26 Oct 2023

Principal Engineer Glen Wheatley is one of CKL’s longest serving employees and has been with the CKL team for almost three decades.

Glen’s journey with CKL began during his formative years when, as a secondary school student, he took on the role of field assistant. Glen witnessed the amalgamation of two survey firms to form the basis of CKL today; Jellie & Keucke, a Hamilton firm, with the Te Awamutu-based Carter & Latham, which formed Carter, Keucke & Latham, later changed to CKL. Glen continued his studies to become a survey technician, which provided more varied work and responsibilities.

Taking a six-year hiatus in the United Kingdom, upon his return in 1995, Rod Keuke, one of CKL’s founding directors, eagerly welcomed Glen back to the fold. From those early days, Glen has witnessed CKL's commitment to embracing cutting-edge technology, with pivotal transitions from traditional surveying methods to the adoption of advanced tools such as total stations and GPS systems. This, in Glen’s view, places CKL at the forefront of technological innovation within the industry.

Throughout his tenure, Glen has been part of some exciting projects, from the survey and construction of mussel farms in the idyllic settings of the Coromandel to undertaking intricate aerial assignments for mining companies in a helicopter. He’s even transcended geographical boundaries, with one client taking him to Micronesia to work in Palau to carry out hydrographic work on a small island.

In line with CKL's evolution, Glen's roles have changed over time. He’s watched CKL move beyond traditional surveying to encompass a diverse array of disciplines, including civil engineering design, urban planning, and environmental stewardship.

“The work that CKL does today has really evolved into multi discipline. In the early days it was just surveying with a little bit of engineering and a little bit of planning. Whereas now it’s engineering, surveying, planning and the environmental team – we’re truly an integrated land development operation.”

Glen’s current role involves tackling intricate challenges related to earthworks, roading, and the design of efficient drainage and water management systems for new developments, along with providing support and assistance for others in the engineering team.

He finds the most joy in the creative aspect of his work, relishing the complete journey, from the initial conception of a project to witnessing its physical manifestation, allowing him to be part of projects that leave an enduring imprint on New Zealand’s landscapes.

For aspiring engineers entering the industry, Glen emphasises the importance of maintaining passion for your work.

“Hold onto the passion for what you do and always try to get a good outcome. A lot of the projects that CKL works on are more challenging than they ever used to be thanks to the increasingly complex landscape of modern engineering. But holding on to your passion and remaining solutions-focused will see you go far.”

Three Decades of Dedication: Celebrating Glen Wheatley’s career at CKL