EQC supports Auckland students to attend world earthquake conference

Five Auckland University earthquake engineering students are amongst a group of post-graduate students and practitioners from New Zealand who will be attending the World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (16WCEE) in Chile this January.

EQC and the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE) are jointly sponsoring the attendance of 10 post-graduate students and four industry representatives to the conference.

Pictured left to right: University of Auckland post-graduate students Haozhi Tan, Mehdi Sarrafzadeh, Yiqiu Lu, Kai Marder and Behnam Zaboli who will attend 16WCEE thanks to sponsorship from EQC and NZSEE.

EQC’s Research Strategy and Investment Manager Richard Smith says the sponsorship goes partway to supporting their attendance at the conference, which is the preeminent gathering of engineers involved in seismic resistant design.

“WCEE is to earthquake engineers what the Olympics are to sport. This opportunity gives these students exposure to ideas and knowledge from around the globe as well as the chance to forge international connections that will be of value to their research and to New Zealand.

“EQC plays an important role in funding and facilitating research about natural hazard risk. Part of that is making sure we have researchers within New Zealand who have the capability to undertake that research.”

Those international connections are one of the things Auckland University PHD student Kai Marder is looking forward to. “It’s an invaluable opportunity to make connections with other people working in earthquake engineering.

“I’m looking at post-earthquake assessment for concrete buildings – how can we know they are safe and what needs to be done to make them safe. There are a number of people in the US and Japan doing very similar work, developing guidelines for assessment. And while I’ve had some “virtual” contact with them, it will be great to meet them face to face and have a real discussion and exchange ideas.”

NZSEE’s Executive Officer Win Clarke says the society has welcomed the opportunity to work with EQC to ensure New Zealand has representatives at the 16WCEE. “Providing these engineering students and practitioners the opportunity to advance their understanding of earthquake engineering and to bring that new knowledge back to New Zealand is another step in our quest for a more resilient society.”

WCEE is held every four years and provides attendees with the opportunity for a global exchange of knowledge, ideas, research results and practical experience. The students attending are from the Universities of Auckland and Canterbury.

For more information, see: http://www.16wcee.com/.

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