Major funding boost for quake research
Two University of Canterbury academics are among researchers from around the country to receive almost $7 million for 19
new projects under the Natural Hazards Research Platform (NHRP).
The NHRP funds research aimed at making New Zealand more resilient to natural hazards such as earthquakes and floods.
Associate Professor Stefano Pampanin and Dr Brendon Bradley, both from the University’s Civil and Natural Resources
Engineering department, were awarded funds from the latest round of contestable funding.
Professor Pampanin will receive $450,000 from the “New Zealand Natural Hazards” portfolio, for his research into
residual capacity and repairing options for reinforced concrete buildings.
“This research project is aimed at gaining a better understanding and providing the main end-users and stakeholders
(practitioner engineers, owners, local and government authorities, such as Christchurch City Council and CERA, insurers
and regulatory agencies) with comprehensive evidence-based information and practical guidelines to assess the residual
capacity of damage reinforced concrete buildings and to evaluate the feasibility of repairing and thus support their
decision-making process of repair versus demolition/replacement,” he says.
“In the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake sequence, it is very clear the high socio-economical impact of such a
decision-making process, which is ultimately affecting the shape of the future Christchurch as a city as well as of New
Zealand as a country”.
Meanwhile, Dr Bradley will be co-leading a $500,000 joint-project with GNS Science from the “Lessons Learned from
Dr Bradley will work on two projects - stochastic simulation of ground motions observed in the Christchurch earthquakes
including site-specific effects and seismic site response effects on surface ground motions and ground deformations.
“The funding from NHRP will enable us to make use of the world-class data that has been collected from these events to
improve our understanding of earthquakes and the ground motions they produce and the ability to improve societal
resilience against such hazards,” he says.
“In particular, this research will lead to a detailed assessment of, and methods for simulating, the salient features of
the earthquakes and the severe ground motions that they produced. Particular attention will be given to how the soft
sediments that Christchurch resides on affected the nature of the surface ground motions.”
In announcing the funding Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce says rebuilding Christchurch is one of the
Government’s key priorities.
“I’m delighted to see such interest in the Platform, and in particular, so many excellent proposals under the Lessons
Learned from Christchurch portfolio,” Mr Joyce says.
“We saw terrible damage and loss of life during the earthquakes, so research focused on issues such as liquefaction,
seismic risks in older buildings and reinforced concrete walls will help protect New Zealand from the risk of future