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New president of NZ Society for Earthquake Engineering

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Stefano Pampanin, Associate Professor in Structural Design & Earthquake Engineering, University of Canterbury, was elected president of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE), at the recent annual conference in Christchurch. He takes over from Peter Wood (Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, Wellington)

Professor Pampanin said that the conference, which examined the lessons learnt from Christchurch earthquakes and the moves necessary to ensure that New Zealand society is better prepared by developing an effective and cohesive strategy to implement the necessary improvements, was a great success.

There were more than 400 attendees from the wider technical earthquake engineering community through to the construction industry, local government authorities, social scientists, policy makers and insurers.

"The society has the opportunity to take the lead in facilitating the implementation of lessons learnt and thus ensuring a safer Christchurch and a safer New Zealand for future generations to enjoy.

"We need to harness the synergies evident amongst the different organisations and stake-holders present at the conference. The sense of co-operation and commitment was encouraging and we expect to see shortly the emergence of benefits from this high level engagement," he said.

Highlights for all those attending the conference were the keynote addresses by Roger Sutton, CEO of CERA (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority), and Professor David Alexander, Chief Senior Scientist at the Global Risk Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as well as the after dinner speech by Bob Parker, Mayor of Christchurch.

Also on the first day of the conference, more than 120 delegates visited, in collaboration with CERA, the CBD, some of the eastern suburbs and Port Hills/Sumner,</a> to investigate and appreciate first- hand the impact of the earthquake series, the recovery progress as well as the complexity of the challenges ahead.

As part of the conference, three Fellows of the Society were named: They are Dr Hugh Cowan (EQC research and education manager, Wellington), Graeme Beattie (BRANZ, Wellington), and Dr Kelvin Berryman (GNS Science, Wellington). David Brundson (Kestrel Group, Wellington) was made a Life Member for long service including promotion of lifelines engineering, urban search and rescue and triage of buildings post earthquake.

The conference was hosted at University of Canterbury on 13-15 April and sponsored by EQC, the University of Canterbury, BRANZ, GNS, the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, the Department of Building and Housing and CERA.

Video-recording of the presentations will be make available soon from the NZSEE website under re-development.

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