ComVec a crucial opportunity: Cowell

Commercial vehicle engineering conference to showcase innovation as well as issues

By Gary Worrall| May 16, 2012

The inaugural ComVec commercial vehicle engineering conference, to be held in Brisbane on June 5-6, will be the first time commercial vehicle technical staff will have a dedicated forum to hear from government, industry and business about issues that impact them, says PBS (Performance Based Standards) assessor Ken Cowell.

A key presenter at the conference, Cowell, head of K.D. Cowell and Associates, says ComVec will give body builders their first opportunity to hear about not just regulation, but innovation.

"If you look at the industry as a whole, they have all sorts of conferences for other sections, but there is nothing focusing on body builders," Cowell says.

"It is about keeping up to date on developments, not just legislation but also innovation, knowing what is out there."

He says government is still getting its head around PBS, with a scarcity of information available, and answers varied often, with "different answers from different people".

"ComVec will give people the opportunity to talk to people who they would never talk to normally," he says.

Cowell says that, like other sectors of the transport industry, the technical arms are suffering a shortage of skilled personnel, possibly even worse than the skilled driver shortage, saying there are very few people around to teach the next generation of engineers and designers.

"We are not even seeing a lot of young engineers, not even at truck manufacturers, which is supposed to be a gilt-edged job, so how is it for the body builders, how are they faring?" he asks.

Although Cowell says body builders will learn plenty from the sessions, the conference will benefit anyone working on the technical side of design and manufacture in road transport.

"Body builders need to understand the relationship between non-body specific regulations, such as axle weight limits, and the finished product," he says.

"This is the first conference abut technology and technical things, it is not political, it is all about technical things for technical people."

Trader Business Media Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher Graham Gardiner says the market-leading media group is proud to support ComVec as official media partner, as it meets the needs of the modern transport industry.

"Our magazines are must-read publications for industry leaders, whether it is Australasian Transport News, Owner//Driver, Deals On Wheels, Australasian Bus and Coach, or SupplyChain Review, and ComVec is intended for a key segment of those readers," Gardiner says.

With Trader publications leaders in bringing information to the transport sector, Gardiner says backing ComVec is a "good fit" for the publisher.

"Ensuring designers and engineers are kept informed on the latest advances in technology is a core function of the Trader transport portfolio, so we are delighted to help bring this conference to Brisbane," he says.

"This is an invaluable resource for the transport industry, bringing together a cross section of the people who design and build the equipment that will shape the future of Australian road transport with the regulators and technical experts who can help guide them to create safe, effective and environmentally efficient vehicles."

For more information on ComVec visit

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