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Adelaide engineering students to learn about Chch quakes

Adelaide engineering students to learn about the impact of Christchurch’s earthquakes

July 9, 2014

Forty three final year engineering students from the University of Adelaide will spend two weeks in Christchurch, based at the University of Canterbury.

The Australian students will gain first-hand account of what earthquakes can do, not just to buildings but also to the city and region. They will find out how Christchurch is progressing in a business and economic sense and look at social impacts.

The aim for the Adelaide students is to realise just how important a role they will play as future engineers in providing a safe and healthy environment for people and businesses.

The exchange starts from next week and students will arrive in small groups at different times from July 14. The students will be led by Professor Mike Griffith from Adelaide’s School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering.

“Our students heading to the University of Canterbury will learn more about the impact of earthquakes as well as understand the strong relationship between the universities after the 2011 exchange of Canterbury students in Adelaide,” Professor Griffith says.

The visit will be a key part of the students’ degree course. University of Canterbury experts will give lectures and host field trips to give first-hand accounts of the broad range of technical issues faced by engineers in limiting the damage. They will learn how Christchurch people dealt with the aftermath of damage to the city.

Following the February 2011 earthquake the University of Adelaide took in 170 Canterbury students so they could continue with their studies. The Adelaide community responded, with many families offering homes for the students to stay in, and local businesses and organisations providing a range of support to make the students feel welcome. Christchurch and Adelaide are sister cities and the two universities have a special relationship.

Canterbury’ engineering Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Evans-Freeman says the Adelaide students will learn a great deal from their Christchurch visit.

“We have a great track record of engineering at Canterbury. We have a long tradition of world-leading research and success. The major revamp of all our engineering facilities is about to begin as we enter an exciting era on campus. We’re more than happy to help Adelaide, just as they were so kind to us after the earthquakes.

“Our engineer graduates are playing a vital role in the Christchurch rebuild from assisting safe building design to assistance in aerial mapping, providing ICT solutions and working with insurance companies.

“Many staff and students in UC’s Engineering College are working across a large number of varied projects in the city rebuild. We have also had significant interest from overseas students wishing to pursue an engineering degree at Canterbury.

“Our engineering is uniquely located in a city reinventing itself and our graduates and staff have all the skills required to be deeply involved in the future of the city. This is an exceptional opportunity for us and we plan to ensure our local community gains the maximum benefit.”


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