Speaker profile – Shaun Coakley and Simon Gaynor

Shaun Coakley is general manager of New Zealand-based contractor Protranz Earthmoving, and will present alongside commercial manager Simon Gaynor.

Their company had to take a “surgical demolition” approach to support the safe restoration of the country’s Christ Church Cathedral after it suffered significant earthquake damage.

Protranz Earthmoving’s general manager Shaun Coakley will join his colleague Simon Gaynor to present at the World Demolition Summit in Vienna. (Photo: Protranz)
Christ Church Cathedral

The iconic Christ Church Cathedral, which is listed as a Category 1 heritage building of international significance, was severely damaged by the 2010-11 New Zealand earthquakes.

Protranz Earthmoving used remotely operated excavators to carry out surgical demolition works, required to facilitate strengthening. This removed the health and safety risk of people working in a highly dangerous area.

During the earthquake, the tower collapsed into the Nave, allowing pigeons to roost for many years, resulting in a significant biohazard. Protranz developed a network of live stream cameras to allow the operator to clear the contaminated material inside the cathedral via remote control.


Shaun has 15 years’ experience in the demolition and construction industry in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Singapore. He has a master’s degree in civil engineering and construction management from Leeds University and has a track record in identifying critical issues and resolving them in a timely manner to achieve outstanding project results.

Simon also 15 years’ experience in the demolition and construction industry, in New Zealand, Australia and Ireland. Simon has an honours degree in civil engineering from University College Dublin. Simon describes himself an innovative thinker and his ethos has always been to approach a challenge with an open and honest approach and a positive mindset.

The World Demolition Summit is organised by KHL Group magazine Demolition & Recycling International, along with the European Demolition Association and the US National Demolition Association. The headline sponsor is Volvo Construction Equipment.

For details of the full conference programme, the various speakers and how to register as a delegate, please visit demolitionsummit.com

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