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February 28

SESOC Celebrates 30 years

Founded in 1988 by a group of Auckland Structural Engineers, including our very own; Barry Brown, Structural Engineering Society New Zealand Incorporated (SESOC) is proud to be celebrating 30 years.

Barry Brown played a fundamental role in getting the Society of the ground, and filled the role of Inaugural Chairman until 1990 after which he was Journal Editor for a further two years. He has then gone on to be an integral part of the Structural Engineering team here at Fraser Thomas, joining the team in 1994. During his time at Fraser Thomas Ltd he has served as a Director for 13 years, and took on the role as Managing Director for a further two.

SESOC evolved out of an Auckland Structural Group (ASG) Committee with the vision of becoming a nationwide society; providing technical support to structural engineers; and promoting and improving standards of design and construction practice. With approximately 80 initial members SESOC received endorsement and become a Technical Group of IPENZ (now Engineering New Zealand) in 1988. The society has continued to grow with the ongoing success of the society reflected in the growth of its membership, which now stands at approximately 1,400.

An astute quote Barry shared during a celebratory dinner on 21st February: “The first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done – then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done decades ago.”  Frances Hodgson Burnett

Today, SESOC has established itself as the largest technical society and is recognised not only as the home society for structural engineers, but also as a major force in, and contributor to, structural engineering in New Zealand.

SESOC exists to provide a forum for discussion, and a source of advice and guidance to enable its members to engage in best practice. The society operates 5 regional groups; Auckland, Wellington, Waikato/BOP, Nelson and Christchurch; enabling access to members nationwide.

October 2009, all six past (and currently serving) presidents of the Structural Engineering Society (SESOC) met in Auckland to celebrate SESOC’s 21st birthday. Pictured from left: Tony Gibson (1994–1996), Mark Batchelar (2009), Barry Davidson (2000–2005), Barry Brown (1988–1990), Ashley Smith (2006–2008), Trevor Robertson (1997–1999), Ian Billings (1991–1993).