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Current and former members of the University of Auckland Formula SAE team want to acknowledge the impact of the legacy of Ian Murray. 

Ian was a wonderful supporter of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Auckland, especially the Formula SAE team. 

“We wanted to give something back to the Engineering Faculty where I studied Engineering, which helped me throughout my career.” 

-Ian Murray

Sadly, Ian passed away in October 2016.

Ian was a Faculty of Engineering alumnus who graduated from the University’s School of Engineering at Ardmore. After leaving university, Ian began his varied career at the Ministry of Works.  He then travelled to Great Britain to further his engineering experience. While there, he became a Chartered Civil Engineer. Later positions involved working in Hawaii and the Middle East and travelling to the Pacific Islands.

Following his return to New Zealand in the early 70’s, Ian returned to work for the Ministry of Works and then for McConnell Dowell Construction where he met his wife Emma.  He later owned and operated a number of engineering companies including Murray Ade, Energy Construction, Robt. Stone and Co., Haden & Custance and JLE Electrical. 

As with most successful Engineers, Ian concentrated on getting the basics right.  A practical approach in combination with analytical thinking was the foundation of his success. Ian was a strong proponent of an international experience for young engineers. This philosophy was one of the major reasons why Ian wanted to support the Formula SAE team. The F:SAE:47 programme provides a channel through which students can put into practice what they learn in the classroom. It also allows the students to expand their horizons and test themselves internationally.

As well as supporting the Formula SAE team, Ian and Emma established a substantial endowment fund to support two annual undergraduate engineering scholarships. They also fund a generous PhD scholarship.  
Before his death Ian said, “We wanted to give something back to the Engineering Faculty where I studied Engineering, which helped me throughout my career.”  

The Murrays want to support students who have the potential to contribute to the future of New Zealand and help more young people to become successful engineers. They hope their gift inspires other alumni who have enjoyed long, fruitful careers to give back to their University and help the next generation of New Zealand’s leaders.

We are enormously grateful that Emma and Ian’s son Stuart have continued to stay closely involved with the Formula SAE team after Ian’s death. The support of the Murray family allows the team to continue to design, manufacture and race a car every year.  We are thrilled that Emma and Stuart attend Formula SAE events and even travel to Australia to support the team each December.


On behalf of the F:SAE:47 community at the University of Auckland – a very big and heartfelt thank you.

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