Peter Millar - T+T's first Distinguished Fellow

Peter Millar - T+T's first Distinguished Fellow

Above - Peter Millar receives Engineering New Zealand's Turner Award, 2012

With a rare combination of big picture thinking, incredible technical ability and level-headed leadership, Peter Millar’s presence in the engineering profession has had an undeniable influence on Tonkin + Taylor (T+T) and the engineering industry more widely.

In recognition of his over 40 years’ of service, Engineering NZ has named Peter a Distinguished Fellow – the highest honour an engineer can achieve in New Zealand.

Throughout his esteemed career, Peter has held several key leadership roles – a decade as T+T’s Geotechnical Group Manager, four years as the company’s Managing Director and 15 years as a director.

“Peter continues to be instrumental to the development, growth and expertise of T+T and is influential across the engineering sector” says T+T Geotechnical Discipline Director, Shamus Wallace.

Peter has worked on several high-profile projects including Te Papa, where he achieved seismic strengthening using dynamic compaction and NZ’s Parliament Buildings seismic upgrade. Following the Canterbury Earthquakes, Peter’s expertise was sought by the Royal Commission’s hearing on building management.

Aside from providing specialist expertise to many panels and review committees, more latterly Peter has sat on the boards of many of NZ’s major engineering projects. This includes the iconic Waterview Connection, the creation of Pukeahu – the official  ANZAC war memorial park in Wellington, the Kaikōura Earthquake Recovery project (NCTIR), Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway, the Newmarket Viaduct replacement programme, Taranaki’s Mt Messenger Bypass and NZ’s largest urban land development project – Piritahi.


On top of all of that, Peter’s reputation as being one of the most outstanding geotechs of his generation has meant he’s been a key engineer and technical reviewer for the foundations of 80% of Auckland CBD’s high-rise buildings.

It’s rather poetic that Peter has laid the foundations for generations of geotechnical engineers’ careers – he’s been a mentor and helped sculpt T+T’s unique company culture.

“He continues to contribute to T+T and the wider profession with seemingly tireless energy, I remember witnessing this enthusiasm first hand the day Peter was getting ready to push the button the first explosive tests at QEII stadium in Christchurch as part of the liquefaction ground improvement programme – his excitement and anticipation was palpable”.

“I don’t know of anyone in our profession who is more deserved of Engineering New Zealand’s highest recognition”.