Abley Fireside chat: The importance of staying close to the user for designing + developing a sustainable tech toolRegister now
Thu 19 May 12:30 PM - 1:00 PM
Join the team behind the Abley CarbonWise software tool for a fireside chat.
Stacy Rendall (Developer + Research Specialist), Benjamin Walch (Sustainability Specialist) and Emma Harris (Senior UI/UX Designer), will reflect on how they combined their expertise to develop New Zealand's first digital tool to measure and help reduce carbon emissions generated by commuters.
Combining diverse domain knowledge inhouse while co-designing with end users allowed us to iterate into a product that bridges various disciplines, and develop a useful tool that solves the problem of measuring commuter emissions.
Benjamin has Master’s degrees in Political Science from Sciences Po Rennes (France) and in Regional & Urban Planning from the London School of Economics (UK). This education gave him an ability to grasp how cities and regions function on a social, economic, and political level.
He was a Transport Planner in the UK working for a coalition of five west London Boroughs. There, he helped companies and developers promote alternatives to car use (active travel, public transport). He also delivered cycle parking infrastructure projects on residential roads and managed a behaviour change cycling programme on a university campus.
Benjamin provides analysis for transport strategies, international literature reviews, and research pieces, with a focus on walking, cycling, and micro-mobility (e.g. e-scooters). He has also successfully helped clients obtain government funding through his business case writing skills. His passion for the environment has seen him develop expertise in measuring and forecasting transportation carbon emissions.
Benjamin brings a unique combination of public sector and start-up experience to the Abley team. He founded an early stage parking start-up in London and joined Lime’s operations in Melbourne and Auckland, handling both deployment/retrieval and repairs of the e-scooters.
What Benjamin loves is a beautiful streetscape where people walk, cycle, and scoot safely around each other, and stop to enjoy the atmosphere. He believes in a future with climate-resilient communities and without the need for fossil fuels.
Principal Developer & Research Specialist
Stacy is a web and software developer with a background in transport and spatial research.
Drawing on his experience, Stacy helps organisations solve extremely difficult problems as he can take solutions all the way from research and analysis through to developing the tools to solve the problems.
After initially gaining a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering, Stacy completed a PhD in Energy Systems Engineering. His thesis research involved developing a GIS-based model assessing the adaptability of household travel to energy constraints and emissions reductions, which combined elements of transport accessibility, activity modelling and energy systems.
Stacy worked on his thesis with the team Abley between 2010 and 2012, during which time he also contributed to Waka Kotahi Research Reports on travel profiling and neighbourhood accessibility, and developed the Abley Cycle Route Choice Methodology. After a two-year Postdoc at the University of Canterbury in 2014 he returned to Abley full-time for a year, developing the Australasian Pedestrian Crossing Facility Selection Tool for Austroads and creating a methodology for school prioritisation on the basis of active mode travel risk.
Over 2015-2017, while in Scotland for his OE, Stacy worked on a UK DfT Transport Technology Innovation Grant (T-TRIG) project for which he researched and developed a web tool to assist students in travelling to school safely, and later worked as a full-stack web developer and GIS consultant focusing on APIs, algorithm integration and mobile applications.
Since returning to Abley in 2017 Stacy has been instrumental in founding and growing the Software Development team within Abley while continuing to apply his unique research and development skills to assist a wide range of organisations.
Stacy loves the creative process and challenge involved in understanding a problem then designing solutions and creating tools to solve it. He enjoys making use of his engineering background to develop solutions to emergent problems and operate in new domains.
Emma is a UX designer/ researcher in the Abley Software Development Team.
Emma works with the developers to produce relevant and engaging software products. She makes sure the final deliverable to clients is well designed and user-friendly by doing user research. She translates user design to the developers through wireframes, userflows and other visuals. She facilitates workshops so attendees can build rapport, generate ideas and prioritise requirements.
Emma is a people person and gets pleasure from digging deeper into user motivations, drivers and challenges to create a product that will not only make their life easier, but they will enjoy using. She gets real satisfaction translating thorough and thoughtful research into a relevant and effective solutions.
Emma loves the UX process of discovering the real problem and putting the pieces together to solve it through various UX tools. Every project is bespoke and every problem and solution is unique. She loves that the solution ends up with beautiful and engaging visuals.
UX is still in it’s infancy in New Zealand and Emma is excited about being involved in its growth. Tech is a really exciting field to be in and Abley is supportive by facilitating training and learning and allowing her to make her role what she wants it to be.
Emma studied a Bachelor of Design majoring in Visual communications and Illustration. After 10 years as a Visual designer overseas (Australia and the UK) working in a variety of industries and workplaces such in-house retail ( Tesco, M+S), advertising and design agencies (Saatchi, Ogilvy), The Football Association and The Daily Telgraph.