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The benefits of better bridges


Imagine bridges that escape an earthquake with only superficial damage, requiring the checking and replacement of only minor, inexpensive elements, bridges that don’t suffer massive deterioration of their materials when resisting seismic action. The benefits could be vast.


These bridges could escape an earthquake relatively unscathed, allowing access by emergency services, goods transportation and the general public, not to mention being able to avoid the lengthy and expensive process of assessment after an earthquake and the cost of repairs or replacement.


This is exactly the outcome University of Canterbury PhD candidate and UC Quake Centre scholarship recipient Royce Liu is helping to bring to fruition through his research. Royce’s research is focused on making rocking bridge piers more resilient and robust against the unknown characteristics of earthquakes, by allowing more than one mode of rocking and

level of energy dissipation in an earthquake.


Royce works under the supervision of Dr. Alessandro Palermo and his research is part of a larger programme founded by New Zealand Natural Hazard platform named ABCD (Advance Bridge Design and Construction).


Royce sees huge potential benefits in the research he is conducting.


“I hope it will help build confidence in the use of low-damage technologies such as rocking bridge piers so that they become a mainstream seismic resisting system and help to make New Zealand’s bridges and overall transportation system resilient to a seismic attack.”













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