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IPES Celebrates and awards new memberships

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The Institute for Professional Engineers of Samoa (IPES) got together on the Talofa Cruise on Friday evening 6th December to celebrate the end of an eventful year for the organisation. The end of year function was well attended by local members of the Institute both in the public and private sector. 

IPES President Tologata Galumalemana Tile Le’ia Tuimalealiifano thanked the members for their roles in the continuing growth of the Institute and also raised the importance on some works that the Executive is planning to implement in 2014. Most importantly the President also paid tribute to one of the founding members of IPES, Afioga Melei Ufi Tone who passed away early this year. One member based in New Zealand travelled over specifically for the event. “I wanted to meet up with some of my engineering colleagues and also look at opportunities where our company in New Zealand could help out with IPES” said Glen Cossey from Markplan Consultants based in the Auckland - North Shore.

As well as celebrating the end of the year, the event doubled up as a ceremony to award certificates to some of the Institute’s members who have achieved higher honours. Five (5) graduate engineers have been successful with their applications to become Certified Professional Engineers (CPEng). They are Ms Levaai Faamoe Toremana, Ms Stephanie Vaganā Lomitusi, Ms Nuulopa Pereira Hill, Ms Raema Schuster Adam and Mr Ioane Viliamu Punivalu. The President congratulated the new chartered engineers and he specifically highlighted the fact that four of them were women.  Engineering is one of the few professions that is still dominated by men and to see a significant number of female graduates in the past couple of years is very encouraging for any young woman who is interested in a career in Engineering.

The new chartered members are already building successful careers within the various organisations they are employed in. Ms Faamoe Toremana who graduated from the University of Canterbury is the Rural Manager for the Samoa Water Authority. Ms Vaganā Lomitusi graduated from the Auckland University of Technology and is now the Electric Power Corporation Manager for Savaii. Ms Pereira Hill graduated from the University of Sydney in Australia and works as the Power System Planner for EPC. Ms Schuster Adam another University of Sydney graduate is the project engineer for EPC’s Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. Mr Punivalu who graduated from Victoria University Melbourne (Australia) is currently taking a sabbatical from engineering while he diverts his energy to coach the Manu Samoa 7s Rugby team.

According to Ms Pereira Hill, her journey to becoming a chartered engineer started when she graduated five years ago and she had worked hard to ensure she met all the criteria required of a CPEng holder. “Being chartered has added more value to my engineering degree, because it means I am now able to sign off on jobs and make important decisions on projects I am in charge of”. Ms Faamoe Toremana added, “Having the CPEng means taking ownership, responsibility and striving for excellence to uphold a high standard of engineering practices”.

According to the IPES Registrar, the road from being a graduate engineer to that of the Chartered one is quite challenging and can be long for some applicants depending on the nature of their chosen work. It requires a minimum of four years of graduate work experience and then an intensive interviewing process by a selected panel of experienced engineers. All graduates are encouraged to work towards achieving their CPEng.

In addition to the CPEng certificates, Associate memberships were also received by John Salā and Siatua Lautua of the Samoa Water Authority as well as Mark Williams of OSM Consultants. A graduate membership was awarded to Ms Rusetaneti Taaloga who had just completed studies at Canterbury University and now works for the Land and Transport Authority.

In concluding the formalities, the IPES President wished all members a happy festive season.

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