andrew wheatley    

From Design Support
to Operations and Maintenance
Andrew Wheatley, Road Operations
Manager – North Conneq
Infrastructure Services Australia

We are excited that Andrew Wheatley will be joining us as one of our Keynote Speakers during the 2011 ICOMS Asset Management Conference.

Learn more about Andrew and his asset management views, the asset management challenges he has faced and more about his ICOMS presentation with the following Q&A...

 Q: How difficult was it to develop and sustain an organisational culture that supports your organisation’s ability to sustain good asset management practice?

Staff have to be engaged and made aware of the existence and purpose of the organisation’s asset management practices. Employees must actively take part in the journey of asset management beginning with thorough training and instruction in asset management principles, tools and systems. Often the technical staff do not know or care why the organisation is collecting data, resulting in huge variations in the quantity and quality of information recorded during maintenance. The result is an incomplete and potentially misleading history of the condition and performance of different assets. This is not a criticism of maintenance/operational staff, it is just a fact; their focus is generally on the short term requirement to complete jobs, not on the long term requirement for management to be able to make decisions.

Q: What kind of assurance programs do you think the Asset Management Council should be developing for organisations like yours?

I am employed in this industry to provide good asset management services on behalf of asset owners, yet asset owners themselves seem to require considerable guidance in this area. I believe a set of guidelines are needed to direct the asset owners to ask themselves a series of questions about how long term asset value and performance can be achieved in partnership with us; the Operators and Maintainers. Asset Management is a hidden long term cost for asset owners. Education to asset owners of the importance of considering operations and maintenance best practice during the tender/design phase of any project will ensure better value for their investment funds plus timely asset upgrades. An assurance program could assist owners to compel the designers and operators to work and learn together during the design phase and better close the loop on past experiences being fed back into design.

Q: Working for a Queensland organisation during the 2010/2011 floods, can you tell me about the additional challenges your organisation’s asset management systems faced?

I was on the CLEM7 tunnel during the floods and fortunately our project did not suffer during the floods. But I believe any infrastructure affected during such a disaster would require ongoing inspections to ensure any increased long term corrosion or accelerated ageing is discovered before any degradation of operational service. These additional inspections need to be documented and scheduled in an asset system to ensure they are not forgotten.

Q: What are your thoughts on the development of an International Standard for Asset Management, and what benefit would your organisation gain from such a Standard?

The standard will remind asset owners that they need to do a cost benefit analysis to ensure they obtain the best solution on their assets from the cradle to the grave. Organisations building infrastructure have different priorities and motivators to asset owners and maintainers. This standard will start to bring balance to the life cycle equation.

Many asset investors do not realise their largest costs are during the life of the asset in managing the asset from cradle to grave. Operational costs can be three to four times construction costs over the life of an asset therefore life cycle costs must be considered during the design stage. Designs should be evaluated in terms of operational costs. Some examples include: safe and practical physical access for maintenance staff; higher grade materials for longer life or fewer defects; and electronic devices that require, say, six monthly periodic maintenance instead of monthly.

Q: In a couple of sentences, what are the key asset management messages your presentation will deliver?

I will emphasise the importance of influencing design during the development/tender phase for optimum life cycle costs and management of assets. How can asset owners and managers influence designers to design for the operations and maintenance requirements as well as the asset function? I will also touch on the importance of gathering operational and maintenance data from commissioning and how to work with asset owners and builders to enable data to be collected during the design, construction and commissioning of the asset.  I will also share some experiences with Public Private Partnerships (PPP).

More information on Andrew Wheatley

Andrew completed his Electrical and Computer Engineering degree at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane in 1993 was awarded second class honours and commissioned within the Army in the corps Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He also holds a MBA and is current studying a research Masters of Business in Risk and Emergency Management. In his 21 year career, Andrew was employed in many general and aviation maintenance engineering roles within the Army and in 2001 resigned from the Army and took up the role as Sydney Airport manager for engineering and maintenance for Airservices Australia (Air traffic Control). In 2004, he was appointed Project Manager for a large electrical reticulation and lighting upgrade for Sydney Airport for which he was awarded the Australia Day Medallion. He has also managed projects for the Asia Program which included work in Indonesian and East Timor.

In 2007, Andrew resigned from Airservices to take an appointment as the General Manager Operations and Maintenance of the Clem Jones Tunnel in Brisbane and established the joint venture company for Leighton Contractors and Bilfinger Berger Services (now Conneq Infrastructure Services) called Brisbane Motorway Services, which now operates and maintains the CLEM7 tunnel. He is now the Northern Operations Manager for Conneq Infrastructure Services overseeing the contract management of the joint venture service contracts for the CLEM7 tunnel, Gateway Bridge maintenance and M7 in Sydney.  He also administers the maintenance contracts for Tugen bypass and other road projects in Northern NSW.


Make sure to register for the 2011 ICOMS Asset Management Conference by 30 April 2011 to receive your special Early Bird Price!

Click here to download the Conference Program and Registration Brochure.