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New Zealand’s Waterview project encourages students into engineering

A group of students has been given the opportunity to experience New Zealand’s largest construction project, the Waterview Connection, in a bid to inspire them to choose a career in engineering.

As part of the initiative, Auckland students were tasked with correctly using plastic segments to build a section of a tunnel in the fastest time. Groups of 16 students from 16 colleges were also given a rare behind-the-scenes view of the Waterview project.

The initiative by New Zealand’s (NZ’s) Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Commission aims to encourage more college students to consider engineering-related careers and to choose the required subjects in their senior years at college.

The scheme has been supported by the NZ Transport Agency and the Well-Connected Alliance, which is constructing the Waterview Connection for the agency.

Tommy Parker, the Transport Agency’s group manager for highways and network operations, said that Waterview is more than just a huge infrastructure project.

 “It has an international reputation for its skill and innovation, and it’s great to be able to show some of that clever expertise to encourage students to think about engineering as a career,” commented Parker.

“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed giving the students a chance to visit and we know it’s a worthwhile investment in New Zealand’s future.”

The Waterview Connection includes construction of twin 2.4km-long motorway tunnels and the Great North Road Interchange to connect Auckland’s Northwestern and Southwestern Motorways. It is planned to open in early 2017.

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