UC QUAKE CENTRE - 2015 IN REVIEW
May 2015 – ROSE School conference, Pavia.
A highlight in 2015 for Quake Centre Director Robert Finch was attending the Reduction of Seismic Risk (ROSE) School’s international conference in Pavia, Italy.
The Quake Centre has a special connection to the ROSE School. It was co-founded by the University of Canterbury’s very own Prof. Nigel Priestley, described by many in his field as the ‘godfather of earthquake engineering.’
“It was a huge honour to chair one of the seminars at the conference,” says Robert.
The ROSE conference was an opportunity to look back, but also to look forward to the new advances in the sector - and ensure that the Quake Centre is keeping up with the latest thinking internationally.
“It is vital that we stay aware of what is happening around the world, how that impacts on the work we are doing and what we can contribute back,” says Dr. Finch.
“That’s why connections such as our links to the ROSE School are so important, especially in terms of research and changes in thinking regarding seismic engineering.”
August 2015 – Newly Elected Board Members
In August 2015 the UC Quake Centre was excited to announce its new Board Members. In line with a commitment to partner the best of academic and industry knowledge in seismic research, there were four industry elected members and three university appointed members.
Richard Sharpe (Chairman) of Beca Consultants, John Burden, Fletcher Construction, Richard Smith, EQC and Peter Amos, Damwatch, are the Industry elected Directors.
Professor Jan Evans-Freeman and Professor Greg MacRae, both from the University of Canterbury and Professor Pierre Quenneville, from the University of Auckland are the University appointed Directors:
This is an incredible pool of talent with a focus to identify and provide world-class knowledge, research and seismic solutions to both industry and those communities affected by earthquakes.
September - 5 years on from the September Event
The University of Canterbury has always been at the forefront of earthquake engineering. However, in the five years following the September 4 2010 earthquake, they have broken new ground and cemented Christchurch as a city central to knowledge in seismic research.
Director of the UC Quake Centre, Robert Finch reflected, "Had it been an isolated event, with a normal series of decreasing aftershocks, would we have seen the same progress that has been made in research, development and practical responses to seismic events and their aftermath?”
“I doubt that without the thousands of quakes (as part of what many have called a ‘unique series of seismic events’) Christchurch would have attracted the ongoing local and international interest that it has in this field… or be in the position it is today as authority in the sector,”
November – 6ICEGE
The Quake Centre was proud to play its part in the 6th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering (6ICEGE), that was held in Christchurch, 1 – 4 November 2015.
The 2015 6ICEGE, welcomed both local and international experts in earthquake engineering. It was an excellent opportunity for those involved with research and industry in earthquake geotechnical engineering, to collaboratively exchange ideas and present their recent experience and developments.
The conference provided a unique opportunity for those attending to be immersed in this dynamic and transitional city. Essentially, a ‘living laboratory’ steadily rising from the rubble after the devastation of the Canterbury Earthquake sequence.
Quake Centre 2015 Workshop
The 2015 UC Quake Centre Workshop had a brilliant turn out. It brought together a mix of those from both the academic world and the commercial sector, to showcase the progress made.
The Workshop included quickfire presentations, covering areas of development, and research programmes, essential in helping to gain the knowledge and preparation needed in the event of future seismic activity.
It was also a wonderful opportunity to gain feedback on what The Quake Centre has been doing well, and what it could be doing even better.
The Workshop proved to be a great place to receive constructive responses and suggestions regarding the direction of the Quake Centre and was extremely rewarding and beneficial.
And in other news...
New Quake Centre Sponsors:
The Quake Centre was proud to announce the support of five new sponsors of the Centre being, Fulton Hogan Ltd, Auckland Council, EQC, C. Lund & Son Ltd and Geoscience Consulting Ltd. We appreciate the support of these, and all of our existing supporting organisations.
Development of new retrofit design guide:
Research Engineer and QC team member, Sahin Tasligedik has been working on the development of a Retrofit Design Guide, aimed at providing recommendations and options for strengthening existing earthquake-prone buildings. You can find a summary of Sahin’s findings into the retrofitting of reinforced concrete buildings in our Research Register here.
Development of Short Courses:
We continued with the development of our online short course suite. The first of these, 'An Introduction to Earthquake Engineering' has already been launched. This will be followed by a second module in this series and will be in the topic area of 'Structural Dynamics'.
Development of these courses and others that are in an advanced state of preparation and review has been made possible through the very generous support of Quake Centre partners Beca, Opus and CCANZ.
Across September and October the Quake Centre put on a series of evening seminars entitled 'Basics of Soil Mechanics in Christchurch'. These were extremely well attended with more than 170 registrations received at the time of commencement.
The Quake Centre has been strongly assisted by Geoscience NZ, AECOM, URS, Coffey and Golder Associates in the preparation and delivery of these seminars, which, according to feedback, have been successful and very well received.
Out and About:
We continued our activity of meeting with a large range of current and prospective Quake Centre partners and among other things have been seeking inputs and feedback on industry research needs.
The responses have been enthusiastic and we are still receiving feedback on high priority R&D needs, both long and short term.
Our "Research Register" now has in excess of 20 project areas defined on it and recently we have developed a number of these into summarized expressions of interest. It is anticipated that, in the near future and following a prioritisation process, a number of projects with high potential impact will be underway.