24 June 2014

Opus International Consultants has officially opened its new research and training centre in Petone, Wellington, with the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. John Key, flicking the switch on its brand new wind tunnel to mark the occasion.

The facility is the new base for Opus Research and the Opus Environmental Training Centre after 57 years at the previous location in Gracefield, Lower Hutt. Opus Research began doing experimental research in the 1950s as part of the former Ministry of Works, informing the design and construction of critical national infrastructure projects such as hydroelectric schemes and state highways.

“We’re involved in a lot of exciting research and development work happening locally and nationally, as well as a growing amount of work overseas, and there’s no doubt R&D has a significant contribution to make to New Zealand,” says Dr David Prentice, Chief Executive of Opus. “We are already seeing the benefits of our new and more modern facilities and location, and we’re absolutely delighted that the Prime Minister was here to open it for us.

“We have been part of the local community for more than 50 years, and we’re really pleased to be staying in the region and continuing our relationships with local organisations and businesses.”

Today, Opus Research has 45 researchers, scientists and technologists working on a range of technology and community challenges, including driver behaviour, road design and performance, and the resilience of communities and businesses to major natural hazard events. 

The Environmental Training Centre provides a range of environmental courses including training for the water industries in New Zealand and Australia.  ETC is NZQA-registered as a Private Training Establishment.

The facilities include specialist laboratories, training rooms, and a 25 metre long new wind tunnel, which is the only commercially owned and operated wind tunnel in New Zealand. It is used for a wide range of projects, including evaluating the design of, and measuring wind forces on, buildings and structures. Opus Research maintains complete and accurate scale-models of the Wellington and Auckland CBDs, as well as a number of other locations across the country.

Wellington-headquartered Opus has more than 3,000 staff worldwide, helping a range of clients develop and manage world-class infrastructure.