You are here

Fulbright-EQC Award recipient to study seismic performance of high-rise walls

Fulbright New Zealand and the Earthquake Commission (EQC) congratulate Alex Shegay on being the recipient of the 2016 Fulbright-EQC Graduate Award in Natural Disaster Research.
Mr Shegay, 24, is soon heading to the University of Washington on his exchange.

In the US, he will research the seismic performance of high-rise structural walls and use experimental data to create validated computer models. The research will go towards his PhD in Structural/Earthquake Engineering at The University of Auckland.

Mr Shegay will be collaborating with leading researchers in the modelling field to create models that can then be used to cover a broad range of design variables. “My goal is to bring this knowledge back to New Zealand. I am most looking forward to meeting new friends both in and outside of my study. I think there is nothing more fascinating than sharing culture,” Mr Shegay says.

Relationship building and knowledge sharing are cornerstones of the Fulbright exchange programme. “Fulbright exchanges grantees form life-long connections while on their exchanges, deepening the relationship between New Zealand and the United States,” Fulbright New Zealand Executive Director Penelope Borland says.

“The Fulbright-EQC Graduate Award in Natural Disaster Research facilitates research that reduces and prevents natural disaster damage. We received a number of high calibre applicants for this award and Alex’s was particularly outstanding. We wish him a wonderful exchange experience personally, professionally and academically.”

“EQC is very pleased to be supporting Alex through the Fulbright-EQC Graduate Award in Natural Disaster Research. His research, fuelled by a desire to find ways to improve building design and construction practice, is topical and will be of great value to New Zealand,” EQC Chief Executive Ian Simpson says.  “A vital part of managing hazard risk in New Zealand is to ensure we have top quality researchers and academics who can help us to better understand natural hazards and ways to reduce their damaging impacts. Our support for this prestigious award is one way we can do this.”

Alex Shegay is the eighth recipient of the Fulbright-EQC Graduate Award in Natural Disaster Research, which is jointly funded by Fulbright New Zealand and EQC. It is for a promising New Zealand graduate student to undertake postgraduate study or research at a US university in the area of natural disaster research. One award valued at up to US$31,000 (plus $4,000 travel funding) is granted each year, towards one year of study or research in the US.

Along with providing natural disaster insurance for residential homes, land and contents, EQC also has education and research as important statutory functions. EQC is one of New Zealand’s largest funders of natural hazard research. Each year the organisation contributes around NZ$17.5 million towards education and high quality research that builds knowledge about NZ’s natural disasters and ways to reduce damage resulting from such events. The Fulbright-EQC Graduate Award in Natural Disaster Research is one such example. A significant portion of our research funding also goes towards New Zealand’s geological hazard monitoring system, GeoNet.

Page last updated: