Dr. Patrick Strange - 2014 Winner

Patrick's award recognition of his outstanding industry leadership on major engineering projects and health and safety within the industry. He has an outstanding reputation and standing among industry leaders, policy makers and his industry he has an outstanding record on delivering major engineering projects , by making a significant leadership contribution to the New Zealands energy industry.

Patrick has spent 30 years working principally in the New Zealand and international electricity and energy sectors.

He completed a doctorate in civil engineering at the University of Auckland, and then spent 13 years in Europe and North America, working in a succession of senior management roles. This included Chief Executive roles in two American computer companies providing major systems to large manufacturing, utility and aerospace enterprises.

Patrick returned to New Zealand in 1991 as General Manager, Power Generation for Fletcher Challenges energy business. In this role, he led the development of major power plants in New Zealand and overseas, led Fletcher Challenges strategic review of its gas businesses in New Zealand, and was closely involved in the company's energy investment initiatives.

After a period consulting in the energy sector, he joined Mercury Energy in 1997, with responsibility for strategy and acquisitions. After heading the company's response to the 1998 Auckland Power Crisis, he was appointed Chief Executive in July 1998 and went on to build the network unit into a successful standalone business as Vector, following the separation and sale of Mercury's retail and generation businesses. He achieved the acquisition of the publicly listed United Networks in 2002, making Vector New Zealand's largest electricity and gas distribution company.

In 2003, after leaving Vector, Patrick headed the Winter Power Taskforce, which was responsible for managing the New Zealand electricity shortage. He again led the nation-wide response to a winter electricity shortage in 2008.

Amongst other roles, Patrick has been an independent director of Contact Energy, New Zealand's then largest listed energy company, Chair of the Advisory Board for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland, and a director of Mighty River Power.

In November 2007 Patrick was appointed Chief Executive of Transpower and led Transpower's major infrastructure reinvestment programme. He was then appointed to the WorkSafe Establishment Board and subsequently to the full Board and appointed as a Director of Ausgrid.

He was named Energy Executive of the Year in 2011, having been a finalist in New Zealand Chief Executive of the Year in 2009.

He combines an in-depth understanding of the New Zealand infrastructure and energy sectors with wide ranging experience as a senior executive and director, in both private and listed companies.

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