Issue 105 - June 2023

QuakeCoRE NZ Centre for Earthquake Resilience Te Hiranga Rū 

Our research programmes are advancing the science and implementation pathways of earthquake resilience through system-level science with highly integrated collaborations coordinated across the physical, engineering and social sciences and across multiple research institutions. The research is principally organised into Disciplinary Themes, Inter-disciplinary Programmes and Coordination Mechanisms.

The Disciplinary Themes collectively span the disciplinary pipeline of earthquake resilience and focus on transformative research questions in which Aotearoa New Zealand researchers have shown global leadership. 

The Inter-disciplinary Programmes bring together the diverse QuakeCoRE community through research questions that leverage New Zealand’s unique environment and challenges toward the grand challenge of an earthquake resilient New Zealand. 

The Coordination Mechanisms (Technology Megatrend Capability Areas and Regional Network Areas) accelerate the development of human capability in emerging technologies for leading-edge research and regional networks, for both illustrating the application of research and working with partners and stakeholders to implement our research into tangible resilience advances.

Disciplinary Themes

DT1 Integrated Seismic Geohazards

Advance understanding and modelling of individual earthquake-induced geohazards (ground motions, liquefaction, and slope instability), as well as unified data collection and modelling approaches to enable an integrated prediction in order to more efficiently mitigate future impacts and stimulate rapid advances in the profession.

Leaders: Brendon Bradley, Rolando Orense, Tim Stahl

DT2 Whole-of-Building Seismic Performance

Develop fundamental understanding, and methods and models for the quantification of, whole-of-building seismic performance through direct consideration of structural and non-structural component interactions, as well as advances in seismic design and assessment considering life-cycle analysis.

Leaders: Rick Henry, Santiago Pujol

DT3 Law, Planning, Economics

Investigate economic impacts of earthquakes, and create the evidence base to inform regulation for effective planning, policy and mitigation to build resilience – including whole-of-economy earthquake impact modelling, assessment of specific resilience-building legal and planning tools and processes, and behavioural ‘nudges’ to incentivize resilience.

Leaders: Ilan Noy, John Hopkins, Olga Filippova

DT4 Cultural and Social Factors Shaping Resilience

Collaboratively understand, model and improve the critical cultural and social factors determining societal resilience to earthquakes in Aotearoa New Zealand, including human responses to earthquakes, temporal and spatial variation of risk, and building an earthquake-resilient society.

Leaders: David Johnston, Caroline Orchiston

DT5 Mātauranga Māori and Earthquake Resilience

Community-led and co-designed participatory research to create and innovate mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) that will facilitate achievement of the earthquake resilience aspirations of tangata whenua. Knowledge translation of research findings will encourage increased understanding within Te Hiranga Rū QuakeCoRE, of iwi, hapū and whānau perspectives on earthquakes and disaster risk reduction.

Leaders: Anthony Hoete, Christine Kenney, Tūmanako Fa’aui

Inter-disciplinary Programmes

IP1 Functional Recovery with Repairable Multi-storey Buildings

Repair of earthquake damage is a critical component to the recovery after an earthquake disaster. After recent events, the time to return the commercial and industrial building stock to functionality has been hindered by the lack of understanding of residual capacity and repair. This programme will identify time-to-functionality targets and repairable building solutions, thus providing the underlying science to support the development of the world’s first functional recovery-based seismic design standard.

Leaders: Geoff Rodgers, Alice Chang-Richards

IP2 Thriving Residential Communities

The Canterbury earthquakes illustrated the potential for large financial losses ($16B of $40B total) and multi-year disruption to Aotearoa New Zealand’s residential sector, with significant implications on mental health and the disaster insurance market. This programme will tackle the problem of resilient housing – including effective engineering and technological solutions, land-use planning, improved insurance processes and frameworks, effective legislation, and communication and engagement strategies.

Leaders: Tim Sullivan, Julia Becker

IP3 A Resilient Aotearoa New Zealand Transport System 

A resilient transport and logistics system is critical to the ongoing and future viability of businesses and communities across the country, supporting the efficient movement of goods and people. This programme will integrate component- and system-level modelling of networks and their users, consider interaction between different transport and logistics modes, and the social and economic impacts of disruption, to inform policy and investment decisions on the transport and logistics systems of the future.

Leaders: Liam Wotherspoon, Charlotte Brown

IP4 Harnessing Disruptive Technologies for Seismic Resilience

This programme will identify how transformational (i.e. order of magnitude) advancements in Aotearoa New Zealand’s infrastructure resilience can be achieved through strategic adoption of disruptive technologies, via government and market-led initiatives. A central hypothesis is that rapid adoption of several disruptive technologies (e.g. distributed solar power) will result in a significantly greater resilience gain than the conventional wisdom of incremental investment to improve existing asset classes (e.g. centralized transmission networks). 

Leaders: Nirmal Nair, Garry McDonald

Technology Megatrend Capability Areas 

Research technologies provide a platform upon which leading-edge research can be undertaken. Our Capability Areas will accelerate the depth and extent of adoption by researchers in the Disciplinary Themes and Interdisciplinary Programmes, and thus harness their transformative potential toward the earthquake resilience mission. 

The four Technology Megatrend Capability Areas are: 

  • TM1 Computational Science 
  • TM2 Sensing and Monitoring 
  • TM3 Machine Learning 
  • TM4 Materials Science and Manufacturing

Regional Network Areas

The Regional Network Areas act as a focal point to provide contextual relevance and rapid embedding of research solutions. They provide a pathway for the application of our research and the collaboration with partners and stakeholders to translate research outcomes into tangible advances in earthquake resilience.

The five Regional Network Areas are: 

  • RN1 Alpine Fault (South Island-wide) 
  • RN2 Auckland 
  • RN3 Wellington 
  • RN4 South Pacific 
  • RN5 Hikurangi subduction zone (North Island-wide)

More information on QuakeCore can be found at

Tags : #earthquake resilience

Issue 105 - June 2023, NZ Geomechanics News
Issue 105 - June 2023, NZ Geomechanics News
New Zealand
Project News / Case Study

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