multi-disciplinary teams in Hastings, Gisborne and Taumarunui, in infrastructure projects, from road maintenance to infrastructure design and strategic planning, to asset management.  

Amy believes leadership is an ongoing evolution. Drawing from past learnings, Amy helps her team to reach their full potential through authenticity, trust, teamwork, enjoyment, optimism, perseverance and commitment. 


Winner - Chris Maguire, Stantec

Chris intuitively understands how to best harness resources to deliver client needs. As the South Island Group Manager for Water and Industry, he leads nearly 100 engineers and associated professional services across six offices.

His multidisciplinary team—comprising civil, 3 Waters, structural, geotechnical, asset management, GIS, electrical and mechanical—services over 100 clients from private industry to local, regional and national government.

A trained project manager and civil engineer, Chris brings in-depth understanding of local government processes and first-hand experience of earthquake disaster recovery and resilience. Chris is experienced in change management and believes in the power of addressing difficult conversations to enable change.

His passion is developing people and sees his success in enabling others to achieve their goals. Also experienced in business development and commercial management, Chris' focus is on building relationships and providing true customer service while sustaining and growing the bottom line.

He is a past Chair of Engineering New Canterbury Branch. Chris was the winner of the 2015 IPWEA Hynds Paper of the Year and a finalist in the NZEE Young Engineer of the Year 2013. 

Finalist - Rebecca McMahon, Beca

Rebecca is a Geotechnical Engineer for Beca, based in Nelson. After graduating from the University of Canterbury Rebecca spent some time working in Fiji, as well as working on a range of projects around New Zealand.

From 2016 to 2017 Rebecca completed a Master’s in Civil Engineering as a part-time student at the University of Auckland. This study was an earthquake engineering research project titled ‘Nelson-Tasman Site Characterisation Study’, which explored the dynamic site response of local geological formations. 

Rebecca is the treasurer for the Engineering New Zealand Nelson-Marlborough branch and has a keen interest in outreach activities, engaging with schools and community groups.   

Finalist - Steve Roskruge, Beca 

Steve is a Senior Associate at Beca and is Manager of the 110 strong Auckland Building Services division.

His recent projects include leading the building services for ANZ's retail portfolio and leading all engineering services for AUT University's Mayoral Drive project currently in design and the recently completed Mana Hauora (MH) building at the South Campus.

Steve is also the client relationship manager for AUT University and is responsible for bringing together a team from the best of Beca to respond to AUT's built environment needs. Steve has managed the Auckland Building Services team for 18 months, a team with diverse technical expertise (mechanical, electrical, specialist lighting, ICT, Fire engineering, plumbing and drainage, fire protection) who service an even more diverse client base and is responsible for the daily operations including development of staff, resourcing for projects, recruitment and financial performance of the division.

Steve obtained his BE in 2008 from the University of Auckland and graduated in the 2016/17 cohort of the Committee for Auckland Future leaders Programme. 


Winner - Weng Yuen Kam, Beca

Weng Yuen Kam (Kam) is a Senior Associate and a Team Leader with Beca Auckland Structure.

His recent projects include seismic advisor to ANZ Bank, structural lead for SKYCITY's Hobson Street Hotel, the University of Auckland's Recreation and Wellness Centre, and led verifier for the Groningen Seismic Strengthening Project in the Netherlands. Kam is a recognised leader in seismic engineering in Beca and New Zealand.

He has made significant contributions to technical standards and practice in the seismic assessment of earthquake-prone buildings. In recognition of his contributions, he was made a Fellow of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE) in 2018 and received their President's Award in 2017.

He was a finalist in the New Zealand Young Engineer of the Year award in 2014. He obtained his B.Eng (Hons) and B.Com in 2006 and PhD in 2011, both from the University of Canterbury.

Finalist - Robert Lane, Lewis Bradford

Robert is a design and construction professional specialising in structural engineering and is a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Structural Engineers (UK).

Starting his engineering career in Dublin, Robert moved to London to complete a Masters in Advanced Structural Engineering at Imperial College and worked locally there for five years. Moving to Christchurch in 2012, Robert joined Lewis Bradford Consulting Engineers and is currently as Associate and Senior Structural Engineer at the firm.

Robert leads teams of engineers and technicians in delivering high-quality building projects with a strong focus on integrated design to improve client and wider community outcomes. Robert is a strong believer in instigating change from the bottom up, exploring new ways of forming teams and creating projects with the goal of improving the construction industry and generating value through mutually beneficial results. 

Finalist - Thomas Small, Jacobs 

Thomas Small was appointed Director of Operations - New Zealand Transport at Jacobs in 2016. His role is to grow and diversify the Transportation discipline across the New Zealand business; executing a head count of approximately 160 professionals and a revenue of approximately $40 million per annum. The group has diversified significantly under Thomas' leadership to respond to the changing needs of the clients and the way projects need to be delivered in a highly political setting.

Clients repeatedly commend Thomas for his 'client orientated focus' and excellent communication and management skills. The Transport group has successfully delivered over 100 projects, although not directly involved in them all on a day to day basis, Thomas often participates with a governance role on the more challenging or complex projects. As a Civil Engineer with over 11 years' infrastructure experience, Thomas has worked across New Zealand and is based nationally between the Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, and Waikato office, leading 160 staff. Thomas sits on the NZ Leadership Team, conveying excellent skills set, comprising of operations management, project management, design and contract management. 


  • Winner - Clare Tolan, Harrison Grierson 
  • Finalist - Catherine Morar, Aurecon 
  • Finalist - Carla O'Donnell, WSP 
  • Finalist - Steph McLeod, Stantec 


  • Winner - Jenson Varghese, MRCagney
  • Finalist - Matt Bishop, BVT
  • Finalist - Andrea Jarvis, Holmes Consulting