Rotorua maintenance engineering apprentice David Lewis is stoked to have won the Stuart Tolhurst Memorial Award for 2018.

David is in his final few months of his Apprentice Training New Zealand (ATNZ) apprenticeship at Damar Industries in Rotorua.

The coveted award remembers Stuart Tolhurst, a highly regarded application engineer who was employed with SKF New Zealand for more than three decades.

He was widely acknowledged as the New Zealand expert in rolling element bearing design and application.


David received the award at the National Maintenance Engineering Conference in Rotorua recently.

He says winning the Stuart Tolhurst Award has confirmed to him he's "doing the right thing".

"I'm extremely stoked to have won. It has shown me that I'm good at what I do and the people I work with are happy with my work.

"I really enjoy working at Damar Industries as I like the variety of tasks and equipment – it's never repetitive.

"Your mind is constantly kept active and challenged with coming up with new ideas or finding a solution to a problem."

Competenz, the industry training organisation which represents 36 industries, has co-ordinated the award since 2015, which is open to New Zealand maintenance engineering apprentices in their third or fourth year of training.

Nominations are put forward from Competenz account managers and ATNZ training advisers.

Characteristics the judges were looking for in the apprentices included a good demonstration of initiative and leadership, a good work ethic, and an eagerness to learn.

In nominating him for the award, ATNZ account manager Jo Brierly says David demonstrates a "great enthusiasm" for his trade and his studies.

"His work is always presented to a high standard and he is keen to share his skills and knowledge as a mentor to other engineers, now and in the future."