New Field Research Engineer joins Technology Platform 2

QuakeCoRE researchers leverage Chinese partnership to access world-class engineering facilities
June 22, 2018
QuakeCoRE Seminar – 10 August 2018
July 10, 2018

Field Research Engineer Andrew Stolte will join QuakeCoRE on 12th July to support Technology Platform 2 (TP2), which focuses on experimental field testing and monitoring. Andrew’s expertise in in-situ geotechnical site characterization, near-surface seismic testing and instrumentation will feed into the development of all TP2’s focus areas.

Andrew comes to QuakeCoRE from the University of Texas at Austin, where he completed a PhD on the refinement and application of the direct-push crosshole (DPCH) testing method. DPCH is an invasive, seismic geophysical testing method used to evaluate the stiffness and degree of saturation of near-surface soft-soils with the aim to understand how local site conditions affect the characteristics of earthquake shaking.

DPCH testing is conducted by generating seismic waves, either on the surface or in the ground, which are then propagated between a pair of instrumented cones initially placed 1.5 to 2.5 meters horizontally apart at the ground surface. These cones are simultaneously pushed into the ground to uniform, pre-determined measurement depths, typically at depth intervals ranging from 0.2 to 0.5 meters. These measurements provide a detailed understanding of the soil profile to help assess the impact of soil stiffness on liquefaction and site amplification.

As part of this work, Andrew conducted DPCH testing at many sites throughout New Zealand with his advisor Dr Brady Cox at the University of Texas at Austin and Technology Platform 2’s leader, Dr Liam Wotherspoon.

Other research projects in New Zealand that Andrew has been involved with include deep velocity profiling at CentrePort in Wellington, and the development of a liquefaction case history dataset from the 1931 Napier Earthquake. He has also undertaken research as far afield as Ecuador, France, Italy, California, Tennessee, and Washington.

Liam says, “Andrew is going to be an invaluable member of the QuakeCoRE team, with expertise that cuts across TP2, as well as feeding into the other Technology Platforms and Flagships 1 and 2. He will further strengthen our existing links with U.S. institutions, especially the University of Texas at Austin and the National Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) Community. We are looking forward to getting him involved across a range of projects and further developing the TP2 capabilities.”

Andrew grew up in Nevada, where he developed a deep love for the desert, mountains, and forests and he is looking forward to exploring New Zealand’s outdoors. He also enjoys cooking, reading, playing board games, walking, hiking, and getting lost on road trips. Welcome Andrew!

Dr Liam Wotherspoon will be speaking about Technology Platform 2’s activities at 10am on 13th July at the University of Auckland. You can also view the seminar online. Click here for more information.

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