We are pleased to announce that Abley has two new staff members, Phillip Smith and Faisal Abbas. Phillip (left) joins the company as a Principal GIS Consultant. He has a wealth of theoretical, management and advisory expertise in the use of spatial data for business benefit, which he gained in academia, government and the private sector across New Zealand, UK and the Middle East.
Lake Tekapo has a new footbridge between the Village Centre and the Church of the Good Shepherd. The footbridge was officially opened on 22 November 2015 and has been experiencing high levels of use as witnessed by an Abley staff member over the summer break. Abley assisted Mackenzie District Council with securing National Land Transport Funding from the NZ Transport Agency. Abley prepared an indicative business case for the bridge including assessment against the NZ Transport Agency’s Strategic Fit and Efficiency criteria and benefit and cost appraisal. The bridge provides a much safer crossing point for tourists than the existing State Highway bridge and connects Lake Tekapo’s key destinations. The bridge also provides a great spot to take photos of Lake Tekapo’s iconic Church of the Good Shepherd.
The 19th of November was an extra special night for Interpret and Abley as we were fortunate enough to receive six awards at the NZ Spatial Excellence Awards held at Te Papa in Wellington. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to embark on projects and problems for clients that test our geospatial capabilities, and an absolute thrill to be recognised by the GIS community for the results we are getting. We are so pleased to be able to share our success with our valued clients and continue to show that we have the skills and people to get challenging work completed to a consistently high standard.
We are delighted to announce that five of our staff had abstracts accepted for the IPENZ Transportation Group Conference being held in Auckland 7 – 9 March 2016. The successful staff are Carl O’ Neil for “Quantifying the likelihood of Barrier Strike Maintenance”, Courtney Groundwater for “New Plymouth Model Community Evaluation”, Hamish Kingsbury for “Incorporating Road Safety into Vehicle Routing”, Haris Zia for “ Enhanced Speed Management Framework” and Jeanette Ward for “Road Space (Re)Allocation – The Constant Dilemma”. Congratulations to these staff.
Abley staff continue to demonstrate technical brilliance and be recognised by their peers for their outstanding work. At the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s (CILT) recent awards dinner, Jeanette Ward won the Ministry of Transport’s outstanding achievement award for her masters thesis on ‘Two Way and One Way Streets’. A criteria of the win was the originality of the research and its ability to improve aspects of transport planning and policy. Behind the scenes particular recognition was given to the crossover the research provides between the different professions, not just engineering. Congratualtions Jeanette on a well deserved win.
With a theme of “Taking Action Together”, this year’s Australasian Road Safety Conference took place on the Gold Coast in October 2015. This is the largest road safety conference in Australasia with over 650 delegates attending, and more than 160 papers presented. The multi-disciplinary event featured representatives from all facets of road and transport safety including research, policing, teaching, practice and policy. Abley’s Dale Harris won the ‘Best Young Researcher’ award for her work on 'road safety risk prediction methodology for low volume rural roads'. Traditional risk assessment techniques rely on crash history which make it difficult to predict risk in low traffic volume areas. This groundbreaking research uses geospatial data and innovative techniques to identify road curvature risk, independent of road crash history. The results of this new research have been shared with road controlling authorities and support road safety improvements. Dale's latest award reinforces Abley's position as a leader in road safety innovation.
Paul Durdin and Bridget Southey Jensen presented at the recent 2015 Traffinz Conference in Dunedin. This year, the conference had a strong safety focus. Their presentation on ‘Safe System Auditing’, challenged decision makers and the independent Road Safety Audit (RSA) by questioning whether the current safety audit really ensures safe systems. They highlighted design failures, questioned whether the latest guidelines were being followed and suggested low cost concept RSAs were not being followed. Abley’s ‘spirited and passionate’ presentation (John Gottler, Vice President Traffinz) provided recommendations to improve the current safety audit system. Traffinz supports the challenge and has already acted on some of the recommendations put forward by speaking with safety partners on a way forward. This is another example of how Abley is leading the way in driving positive change towards safer transport networks. You can read the latest Traffinz Newsletter here.
We are a tough bunch of outdoor enthusiasts here at Abley. Early on Saturday, Abley and Interpret staff and their families caught the Tranzalpine to spectacular Arthur’s Pass where we stayed at the Arthur’s Pass Outdoor Education Centre. Once settled, some embarked on a tortuous climb up Avalanche Peak, while others enjoyed a gentler meander through the nearby forest. The evening was filled with a pot luck dinner, board games and children’s fun. Besides sore legs the next day, everyone had a great time.
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