A Southland engineer who has been instrumental in developing broadband and space exploration opportunities in the region has won a top national award.
Venture Southland Enterprise Projects Manager Robin McNeill has been awarded the 2016 Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) Rabone Award for Information, Communication, Electrical and Electronic Technology for his contribution to the application of engineering and technology in the community.
McNeill has been recognised for his holistic perspective in developing and implementing innovative solutions to challenging telecommunications problems and small-scale engineering projects has had a particularly positive impact in remote Southland communities.
His service to the Southland community began at the New Zealand Post Office, where he was appointed the youngest ever supervising engineer. He designed and project managed the installation of digital telephone exchanges, cabling and microwave links.
At Venture Southland, he has worked on groundbreaking projects, including playing a significant role in delivering broadband access to most Southland residents. His role in establishing and expanding the work of the Awarua Satellite Ground Station helped bring space exploration opportunities to Southland.
McNeill is a member of the Southern Institute of Technology's Advisory Committee for the Information Technology programmes. As a long-standing member and one-time chairman of the IPENZ Southland Branch committee, he has been active in inspiring school students to consider engineering career opportunities.