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5 Questions with Principal Engineer and Managing Director of DAMWATCH, 

Peter Amos


1.Why do you think UCQC is important professionally?


In my sector of industry (particularly dams), earthquake engineering of a number of components relies on empirical relationships using historical experience of earthquakes.  These sources need support from rigorous research of the phenomena in order to implement appropriate engineering solutions to improve resilience.  UCQC provides an excellent opportunity for industry identified issues to be investigated leading to improved solutions.


2.Why do you support UCQC personally?


The private and local government in my sector of industry in New Zealand have lacked a common vehicle to pool resources to achieve research and development advances that can benefit all dam owners with improved safety and security of their assets.  I believe UCQC finally provides this place and has the support of several major dam asset owners.


3.What’s your professional background and what do you bring to the UCQC?


I am a civil engineer who has been involved in dam and heavy civil engineering for more than 30 years.  I have been involved in the design or assessment of continuing structural safety of most of the large hydro and water dams in New Zealand.  Seismic hazard and structural performance during earthquakes have always been important aspects of my work. I have also been carrying out reviews of structural safety including seismic questions in North America, Australia and South-east Asia.


4.How important is the link between industry and academic sectors?


We have all heard the cliché that New Zealand punches well above its weight.  This applies very much to the engineering profession with a long history of academic advances and construction of internationally referenced facilities.  This has been achieved on a relatively modest budget compared to other well-resourced countries.  It is vitally important that industry and academic sectors collaborate their limited resources to achieve practical advances in the future.


5.What are your hopes/vision for what the UCQC will provide?


We have challenges to provide assurance to the public that new structures are built to withstand extreme loads but also that older structures not built with a modern understanding of earthquake effects can withstand these extreme forces and remain safe.  I am looking forward to the UCQC being a central figure in a coordinated effort between industry and academic sectors to obtain realistic advances in knowledge and improved resilience of structures to withstand earthquakes.











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