– By Caroline Falls –
The theme for this year’s IPWEA (Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia) fleet conference is “fleet management now and in the future.”
The premise is that a whole lot has changed in the world amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The program is really considering what the last 12 months has meant to the world, particularly for fleet management and what they are planning in the future,” said Rob Wilson, director of IPWEA Fleet, a unit of the association, adding, “It’s a new environment and the question is how do we adjust to that environment.” Wilson developed the program in collaboration with the fleet council of IPWEA.
Mark Palavestra, advisor and podcaster with Talking Automotive, will talk about how the COVID situation has affected the economy, the automotive industry and the fleet industry.
Lara Young, group carbon manager for UK construction group Costain, will talk about bringing in a plan to transition to a net-zero organisation.
“Lara Young is someone quite prominent and active in this area and she’s been working with her company and that’s why we’re keen to have her speak,” said Wilson. Young is a member of a young professionals panel advising the London Mayor on infrastructure. She is also a member of the Insititution of Civil Engineers net zero taskforce advising on UK infrastructure.
Mary Joyce Ivers, a US fleet champion, will join the conference from her California base, and share her stories about trending technologies and how fleet is involved with those.
Jerome Carslake, director of the Monash University Accident Research Centre, and Tim Roberts, from consultancy Fleet Strategy, are set to deliver research and case studies about safety and fleet management in Australian utilities settings.
The IPWEA fleet conference is normally held in a Brisbane convention facility at this time of year. This year though the conference is going virtual, and that could have some great upsides. For one, more people will have access to the program, by registering to attend online, and not having to get their workplace to cough up funds for travel and accommodation expenses.
Many attendees of IPWEA fleet events are from regional councils and recent virtual workshops have proven more popular than the pre-Covid face-to-face regional tour.
“We did a virtual workshop and we had some people say it was the first time they’d ever come,” said Wilson, citing lower registration fees, as another advantage of the online alternative.
In addition, Wilson said, organisations can register and give access to the conference content to as many as 10 of their workforce. “They can bring the team together and watch in the boardroom.”
Another benefit is that the content will be available for 90 days on demand, so if you have concurrent sessions, which the IPWEA fleet conference does have, you can come back and watch it later.
Here’s a link to the website for the event IPWEA fleet conference, being held March 23 and 24.