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Keynote Speakers

Dr Silvia Mazzoni

Consultant and Solutions Architect, Silvia's Brainery

Title: At the Intersection of Research, Practice, and Standards in Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering: Seismic Hazard, Ground Motions, and Numerical Simulation

Dr. Silvia Mazzoni began her career in Earthquake Engineering in the late 1980s as an undergraduate student of the late Professor Nigel Priestley when she tested her first reinforced-concrete columns in the lab. Her PhD studies at UC Berkeley focused on testing of RC beam-column connections, under the supervision of Professors Jack Moehle and Steve Mahin. Right after finishing her PhD in 1997, Silvia joined the OpenSees Development team as the User-Support Manager. In this role, she wrote the OpenSees Manuals  as well as developed the curriculum for the OpenSees Days Workshops. In 2010 she joined Degenkolb Engineers in the New-Technologies group, where she developed their probabilistic seismic hazard analysis and ground-motion selection capabilities. In 2013 she joined the NGA project and developed the PEER NGA Ground-Motion Database Web Portals -- NGA-West2, NGA-East, and NGA-Subduction. In 2020 she rejoined the OpenSees Leadership Team and is also contributing as a developer. In 2020 she started Silvia's Brainery, a self-funded consulting entity providing access to live and on-line courses, as well as web applications, and provides consulting to researchers and practitioners in OpenSees application and development, as well as seismic hazard and ground motions. Silvia is now also working with the DesignSafe Applications team to improve and expand the integration of OpenSees and other applications in the DesignSafe Cyberinfrastructure.

Dr H. Kit Miyamoto

CEO and Humanitarian Coordinator, Miyamoto International

Title: Disaster Reconstruction; Turkey, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Gaza

Dr. H. Kit Miyamoto is the CEO and Humanitarian Coordinator of Miyamoto International, a global engineering and humanitarian organization with 30 locations including New Zealand on five continents. He leads with one purpose: to make the world a better, safer place. Dr. Miyamoto is a world-renowned expert in disaster and post-conflict resiliency, response, and reconstruction. He provides expert engineering and policy consultation to the World Bank, USAID, UN agencies, governments, and major corporations. He is also a California Seismic Safety Commissioner. Dr. Miyamoto holds advanced degrees from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and California State University, where he has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus. His team has won the Engineering News-Record’s Best Global Project award an unprecedented five times and the U.S. Presidential “E” award. Major media outlets such as CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, Al Jazeera, LA Times, NY Times, and Rolling Stone have profiled him. He was also featured in the “Designing for Disaster” exhibit at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C.

Professor Tiziana Rossetto

MEng MSc PhD 

Professor in Earthquake Engineering, and Vice Dean (International) for the Faculty of Engineering Sciences, University College London  

Title: Earth and Water: Research and insights into building response to earthquakes and tsunami

Professor Tiziana Rossetto is a structural engineer who is recognised for her contributions to the characterisation of building performance under natural hazards and for her multidisciplinary approach to disaster risk mitigation. Tiziana founded UCL EPICentre (www.ucl.ac.uk/epicentre), a multidisciplinary research centre that investigates risks from natural hazards to society and the built and natural environments. Through EPICentre and her research she has delivered new methods for experimental tsunami simulation, for the structural analysis of buildings subjected to earthquakes, tsunami, individually and in sequence. She has advised governments on building regulation and is active in several professional institutions. She is currently chair of the FIB working group on tsunami engineering, she is a past chair of both the UK Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT), and Society of Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics (SECED), and sits on the British Standards Institute Committee for the application of the European Seismic Code (EC8). She has participated in seven post-earthquake reconnaissance missions, and led the first earthquake reconstruction investigation mission for EEFIT. Observations from these missions have inspired much of her research. She is currently Vice Dean for International partnerships and strategy for the faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL.

Daniel Zepeda

Principal, Degenkolb Engineers

Title: California's Journey in Seismic Policy Development

Daniel Zepeda received his Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and is a licensed Structural Engineer in California and a Principal with Degenkolb Engineers.  With 20 years of experience in seismic evaluation and seismic strengthening of existing buildings, Daniel’s project breadth spans large medical centers, civic buildings, and privately owned structures. He is the co-chair of the SEAOSC EBC and past chair of SEAOC EBC.  He also serves in the SEAOSC board.  Daniel is currently helping multiple Cities in the Los Angeles area in developing their seismic ordinance programs. He also participated in the update of the latest version of ASCE 41.  Daniel has also been part multiple post-earthquake reconnaissance trips which includes him leading the 2017 SEAOSC team that visited Mexico City after their devastating earthquake. 

Invited Speakers

Nicholas Brooke

Managing Director, Compusoft Engineering

Nicholas Brooke is a structural engineer and Managing Director of Compusoft Engineering, a consulting firm based in Auckland. Nic is president of SESOC, and a past president of Concrete New Zealand Learned Society. He is a member of the reformed Joint Committee on Seismic Assessment of Existing Buildings, and in recent times he has been leading the project to update New Zealand's assessment guidance for concrete structures.

Charlotte Brown

Managing Director, Resilient Organisations Ltd.

Dr Charlotte Brown is joint Managing Director of Resilient Organisations Ltd. As a social scientist with a civil engineering background, Charlotte often works at the interface between physical and social sciences.  Charlotte’s areas of specialty include risk management, systems thinking, decision-making and organisational resilience.  

Alistair Cattanach

Director, Dunning Thornton

Alistair Cattanach is a Director of Dunning Thornton with 28 years of experience in NZ and the UK. He has a passion for the adaptive re-use of heritage buildings, sustainability, and the integration of Architecture and Engineering. He has received numerous industry awards for projects involving seismic retrofit, low-damage technologies, mass-timber and complex and structurally expressive architectural forms. He contributed to the 2017 NZSEE guidelines with particular input to the unreinforced masonry chapter, and is currently one of the SESOC representatives on the joint committee considering updates to the guidelines.

Charles Clifton

Professor of Civil Engineering, The University of Auckland

Charles Clifton graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons) in 1978 and a Master of Civil Engineering in 1979. From 1979 to 1981 he worked for a major New Zealand consulting engineering firm, (now) Beca Consultants, then from 1981 to 1983 for a joint UK/Saudi Arabian consulting engineering firm in London, RH Sanbar Consultants, Ltd.

In 1983, Charles started the Structural Division of the New Zealand Heavy Engineering Research Association (HERA). He has been an expert advisor to the National Association of Steel Framed Housing (NASH NZ) since its formation 1989 and had a leading role in establishing Steel Construction New Zealand (SCNZ) in 1994. In these roles he has undertaken a lot of research into the performance of steel structures in service and in extreme events. The outputs from all this research have been presented to the consulting engineering profession; first as design guides, starting in 1984 and then into new and revised Standards and codes of practice, from 1989. He obtained his PhD from the University of Auckland in 2005.

In 2008, he joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, specialising in structural steel and composite engineering in both heavy and light gauge steel and focusing on the performance of different types of structural steel systems in severe earthquake, severe fire and durability, with special emphasis on resilience of these buildings in severe fire and in severe earthquake.

He is a Life Member of NZSEE and SESOC and a Distinguished Fellow of Engineering New Zealand.

Charles is involved in a number of sections of the current revision of NZS 3404: 1997/2001/2007 and is the NZSEE Representative on the P3404 Committee.

Hugh Cowan

Hugh Cowan Consulting Ltd

Hugh Cowan has extensive experience of earthquake risk and recovery and of the value of research to inform learning. He advocates for making much better use of what we know, if we are to manage the challenges out there, many being at the limit of our experience and current knowledge. Hugh is a believer in diverse knowledge and experience and collaboration to address wicked problems. Hugh is from Whakatū/Nelson.

Caleb Dunne

Senior Advisor, Toka Tū Ake

Caleb Dunne is a Senior Advisor Risk Reduction and Resilience at Toka Tū Ake, focusing on natural hazard risk reduction in Aotearoa New Zealand. He leverages his past experience as a licensed engineer in California to increase resilience of the built environment through research, practice, and policy. His work aims to inform, enable, and guide choices that reduce exposure and vulnerability to natural hazard events and ultimately to improve the lives of people in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Ken Elwood

MBIE/EQC Chief Engineer (Building Resilience), University of Auckland

Prof. Ken Elwood joined the University of Auckland in July 2014 after 11 years on faculty at the University of British Columbia, Canada. He served as the inaugural Director of Te Hiranga Rū QuakeCoRE: Centre for Earthquake Resilience.

In November 2021 Ken started a multi-year secondment to the New Zealand Government to serve as the MBIE/EQC Chief Engineer (Building Resilience). Through this role, Ken champions the resilience of New Zealand’s built environment, by establishing strong stakeholder connections and promoting collaboration between relevant research, policy, and practice players.

Ken received his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002, M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1995, and BASc from the University of British Columbia in 1993.

Helen Ferner

Past President, NZSEE

Helen Ferner is a structural engineer who has worked extensively both in NZ and California over the course of her 40 year career and is the immediate past president of NZSEE. She initiated and leads the Resilient Buildings Project in 2019, a NZSEE initiative, funded by EQC Toka Tū Ake which aims to inform future NZ earthquake standards and design approaches taking into account the perspective and expectations of building users.  It has as its vision a more resilient built environment across New Zealand that better meet societal expectations.

Derek Gill

Adjunct Scholar, VUW School of Government and Research Associate, NZIER

Derek Gill is an Adjunct Scholar at the VUW School of Government and a Research Associate at NZIER. He has extensive experience as a senior public servant as well as  researching. teaching and publishing on a range of public policy and management issues including natural hazard risk. He is currently the Chair of the WorkBridge group and serving on the boards of three NGOs. 

John Hare

Managing Director, Holmes Group Ltd

John Hare is a structural engineer and Managing Director of the Holmes Group of companies.  He has worked in NZ, UK and the US, and is now based in Christchurch.  He has extensive experience in both the design of new structures and in the assessment and strengthening of existing buildings.  He has had extensive involvement with a number of Christchurch landmarks, including the Town Hall, Old Government Buildings, Arts Centre and the Christchurch Cathedral. John is a Distinguished Fellow of Engineering NZ and a Life member of both SESOC and NZSEE.

Rick Henry

Associate Professor & Deputy Head, The University of Auckland

Rick Henry is an Associate Professor and Deputy Head in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Auckland. His areas of research include the seismic design of reinforced and prestressed concrete structures, precast concrete construction, and low-damage seismic design.  Rick is a QuakeCoRE Programme Area Lead for Discipline Theme 2 – Whole of building seismic performance.  He is the current president of the Concrete NZ – Learned Society and has served as a member of the technical committee for the NZ Concrete Structures Standard (NZS 3101:2006) and is a member of ACI 318-H seismic sub-committee.  Rick is the co-lead of the External Standards issues team as part of the Seismic Risk Working Group.

Rob Jury

Chief Structural Engineer, Beca

Rob’s 45-year career with Beca has involved many areas of structural engineering and he currently holds the position of Beca’s Chief Structural Engineer. His advice is often sought on all aspects of structural and earthquake engineering and he is currently advising the New ZealandGovernment on several issues including seismic design standards for New Zealand. Over the last thirty years Rob has participated in the development of earthquake standards for New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Nepal. He acted as a key specialist in the Canterbury Earthquake Royal Commission of Enquiry and in the evidence gathering exercise related to thecollapse of the CTV Building during the Christchurch 2011 earthquake. Rob was chief editor for Guidelines for the Seismic Assessment of Existing Buildings, the document that is the basis for seismic assessments of existing buildings in New Zealand. Rob is a Life Member of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering and the New Zealand Society of Structural Engineers and is a Fellow of the NZ Institution of Professional Engineers.

Jared Keen

Technical Director, Beca

Jared Keen is a Structural Engineering Technical Director at Beca, based in their Christchurch office.  He has extensive experience working with some the world’s leading architectural practices on large scale, complex projects in the UK, Greece, Italy and Monaco.  Jared led a number of significant Christchurch Rebuild projects and has led numerous seismic assessment both in New Zealand and abroad.  His interests cover a wide range of areas, including low damage design, timber, and structural sustainability.  He is a past chair of IStructE’s New Zealand branch and has been a part of the Low Damage Seismic Design Guidelines and Te Whatu Ora’s Structural and Seismic design guidelines.

Rosalind Luxford

Senior Development Manager, Willis Bond

Ros is a Senior Development Manager with Willis Bond, based in Wellington. Ros has been involved in developments including the PwC Centre and Bell Gully Buildings, the Farmers Building strengthening and refurbishment, as well as managing Tākina. Current projects include 110 Jervois Quay and Blue Mountains Campus.

Ros studied law and arts at the University of Canterbury before working as a lawyer in Wellington and London specialising in commercial litigation. She returned to New Zealand in 2011, working briefly for Wellington City Council before joining Willis Bond in early 2013.

Gregory MacRae

Director - Structural Engineering Group, University of Canterbury

Gregory MacRae teaches structural engineering at the University of Canterbury (UC), Christchurch and is the current director of the UC structural engineering group. He worked in consulting in New Zealand, and as a researcher and lecturer in Japan, the USA, India, and China, and has given lectures on earthquake engineering in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, and Myanmar. He has been involved with earthquake reconnaissance in Kobe, Los Angeles, Nisqually and Christchurch where established the Earthquake Clearinghouse. His research, focusing on the earthquake performance of structures, has resulted in numerous publications and design guideline contributions, has influenced the construction of millions of dollars worth of buildings in New Zealand, Japan and the USA. He chaired the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Seismic Effects Committee and was associate editor for the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering. He was senior advisor to the board of the World Seismic Safety Initiative (WSSI), and QuakeCentre board member, SESOC management committee member, and NZ representative to the International Association of Earthquake Engineering. He has current editorial roles with the Journal of Earthquake Engineering and the NZSEE Bulletin. He is a member of the NZSEE management committee, a NZSEE Fellow, and he currently leads the NZ-China ROBUST Test programme.

Phoebe Moses

Carbon Navigator, Beca

Phoebe Moses is the Carbon Navigator and team lead for the Beca Sustainable Buildings team based in Tāmaki-Makaurau. In this role, she provides carbon-related advice and analysis for buildings across a wide range of sectors, with a focus on embodied carbon emissions. She has built on her past career as a chartered structural engineer to provide targeted and nuanced low-carbon design solutions, and advocates for design teams to take ownership of the carbon in their projects. With a recent Masters in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Edinburgh, she incorporates broader trends across the sustainability landscape into a holistic Environmentally Sustainable Design perspective. 

Michael Newcombe

Director, Enovate Consultants

Mike has a Masters from the European School for Earthquake Engineering and a Doctorate in the design of multi-storey timber buildings. His recent professional experience includes being a co-founding Director of Enovate, designing and reviewing numerous residential, industrial and commercial structures. While proficient with concrete and steel design, Mike is sought after as a timber technology expert by a broad range of clients and teaches timber engineering at professional seminars and Universities. Mike’s roles within Enovate includes business development, structural design and review of new residential, commercial and educational projects, and the design and development of alternative structural systems.

Stuart Oliver

Technical Development Lead, Holmes

Stuart Oliver is a structural engineer and Technical Development Lead at Holmes.  Stuart is vice president of SESOC and has with 25 years of experience working in New Zealand, Europe and California.  Project experence includes the Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct, Christ Church Cathedral, Rotterdam Zalmhaven Tower and the Christchurch Transitional Anglican Cathedral.  Stuart has contributed to the development of a number of industry standards and guidelines including the 2017 NZ Seismic Assessment Guidelines and ASCE 41-17.  Stuart is currently assisting with development of industry guidance for Low Damage Sesimic Design and for Nonlinear Response History Analysis.

Stuart Palmer

Technical Director, Tonkin + Taylor

Stuart Palmer is a Technical Director-Earthquake Foundation Engineering with Tonkin & Taylor Ltd. He is actively involved in the seismic design and assessment of buildings in collaboration with structural engineers. He was a lead author of the MBIE national guidance on “Seismic assessment of existing buildings”, section C4 “Geotechnical considerations” and is currently providing input to New Zealand’s Low Damage Seismic Design Guidance.  

Brabhaharan Pathmanathan

National Technical Leader-Director, WSP

Brabhaharan is a National Technical Leader-Director at WSP, is based in Wellington for the past 35 years, and President Elect at the NZ Society for Earthquake Engineering.

His interests are Earthquake and Geotechnical Engineering, Natural Hazards, Resilience and Sustainability. 

Matt Pattinson

LT McGuinness

Matt Pattinson works as a Design Manager for LT McGuinness, the firm he has been with since 2009.

The projects Matt has been involved in while at LT McGuinness have all been award winners including Clyde Quay Wharf, PWC's Wellington office and St Mary of the Angels. His role at St Marys was notable where along with managing the site team Matt developed a public profile as a key contributor to the church’s programme to raise funds for the strengthening and refurbishment works.

In 2015 Matt completed a Bachelor of Construction and won the Supreme Award at the NZIOB Central Chapter Student Awards & in 2019 Matt won the NZIOB young achiever award.

Matt’s role of Design Manager has him working with teams of design consultants, pre-construction and construction teams, as well as sub-contractors and suppliers. Matt has a passion for integrating the expertise of diverse teams into buildable solutions onsite. 

Colin Russell

Principal, Athfield Architects

As Principal at Athfield Architects, he is responsible for design leadership and large scale project team working.

With particular expertise in complex façade systems and seismic environments Colin works alongside specialist design, and construction, teams to achieve considered solutions in challenging situations. His work involves strategic direction and detail resolution at all levels of the construction process to deliver sensitive innovation within the context of sustainable, meaningful, architecture.

Annie Scott

Auckland Leader for Sustainable Buildings, Aurecon

Annie has a structural engineering background and is now based at Aurecon as the Auckland Leader for Sustainable Buildings. Annie is passionate about making sustainability a key focus on all new building developments as well as considering how existing buildings can be renovated and strengthened to give them a renewed purpose and extended life.  

Jan Stanway

Technical Director, WSP 

Jan Stanway has been a consulting structural engineer for 30 years working on numerous building, marine and infrastructure projects.  Jan is a national leader in the seismic design of wharves and jetties and the seismic performance of non-structural elements in various new and existing buildings including, office buildings, hotels, libraries and hospitals, and has authored and co-authored a number of publications focused on improving building and asset resilience

Jan is one of the lead authors for the BRANZ/Building Innovation Partnership (BIP) Non-Structural Elements Code of Practice which is currently being developed.  Jan is also a co-author for the seismic design of non-structural elements for the MBIE Low Damage Design Guideline and Te Whatu Ora Seismic Technical Guidelines which are currently under development. 

Claire Stevens

Senior Structural Engineer, Wellington City Council 

Claire has worked in local government primarily in the building regulatory space for the last 30 years, returning to Wellington City Council at the beginning of 2024 as a Senior Structural Engineer in the Building Compliance and Consents team.  Claire has been involved in the structural engineering review of proposed building work by the Building Consent Authority part of Council leading to the consent approval of some significant projects in Wellington region.  Claire has also had involvement in the ever-changing regulatory landscape in the earthquake prone building space since 2004.  

Jonathan Stewart

Professor, UCLA 

Jonathan P. Stewart is a Professor in the Samueli School of Engineering at UCLA. The work of his research group focuses on geotechnical earthquake engineering and engineering seismology, with emphases on seismic soil-structure interaction, earthquake ground-motion characterization, site response, seismic ground failure, and the seismic performance of earth structures. Findings from his research have been widely utilized in engineering practice, including through the National Seismic Hazard Model, produced by the U.S. Geological Survey, and various engineering guidelines documents. He maintains an active consulting practice related to seismic hazard analysis, site response, seismic performance assessment, and geotechnical engineering. His work has been recognized with best-paper awards, honorary lectures, the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, and election to the National Academy of Engineering.

Henry Tatham

Technical Director, Beca 

Henry is chartered professional engineer and has 20 years of structural engineering experience across a wide range of structures. For the last 10 years the focus of his work has been providing clients with seismic advice in relation to both existing and new buildings.  He has provided portfolio seismic advice to clients with large assets bases with a focus on sound risk management balanced against other portfolio constraints. Through this work Henry has been responsible for numerous seismic assessments of existing buildings. He has recently advised clients on issues relating to the new national seismic hazard model and how to mitigate the impacts of this when considering the design of new buildings.Henry is a member of the Joint Committee for the Seismic Assessment of Existing Buildings, a committee chaired by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment with representation from the technical societies and responsible for providing guidance on maintenance and updating of New Zealand’s seismic assessment guidelines.

Henry is a member of Engineering New Zealand, New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering and the Structural Engineering Society of New Zealand and a Chartered Professional Engineer.

Andy Thompson

Structural Engineer, Holmes NZ

Andy is a practising structural engineer with Holmes NZ’s building structures team in Auckland. He has experience delivering projects as well as in seismic assessment, risk advice and retrofit work across all the main centres and some of the regions. Andy has served on NZSEE’s management committee since 2019 and is one of NZSEE’s current representatives on the Joint Committee for the Seismic Assessment for Existing Buildings (JCSAEB). He is a member of the Standards New Zealand committee for NZS 3404 revision project. 

Mark Willard

Principal Advisor - Engineering, Ministry of Education

Mark is the Principal Advisor - Engineering at the Ministry of Education. He chairs the Ministry’s Engineering Strategy Group which provides technical leadership and oversight of the Ministry’s seismic resilience policies, technical design guidelines for new school building design and ongoing work to improve the resilience of school buildings.

John Wood

Retired Civil Engineer, Life Member and Past President of NZSEE

John Wood is a retired civil engineer.  He specialised in bridge design, structural investigation, soil-structure interaction, and earthquake engineering.  His consulting work included bridge strengthening design and peer review for the New Zealand Transport Agency and a review of the displacement-based design provisions of the Bridge Manual. He has recently published papers summarising his research on the earthquake performance of underground structures, retaining walls and highway bridges.

John is a Life Member and past President of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering. He holds post-graduate degrees in structural and civil engineering from the University of Canterbury and California Institute of Technology.

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