Workshop Two: Technological Change

Digital Engineering for transport – game changer for the asset management practice
David Darwin, NZ Transport Agency

Digital engineering for transport – a transformational change for our sector. Why we should take charge of our future?

The NZ Transport Agency is developing a programme to implement a digital approach to infrastructure asset management using BIM. This will bring the practice of asset management into the digital age, revolutionising decision making and the ability to work together when collecting, sharing, analysing and using all types of asset management information.

The new approach is expected to extend the 10% savings already occurring in the build phase of capital projects across the entire lifecycle of infrastructure assets and the services delivered to customers. The result will be appropriate for both complex metro networks and simpler rural networks.

The programme builds on the metadata standards work already underway and learnings from councils and the Transport Agency. It spans the whole lifecycle of asset management, all aspects of information from as-builts, maintenance manuals and schedules, spatial information, condition, demand, risk, performance and works information.

The information framework will be consistent with that used for other infrastructure such as the three waters.

  1. The programme includes establishing standards to facilitate live electronic business-to-business communication so that as-built information is captured fluently and easily exchanged with maintenance contractors and consultants, and common data environments are readily available for projects shared between agencies.

David Darwin is the Operational Policy and Standards Manager for the Service Design and Delivery group in the New Zealand Transport Agency.

He is responsible for the asset management operational policy and the technical standards and through those for the value for money frameworks used through the development & delivery of the annual programme of works.  He is a Chartered Professional civil engineer. He is experienced in infrastructure asset management including the development of the state highway maintenance programme, development of asset information systems, management of transport and drainage business units, and development of the National Land Transport Plan.

The emergence of smart cities – what does it mean for asset management?
Roselle O’Brien, Downer NZ

Cities around the world, and NZ are embarking on the Smart City journeys. Most cities, like HCC view smart cities as a means to create more liveable cities, improve community engagement, increase economic growth, and find smarter ways to manage infrastructure. There is no right approach to achieving these objectives.

NZ has a specific set of challenges in adopting smart city approaches. This is primarily due to the small nature of our nation (many smart cities have people that our whole country). There are concerns about device and data security, technology obsolesce, and ensuring solutions are citizen-driven.

Smart cities will see the rise of open data, increasing demands for data transparency by constituents, and competing demands for how assets will be managed as the collective views of the public may be in conflict with ‘experts’.

One approach is to developing smart city capability is to set aside a public area (potentially a street or another Council space) where a variety of technologies can be trialed while engaging with community and industry to create smarter solutions for the city. An office space is also provided where members of the public can come and interact and learn more.

Roselle is the Technology and Innovation Manager at Downer. She is focused on making ideas become reality, bridging the gaps between user needs, technical expertise and resource constraints. She works with teams to tease out ideas in order to design solutions that are feasible and functional. With her background in the social sciences she brings to the table a human-centred approach to solution design and implementation. She has aided in delivering next generation technology projects including a connected bus shelter and contributed to the development of real time visual displays to support public transport users. She also works on the application of sensors to various assets to enable improved decision making. Roselle is active across the business and focused on understanding how smart infrastructure can be delivered within the NZ and Australian market targeted to actual client and customer need. She has a passion for technology despite still not considering herself a ‘tech person’. She brings to the table the ability to translate tech jargon into practical operations language and vice versa to enable operational objectives to be understood by IT.