Summer Scholarship Student profile – Lian Le Tang
The UC Quake Centre is excited to
announce the recipient of a Summer Research Scholarship, 21-year-old Civil Engineering Student Lian Le Tang. Lian will be assisting Quake Centre researchers Kaley Crawford-Flett and Jenny Haskell in their work in the field of Dam Engineering, specifically with their project on Geotechnical Assessment of New Zealand Hydropower Embankment Dams.
In New Zealand, hydropower generation accounts for around 55% of total energy generation, and we have a large amount of earth embankment dams, most of which were designed between the 1940s and 1980s. As Lian explains, design standards have changed since this time and hence we are revisiting the likely performance of these structures under future seismic events.
“There were some knowledge gaps in dam engineering during that time, so it's prudent that we do some laboratory analyses and assess likely seismic performance in the future. It’s a long term research project, it’s going to be very exciting and I’m really happy to have the chance to get involved in the early stages.”
Lian’s enthusiasm for Dam Engineering came from her local Church Minister in Malaysia, who was also a Civil Engineer. As Lian explains, she had never heard of dam engineering, but hearing him talk about how much he enjoyed his job made her want to know more.
“His passion for Dam Engineering triggered my interest and in turn inspired me to become a Dam Engineer. He really planted the seed in my mind.”
Lian moved to Christchurch to begin her degree, in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes. As she explains, her decision was largely based on the reputation of the University of Canterbury’s Civil Engineering department. She says the summer research topic feels like it was ‘tailor-made’ for her.
“UC is well known for its Civil Engineering department, so I’m really in the right position. The best part about this project is that I feel like I finally have the chance to get into what I really want to do. The courses offered by UC are such a great foundation, and now with this project I can apply what I’ve learned from my studies. I’m really excited to be honest!”