Café Scientifique to discuss lessons from the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence

12 June 2014

Dr Barry Davidson

Café Scientifique: Dr Barry Davidson.

Tauranga’s June Café Scientifique will explore what scientists have learnt from the 2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence, the ramifications of which continue to be felt across the country today.

The event changed the way we think about our homes and the structures around them. As a result, insurance premiums have increased, tenants are insisting their offices must have high ‘%NBS’ (New Building Standard), and words like ‘liquefaction’ and ‘lateral spreading’ – once the vocabulary of engineers and scientists – are now in common use. Where do we go from here? What lessons have been learnt? Will New Zealanders be safer from earthquakes in the future?

Reviewing the damage

Dr Barry Davidson, Director of Auckland company Compusoft Engineering, will review the Christchurch damage, its causes and the implications for everyone in New Zealand. He will describe current structural seismic design philosophies, and the shortcomings of these approaches, and will review some modern technologies that are expected to lessen the impact of the next ‘big one’.

Dr Davidson has more than 30 years’ technical engineering experience and has been actively involved in the analysis and design of most structural forms, including high rise buildings, bridges, concrete arch dams, offshore gas platforms and hyperbolic cooling towers. He has conducted extensive research in the field of seismic isolation and is involved in developing industry standards for earthquake engineering design.

Background in structural engineering

Dr Davidson was also a Senior Lecturer in Structural Engineering at the University of Auckland and is a past president of the Structural Engineering Society of New Zealand. Compusoft Engineering has been actively engaged in reviewing the seismic performance of the buildings of Christchurch following the Canterbury earthquakes and was part of the review team working for the Royal Commission of Enquiry into the collapse of the CTV building.

Supported by the University of Waikato, Café Scientifique is a forum for discussing science issues, where anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. The next Café will take place on Monday 23 June, 6.30pm for 7.00pm start at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Sulphur Point, Tauranga. Entry is $5.00 and refreshments are provided. For more information please visit: or email [email protected]

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