Mikias Yohannes - Q&A

Mikias Yohannes - Q&A

Get ready to expand your knowledge in earthquake engineering with the upcoming NZSEE conference. Starting on the 19th of April, the conference features New Zealand's leading experts in the field.

As a country prone to natural disasters, including seismic events, it's vital to keep up with the latest advancements and solutions that can keep our communities safe.

We're excited to announce that Mikias Yohannes, a senior geotechnical engineer from T+T, will be speaking at the conference.

In our conversation with Mikias, he gave us a glimpse of his research and shared his vision for a more resilient future in Aotearoa.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn from his insights and join the discussion on the future of earthquake engineering in New Zealand.


You’re speaking at the NZSEE conference, tell us about your topic and what your presentation will cover? 

Yes, I will be attending the conference and I will be presenting on the topic “Seismic design of an XblocPlus revetment using a multi-model approach.” I will also present a poster titled “Examples of ground improvement applications for earthquake design.”


How does the seismic design of an XblocPlus revetment differ from other types of resilient coastal structures? What specific advantages does this design have? 

XblocPlus are pattern placed concrete armour units. The design approach is therefore different from the traditional rock armour revetments, where the sized armour units are placed randomly.

Several reasons drove the choice of XblocPlus for this specific application. These included limited availability of suitable rock for armoring, reduced coastal occupation as a result of using the units and other benefits such as improved sustainability and reduced construction programme.

What were the biggest challenges that you encountered during the design process? How did you address them? 

The design approach that was followed was a collaborative approach between several disciplines. Several virtual and physical modelling was undertaken to understand how the assets would behave under design loading conditions. Although challenging at times, the multi-model design approach that was followed was of particular benefit to the project.

How does this relate back to the conference theme of ‘Facing the Seismic Challenge’?  

As the project is located in the Te Whanganui-a-Tara, seismic resilience is a key aspect of design. The design process included design and performance assessment of the revetment during different design seismic events.

How will this help the Earthquake Engineering field and benefit our communities? 

In addition to demonstrating how modern digital tools can be incorporated into our design processes, it was a showcase of multi-discipline collaboration success. 

The solution will provide improved resilience to the shared path users and users of the existing transport corridor.