Shelley Perfect

Technical Director Transport
New Zealand

Shelley leads the mutli-disciplinary co-ordination and delivery of technical excellence in WSP’s Transport Infrastructure and Road Safety sub-sector.

Career highlights include working as Assistant Engineer on site in Central Otago on the Cromwell Valley Development Roading project, Clyde Dam project and Project Manager for construction management of the Bannockburn Bridge over the Kawarau River.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to be involved in the construction of a large project which involved signing off mass concrete pours, road fills of 30m high and pushing a Callendar Hamilton bridge over a gorge.  The positive experience of working with and alongside contractors, roading engineers and site staff led me to change direction from structural engineering to transportation. More recently projects through the National Park in Arthurs Pass, Team Leader for the Western Belfast Bypass RONS project and the Christchurch Major Cycleways have given me a wide insight into the environmental, social and political factors associated with transport engineering.  Who knew that delivering a major cycleway could be more difficult and more satisfying than a motorway project?”

Shelley is excited about the increasing investment in active travel and mass rapid transit. 

“I’m pleased to see the focus beginning to shift away from private cars being perceived as the most viable means of transport. By encouraging people away from commuting by car we introduce a range of health benefits and reduce stress.  This helps build strong, connected communities by increasing accessibility, and reducing congestion and carbon emissions. Alongside good urban design this enhances the streetscapes in which we live, work and play.”

She says there are a number of factors disrupting traditional transport design and enjoys helping clients navigate their way through these challenges.

“How we use transport in the future is already defining how we design and construct. We’re beginning to see less use of private vehicles through car sharing -  Yoogo, ola and Uber for example – and increases in active modes, public transport and mass rapid transport.  This creates a need for different streetscapes that can accommodate newer modes of transport, such as electric scooters, and means less parking provision may be required. Our aging population and how we design for accessibility is another key challenge.”