Kiwi innovator to speak at NorthTec

13 March 2017

Kiwi innovator to speak at NorthTec

A young Kiwi entrepreneur will visit NorthTec on Wednesday to give an open lecture about his work with technology.

Steve West started and runs Charge.net.nz, which is building a fast recharging network across the country for users of electric vehicles (EVs) in New Zealand.

He first became involved with electric cars in 2008, after converting his fossil fuel Toyota MR2 to electric power, and has gone on to form links to the worldwide EV plug share network.

Steve’s first brush with technical innovation came in 1997 when, as a student at Auckland University, he was learning to play the bass guitar. In an attempt to slow down complicated bass solos in songs in order to hear each note and subsequently learn them, Steve co-founded a system called Serato, which digitises the analogue DJ business.

Using research and mathematics, he wrote an algorithm making it possible to change the tempo of audio independent of the pitch, resulting in a tool that could speed up and slow down any piece of audio without distorting the result. It could also alter the tempo of a piece of audio without changing the pitch.

After leaving university he worked as an audio software developer while also campaigning and raising awareness of the benefits of electric vehicles. He is now Managing Director at Charge.net.nz and Chairman of The Better NZ Trust, and is aiming to roll out the largest EV fast charging network in the southern hemisphere.

He and wife Dee will run two workshops at Whangarei schools and will then give a public presentation at NorthTec’s Interactive Learning Centre in Raumanga Valley Road (near Gate 1) at 4pm on Wednesday, 15 March. Entry is free and all are welcome.