We live in Golden Bay New Zealand--at the top left end of the South Island. This is Lis and Chris in March 2018 at Farewell Spit.
Lis' background is a mix of Cardiac Nursing, Social Work and previously operating her Cats' Pjamas Organic B&B for eight years. She is now "retired" which has freed her up to continue pursuing her hobbies of growing food organically, and volunteering in the community with everything from the Animal Welfare Society, to Age Concern and the Community Workers.
Chris has worked for over 30 years in developed and developing countries as a civil engineer. He has been blessed with a diverse and varied career as shown in his curriculum vitae and the range of his technical reports. Some of his projects include:
- While doing his PhD at the University of Auckland, he created the ROMDAS 'ROad Measurement Data Acquistion System' to provide low-cost technology to developing countries for measuring roads. ROMDAS is still one of the main suppliers of road measurement equipment.
- He was Team Leader for the HDM-4 'Technical Relationships Study'. This was an international effort to develop models to predict the interaction between climate, pavement deterioration and vehicle operating costs. The models developed are still the foundation for many road management systems. Our site here contains the knowledge repository for HDM-4, and associated road infrastructure management.
- With his team from 'HTC Infrastructure Management' they implemented the predictive modelling platform dTIMS which is used in New Zealand for road management. The team was given the IPENZ award for 'Supreme Excellence' for this project.
- After working as a consultant in a range of developing countries, in 2003 Chris joined the World Bank where he ended up as a Lead Transport Specialist and the transport sector's first 'Advisor' for improving environmental and social outcomes on projects anywhere in the world. He has stories of his life as 'An Overtravelled Engineer Working for the World Bank' at World Bank Traveller. In recognition for his environmental efforts, he had a bug (new species and genus) named after him in China (seriously). He sees his greatest contributions to the Bank's mission as being the lead author for the Bank's guidelines on how to address gender based violence (GBV) and improve road safety on World Bank financed projects. A sample of his projects include:
- Job creation in Armenia after the Global Financial Crisis
- A US$1.8 billion expressway through the Three Gorges National Park
- Rebuilding Ha'apai in Tonga after Cyclone Ian
- The Pacific Aviation Investment Project which repaired airports in Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu
- Leading a range of projects looking at the impact of climate change, such as how to integrate climate change risks into performance based contracting and another on how asset management needs to evolve to properly consider climate change.
Chris retired from the Bank in April 2021 and is now helping to try and address the housing crisis in Golden Bay. Chris is also a volunteer First Responder Ambulance Officer with St John Ambulance here in Golden Bay, a 'Big Brother', as well as participating with community groups such as the cycle and walkways society.
Chris' passionate hobby is ultraendurance long distance unsupported bicycle racing. Among his races are London-Istanbul, Brussels-Istanbul, Norway-Spain, as well as the Tour Divide (Canada to Mexico along the Rocky Mountains). In 2022 he won the inaugural 'Trans-Canada Ultra Brevet' by cycling 12,362 km from Whitehorse to St John's in just under 52 days without a break (238 km/day). He likes to ride his bike!
The video below is from another Chris' crazy adventures: in March 2020 he did an 'Everesting 10k' where he climbed over 10,000 metres in a single activity. 118 times up (and down!) a local hill.
And perhaps most importantly, we are owned and managed by Max and Coco - two adorable (!) Birman fur balls.