With his 80th birthday just around the corner in May and after seven years on the SIFT Board of Trustees, it is time to say good bye to Arthur Williamson as a SIFT trustee. Arthur has a breadth of knowledge which has seen him play an integral role in over-seeing the governance of SIFT and our many and varied projects over the years. As the former head of Chemical and Process Engineering and Dean of Engineering at the University of Canterbury, as well as being the founder of one of New Zealand’s leading manufacturers of solar heating equipment, Thermocell Limited, Arthur not only has a valuable science background, but also holds a vast knowledge on what it takes to successfully run an environmentally sustainable business.
We spoke to Arthur to find out about his favourite SIFT projects, what he hopes for Canterbury’s sustainable business future and what his plans are for his retirement years.
Do you have a memorable SIFT project that you enjoyed working on the most?
The Waste 2 Energy (W2E) project that we have on at the moment because it has developed so much over time and the project itself presents some very interesting opportunities.
Is there a particular environmental issue facing Canterbury that you like to see tackled by a local business?
Not specific to Canterbury, but the country needs to get onto overall renewable fuels and transport systems; otherwise we will be in trouble in the very near future.
Do you have any specific hopes for Christchurch’s central city rebuild?
I hope that a group will get together that will produce an integrated sustainable development programme for the city.
What are your plans for the future, now that you have retired from your position on the Board of Trustees?
Do a few more things that I want to do!
Many thanks to Arthur from the Sustainable Initiatives Fund board of trustees and management for his advice, support, expertise and excellent engineering and energetics knowledge that have been very useful. We hope that you enjoy doing all that you now wish to do.