Vitruvius Transport Sector Lead, Neil McLoughlin on joining Vitruvius and the Future Roads conference

As I write this article, I am entering my third month since joining Vitruvius.  At this point, I have now completed my career loop by returning to the engineering and advisory consultancy sector after a long career that has traversed through both the contracting and the client side of infrastructure delivery.  Whilst it is still early days, since my arrival, the experience, and insights that my background brings in project delivery and sensitivity to the needs of all stakeholders have been eagerly welcomed and sought out by my new Vitruvius work whanau. This wide desire by the team to embrace new thinking resonates with the Vitruvian values of seeking to ‘Continually Improve’ and recognising the ‘Strength in Diversity’.

When joining a new organisation, you inevitably reflect on what your organisation stands for, its relevance, and its alignment with the clients and the markets you service.  These questions were resoundingly answered when I attended the Future Roads Conference in Hamilton in November. The themes of recognising ‘Strength in Diversity’ of thought, creating a multi-modal integrated transport network to facilitate ‘Connection to Others’, ‘Bravery’ in times of uncertainty, and the challenge for all sectors to be ‘Continually Improving’ were running like reoccurring chorus lines in the presentations by senior industry figures and thought leaders.

Representing Vitruvius for the first time at a national Transportation event also proved a valuable opportunity to highlight with clients Vitruvius’ growing capability in providing an integrated transport planning, highway/civil design, digital design modelling, and asset management service offering to this sector. I am confident that as we move towards a new future of integrated multi-modal transport environments, Vitruvius will provide valuab

le expertise through our service offerings to support our clients in their journey to build and maintain the transport system of the future.

Okay, so as you can imagine I am feeling very upbeat about what Vitruvius stands for and the relevance of our offering to our clients and partners. I am however going to share with you some challenge points that caught my attention during the conference:

  • Are we acting fast enough to address the climate emergency? The Transport sector is the 2nd largest emitter of CO2 in the economy. To reach net zero by 2050, we need to reduce our emissions by 41% by 2035. Mode shift, electrification, travel behaviour change and better land use will all play their role, but change is challenging and there’s a lot of work ahead of us
  • How well do we truly understand the likely impact of climate change on our infrastructure assets? What changes are going to be required in our design and renewal approach going forward to make assets more resilient?
  • We need to make our roads safer- more than 300 people die on Aotearoa’s road network every year.

Whilst unsettling, I believe these urgent priorities are rallying calls to us in the work we do at Vitruvius and the conversations we will be having with our clients.  As we move towards 2023, I am excited to see what the year holds for our innovative and talented team and the contributions we will make.