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UC Launches Special PG Earthquake Engineering Courses

UC Launches Special Postgraduate Earthquake Engineering Courses To Help In The Rebuild

January 29, 2013

To help with the Christchurch rebuild, the University of Canterbury (UC) will offer specialised training in earthquake engineering as postgraduate degrees starting next month.

UC has long been recognised as a leading institution in engineering. The introduction of the masters and PhD earthquake engineering courses has been welcomed by John Hare, the president of the Structural Engineering Society of New Zealand.

``Over the years UC has consistently produced graduates with a great grounding in seismic engineering. Those who have gone on to complete post-graduate studies have been able to further advance their knowledge in key areas,’’ Hare said today.

``These engineers have stood out, not just in New Zealand, but on the world stage. We have enjoyed a long term relationship with UC and it is no coincidence that the majority of our engineers and leaders are UC graduates.

``The need for good earthquake engineers is increasing in the rebuild and UC’s role in training new graduates or up-skilling immigrant engineers will be a significant factor in the long term success of the recovery,’’ said Hare, who is a senior director of Holmes Consulting Group , the largest specialist structural engineering consultancy in New Zealand.

The UC earthquake engineering courses and research projects are being delivered in high intensity, short duration, block-mode in order to cater for both full-time students and engineers in industry wishing to up-skill.

The courses will cover topics from the mechanics of how earthquakes occur through to the damage that ground shaking, liquefaction and rockfalls cause to structures and infrastructure and the associated economic costs and social disruption.

UC senior lecturer Dr Brendon Bradley, who led the development of the qualifications, said the earthquakes have underlined that in order to reduce earthquake damage and minimise impacts, the civil engineering profession needs specialised training in earthquake engineering.

``The block-mode courses have already begun attracting significant interest from practising engineers looking to up-skill as a result of the complex problems that are required to be solved in the aftermath of the earthquakes.’’

UC Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr said the new courses were one of the many ways that UC was able to make a contribution to the renewal of Christchurch.

``To be feeding back world-class research into post-graduate qualifications promptly is a credit to our staff and clear evidence of why New Zealand needs to sustain its investment in capability, not just in response to emergencies and immediate needs but across a wide range of disciplines and over long periods of time,’’ he said.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UC’s College of Engineering Professor Jan Evans-Freeman said the new qualifications were ``an exciting and timely opportunity to build on the significant research capability that our department has in earthquake engineering in order to offer targeted training for continuing students and industry personnel wishing to develop their expertise’’.


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