Dr Megan Boston

Megan Boston

Lecturer in Civil Engineering

Qualifications: PhD, MSE, MS, BS

About Megan

Megan completed her PhD in 2017 from The Johns Hopkins University, (Thesis: Building Resilience Through Design: Improving Post-Earthquake Hospital Functionality). Prior to completing her PhD, Megan completed her BS and MS in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University with a Master Thesis on seismic steel design (Thesis: Reducing Residual Drift in Buckling Restrained Braced Frames Using Gravity Columns as Part of a Duel System). Prior to joining the University of Waikato, Megan was an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Southern Utah University (2017-2018).

Megan joined the University of Waikato in 2018 and contributes to many of the civil engineering courses. in 2020, Megan received the HECS (Health, Engineering, Computing, and Science) Divisional Teaching Excellence Award.

Papers Taught

Research Supervised

Research Interests

Megan's research area is structural engineering focusing on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. She investigates how buildings respond to natural disasters in terms of physical damages, and how the organizations in the buildings fair with the damage. In addition, work focuses on identifying or predicting potential damages and organisational outages and creating effective methods to quantify the damage and recovery in terms of safety and downtime.

Megan's research is interdisciplinary combining structural engineering, public health and sociology, risk analysis, probability, and structural analysis to analyse and predict damages to buildings and the subsequent impacts on society. The goal of Megan's research is to improve disaster preparedness and create resilient communities.

Current and ongoing research includes:

Hospital Resilience Functionality Matrix: Investigating impacts of structural and non-structural damage to a hospital's business continuity and operations. Creating a functional matrix that related physical damage to operational functionality that can be used to predict future outages and be used in real-time for determining capacity and safety of building use immediately after a shock event.

Resilience: Establishing an interdisciplinary understanding of resilience that mixes engineering resilience (robustness and resistance) with social and ecological resilience  (adaptability and transformation) to create a uniform framework for quantifying and applying resilience attributes across various communities. This research involves gathering information across disciplines, cultures, and history to develop a holistic, comprehensive, and universal application for resilience.

Agent-Based Modeling: Utilizing agent-based modeling with disaster risk reduction. Combining properties of the built environment with social and human behaviour to create effective methods of city evacuation and disaster response recovery.

Engineering Education: Improving the delivery of engineering education utilizing active and project-based learning. Incorporating blended e-leanring.

Recent Publications

  • Mayer, B., & Boston, M. (2022). Advancing NZ hospital seismic readiness: creating a post-earthquake functionality dashboard. In Proceedings of the 2022 New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Annual Technical Conference.

  • Li, L., Chang-Richards, A., Boston, M., & Elwood, K. (2022). Seismic resilience vs. Functional recovery of buildings: A critical review. In Proceedings of the 2022 New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Annual Technical Conference. Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering.

  • Boston, M., Flintoft, E., & Bertram, D. (2022). Integrating Maori perspectives into community resilience frameworks for the built environment. In Proceedings of the 2022 New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Annual Technical Conference. Wellington: New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering.

  • Mayer, B., & Boston, M. (2021). Quantifying functionality of buildings to natural hazards. Poster session presented at the meeting of 2021 QuakeCore Annual Meeting.

Find more research publications by Megan Boston


Risk analysis, structural engineering, resilience, earthquake engineering, hazard mitigation, disaster risk reduction, critical infrastructure

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: DE.2.01
Phone: +64 7 837 9459