Kiwi team take centre stage at World-leading geotechnical earthquake conference

Kiwi team take centre stage at World-leading geotechnical earthquake conference
A large hole that opened up in central Christchurch during the February 2011 earthquake

Tonkin + Taylor’s (T+T) earthquake specialists are heading for Vancouver. They have been invited to share their expertise with an international community of geo-professionals, who are working to advance performance-based design practices for geotechnical earthquake engineering.

Dr Sjoerd van Ballegooy led the geotechnical response to the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence from 2010 and the initial Kaikōura earthquake reconnaissance in November 2016. He then set up a data sharing platform and made it available to the NZ Government to inform its response.

Sjoerd's development of the Canterbury Geotechnical Database - an open source, cloud-based platform to upload, download and share geotechnical investigation data - has won national and international accolades. He believes that PBD-III will provide a valuable opportunity for his team to present and discuss their own case studies and practice-oriented papers, recent research findings and innovative technologies.

"Going to the conference gives us a chance to participate, contribute, learn from and collaborate with other engineers working in the field of geotechnical earthquake engineering," he says.

Geotech James Russell is equally enthusiastic at the prospect of attending PBD-III, saying: “the T+T team has done some great work in the field of geotechnical earthquake engineering and I’m really excited to be able to share what we’ve learnt with an international audience.

“There is also plenty to learn from the experiences of others living in countries with similar seismic challenges to those faced in New Zealand,” he says.

Also heading to Vancouver is award-winning resilience engineer, Virginie Lacrosse. Virginie is “very excited” to get the opportunity to head overseas to share the new approach her team has developed, over the last 12 months, to mapping liquefaction hazards".

“I can see most of the concepts being applicable in other seismically active countries, particularly the west coast of the USA, so I’m looking forward to engaging in some thorough discussions with other conference attendees,” she says.

Recent doctoral graduate, Luke Storie is "stoked" to be presenting his paper on the methodology T+T developed to map liquefaction severity: "It's awesome to be presenting in front of the World's leading geotechnical engineers on an important issue we have thrown everything at over the last six years".

The PBD-III Conference, which will take place from July 16-19, has been organised by the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering - Technical Committee TC203 on Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Associated Problems.

T+T is delighted to be a Platinum Sponsor for the 3rd International Conference on Performance-based Design in Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering (PBD-III) in Vancouver, Canada.

If you are interested in working for T+T as an earthquake engineer, take a look at the Geotechnical positions we are currently recruiting for here.

To read more about the specialists presenting at PBD-III, clink on the links below

Sjoerd van Ballegooy

James Russell

Virginie Lacrosse

Luke Storie