Behind The Lens - December 2017
by Chris van der Leer on December 18th, 2017

The following  is excerpted from an interview with me for accepted submissions to the annual calendar. These photos are also used for the desktop wallpaper for all workstations world- wide. These images her to visually represent the company purpose and work; they also permit employees to get to know each other better.

The photo was taken with a Sony A33.

​How did you become part of the MWH team?

Chris van der Leer: ​I left Cape Town in the 1990s on my Overseas Experience (OE). I passed through London, Europe and the Channel Islands and I eventually ended up in Christchurch, New Zealand. Knowing that a balanced life is important, I am mindful of my values in my career. I therefore wanted to work for an entity which contributes to society in a positive way; this company seemed like the obvious choice

​What is your role at MWH and how long have you worked here?

Chris van der Leer: ​​As IT Project Controls Specialist, my primary purpose is to bring value to projects and to the project management process within our global IT department. I contribute on a diverse range of projects which impact employees in all global locations. 

​What inspired you to take the photo selected for the calendar?

Chris van der Leer: ​​When growing up in Africa, I always wanted to experience an earthquake and a volcano - indeed I never thought that I would have either of these experiences. Suffice to say my Christchurch colleagues and I have experienced enough quakes to last anybody a lifetime.

This photo is of the Christchurch skyline and is taken from our office. The rising sun represents a new dawn for the city, our company and for us as individuals. We see this view every day I wanted to share this experience with you all.

​If you could go anywhere in the world to take photos where would you go? Why?

Chris van der Leer: ​​I have two places in mind: I would visit Prague, the city of a thousand spires. The history, color and culture would be awesome to capture.

I would also like to visit Lake Tekapo International Dark Sky Reserve - the isolation, lack of light pollution and flat plains provide beautiful clear skies that offer unparalleled views of the stars and planets - great for star photography.

​What do the photos you take say about you as a person?

Chris van der Leer: ​​I believe it is important to view things for what they are, allowing our personal experiences to shape the vision of the future. I don't manipulate photos - therefore my images exhibit life exactly as it is in the moment the shutter closes.  

​What does the Stantec purpose design with community in mind mean to you?

Chris van der Leer: ​​The effects of urbanization are occurring in every city in every country, the obvious solution to this phenomenon is to make our cities more sustainable. This starts with designing infrastructure suited to the growing needs of our communities – infrastructure which encourages individuals to be healthy and safe in a sustainable way.
(This interview was undertaken between Chris van der Leer and Stantec - visit their site here;

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