QuakeCoRE Rebid: Research Areas

QuakeCraft is showcased at the 2019 FabLab Conference
August 4, 2019
Te Hiranga Rū QuakeCoRE doctoral research models earthquake hazards and risks for Dunedin
August 13, 2019

We are continuing to develop the research structure and topics that will form the central part of the Te Hiranga Rū QuakeCoRE rebid; two key components of the research structure will be Themes/Disciplinary Focus Areas and Integrative Programmes/Grand Challenges. Themes are ‘narrow and deep’ research areas that are located at different points along the earthquake resilience pathway and focus on transformative research questions in which Aotearoa New Zealand has shown global leadership. Our Integrative Programmes are multidisciplinary research areas that leverage Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique situation and challenges to advance earthquake science.

Two coordination mechanisms will further develop technical capabilities and improve the translation of research to impact. Regional network areas will enable aggregation in particular geographical areas (e.g. the South Island/Alpine Fault, or Wellington) to provide contextual relevance and rapid embedding of research solutions into tangible advances in earthquake resilience. Technology megatrend areas will develop the human capability necessary for early adoption and leverage of global megatrends to accelerate earthquake resilience.

Summaries of each of the five Themes and four Integrative Programmes can be found below. Note that the titles are working titles.


T1: Mātauranga Māori and Earthquake Resilience

Key contacts/Authors: Christine Kenney, Wendy Saunders & David Johnston

Primary/Key researchers: TBC

This co-designed research area will harness unique Mātauranga (knowledge) for earthquake resilience to understand whanau, rūnanga ad iwi perspectives on earthquakes and preparedness, and produce new earthquake hazard management tools and iwi development strategies. Research objectives will be assessed with Māoritanga representation to ensure Mātauranga Māori components are realistic, achievable and equitable. Researchers will also leverage their knowledge to embed Vision Mātauranga principles and outcomes withing the other research programmes.

T2:Cultural and Social Factors Shaping Resilience

Key contacts/Authors: David Johnston & Caroline Orchiston

Primary/Key researchers: Julia Becker, Nick Horspool, Katharina Naswall, John McClure, Douglas Paton, Emma Hudson-Doyle, Anna Brown

The aim of this research area is to collaboratively understand, model and improve the critical cultural and social factors determining societal resilience to earthquakes and other hazards in Aotearoa New Zealand. The area is divided in three strands: (1) Human responses to earthquakes; (2) Temporal and spatial variation of earthquake risk; and (3) Building an earthquake resilient nation. The Human responses to earthquakes strand aims to build on current knowledge to investigate human behaviour immediately prior to and during earthquake shaking. The temporal and spatial variation of earthquake risk theme is focused around understanding how people interpret earthquake risks and respond to those risks which is vital for developing any strategy for earthquake risk reduction, including for building safety. The third strand aims to evaluate the impact and uptake of recent hazard-focussed resilience-building initiatives, with a view to developing best practice tools to inform future resilience-building efforts.

T3: Economics and Seismic Policy Settings

Key contacts/Authors: Ilan Noy & John Hopkins

Primary/Key researchers: Gary McDonald, Tim Sullivan, Ilan Noy, Olga Filippova, Eberhard Feess, Anita Wreford, John Hopkins, Toni Collins, Wendy Saunders, Jeroen van der Heijden

We aim to investigate the economic impacts of earthquakes, and consequently to create the evidence base to inform how mitigation can most effectively reduce these impacts and build resilience. To do this, work will occur in five linked strands: (1) Whole-of-economy modelling of simulated earthquakes; (2) Statistical assessment of earthquake impacts at various spatial scales; (2) assessment of specific resilience-building tools and processes; (3) infrastructure-specific loss modelling; (4) using behavioural ‘nudges’ to incentivize resilience; and (5) comparative assessments of legal and planning tools for resilience.

T4: Whole-of-Building Seismic Performance

Key contacts/Authors: Rick Henry & Santiago Pujol

Primary/Key researchers: Santiago Pujol, Rick Henry, Ken Elwood, Greg MacRae, G. Charles Clifton, Minghao Li, Pierre Quenneville, Jason Ingham, Dmytro Dizhur, Tim Sullivan, Rajesh Dhakal, Reagan Chandramohan

Simplification of building systems during design often leads to components being considered in isolation without fully accounting for interaction between components and performance of the building as a whole.  As engineers strive to design more resilient and repairable buildings there is a greater need to consider the building as an entire holistic system in order to ensure that appropriate performance objectives can be met across a range of hazard levels.  The disciplinary focus area will consider whole of building performance from a structural engineering focus and include two key strands: 1) Whole of building:  Consideration of structural-to-structural and non-structural component interactions focusing on interaction between vertical and horizontal structural systems, diaphragm demands and behaviour due to system interactions, and non-structural component demands. 2) Whole of life design:  Consideration of performance objectives and all limit states (SLS, ULS, MCE) and costs associated with damage to various components (structural and non-structural).

T5: Integrated Seismic  Geohazards

Key contacts/Authors: Brendon Bradley & Rolando Orense

Primary/Key researchers: Chris McGann, Liam Wotherspoon, Misko Cubrinovski, Gabriele Chiaro, Clark Fenton, Chris Massey

Earthquake-induced ground motions, liquefaction, and slope instability are the principal geohazards causing damage and disruption to the built and natural environments. Recent Aotearoa New Zealand earthquakes (e.g. 2010/2011 Canterbury, 2016 Kaikōura) have aptly illustrated: the significant ground motions and near-surface amplifications that are possible in the basins that Aotearoa New Zealand’s urban areas often reside on; extensive liquefaction of land and damage to residential areas in Christchurch, and port facilities in Wellington; and landslides and slope instability along State Highway 1 on the Kaikōura coastline causing closure for over 1 year. This disciplinary focus area will pursue advances in understanding and modelling these geohazards individually, as well as unified data collection and modelling approaches to enable an integrated prediction in order to more efficiently mitigate future impacts.

Integrative Programmes

IP1: Thriving Residential Communities

Key contacts/Authors: Julia Becker & Tim Sullivan

Primary/Key researchers: Tim Sullivan, Minghao Li, Alessandro Palermo, David Carradine, Jason Ingham, Gabriele Chiaro,  Wendy Saunders, Toni Collins, John Hopkins, Julia Becker, David Johnston 

Considering the large financial losses that the Canterbury Earthquakes caused to the residential sector and the disruption this caused to our community for the years following, it is apparent that more resilient housing is required. This is particularly urgent given Aotearoa New Zealand’s on-going efforts to increase the construction of new houses. Consequently, this Integrative Programme plans to tackle the problem of resilient housing, working towards improvements to (i) existing housing, (ii) new single-dwelling households and (iii) new medium-density housing solutions. A number of challenges need to be addressed in order to achieve more resilient homes, with overall objectives being to identify effective engineering and technological solutions, improved insurance processes and frameworks, effective legislation, and communication and engagement strategies to enable resilient homes for all parts of society.

IP2: Functional Recovery with Repairable Buildings

Key contacts: Ken Elwood, Alice Chang-Richards & Geoff Rodgers

Primary/Key researchers: Geoff Rogers, Rajesh Dhakal, Alessandro Palermo, G. Charles Clifton, Pierre Quenneville,  Ken Elwood, Rick Henry, Santiago Pujol, Giuseppe Lopocaro, Alice Chang-Richards, John McClure, Julia Becker

Our vision: Communities that can rapidly return to function through assessment and repair of buildings after strong earthquakes.  We will achieve this vision by raising the bar with a focus on functional recovery in the design of buildings. Functional recovery is truly multidisciplinary and requires engagement with our communities to understand and respond to their recovery needs.  Repair of earthquake damage is a critical component to the recovery of a community after an earthquake disaster.  After recent events, the time to return the building stock to functionality has been hindered by the lack of understanding of residual capacity and repair. Through integration of social science, economics and engineering, this Integrative Programme will seek to identify time-to-functionality targets and repairable building solutions integrated into the world’s first functional recovery building design provisions.     

IP3: Future Transport and Logistics Systems

Key contacts/Authors: Liam Wotherspoon & Charlotte Brown

Primary/Key researchers: Seosomeh Costello, Joanna Fountain, Nirmal Nair, Conrad Zorn, Cécile L’hermitte, Thomas Wilson, Caroline Orchiston

A resilient transport system is critical to the ongoing and future viability of businesses and communities across the country, supporting the efficient movement of goods and people. This requires an understanding of the hazards affecting the functionality of specific components, of the wider networks and their users. Consideration of the interaction between different transport modes and the social and economic impacts of disruption is also required. A key challenge is how these can be combined to provide quantifiable measures of system resilience, which will, in turn, inform policy and investment decisions to improve the transport system in the future.

IP4: Harnessing Disruptive  Technologies

Key contacts/Authors: Nirmal Nair & Garry McDonald

Primary/Key researchers: Brendon Bradley, Liam Wotherspoon, Emily Harvey, Nicola Smith, Thomas Wilson, Caroline Orchiston

This research seeks to identify how transformational (i.e. order of magnitude) advancements in Aotearoa New Zealand’s infrastructure resilience can be achieved through strategic adoption of disruptive technologies, via government and market-led initiatives. A central hypothesis is that rapid adoption of several disruptive technologies will result in a significantly greater resilience gain than the conventional wisdom of incremental investment to improve existing asset classes.  Through the integration of science, engineering, and socio-economic disciplines we will:

  1. advance and integrate physics-based methods of earthquake ground motion, liquefaction, and landslide prediction with infrastructure network and interdependency modelling in direct partnership with infrastructure utilities – enabling prediction of infrastructure impacts with high spatial resolution, accuracy and precision;
  2. use novel approaches to capture economic behaviour when disruptive technologies change the business-as-usual structure of the economy, and incorporate wellbeing indicators into socio-economic models;
  3. consider adoption pathways for several disruptive technologies, including the temporal rates and depth of penetration, to provide insight into the resilience gains (and potential pitfalls) of such technology adoption; AND
  4. determine public and private drivers, and the role of incentives, for the optimal and intentional adoption of disruptive technologies relevant to improved infrastructure disaster resilience in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Comments are closed.