Tag Archives: Academic Staff

Celebrating Fresh Thinking: Professorial Lecture Series

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academe made by Professor Pavel Castka and Professor Tom Cochrane in the next presentation in the Professorial Lecture Series for 2019.

Date:               Thursday, 6 June, from 4.30 – 6.00 p.m.

Location:        E14 – Engineering Core

I encourage all staff and postgraduate students to attend this lecture, to actively support our new Professors, and take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the university we may be less familiar with.

Presentation details:

 “Universal Language of the Future? Addressing business challenges through international standards” – Presented by Professor Pavel Castka, Department of Management, Marketing & Entrepreneurship

 How can businesses address social and environmental issues – such as climate change, social responsibility, poverty or child labour – in a vastly diverse world with different opinions on these issues?  Is there a common platform or universal language that can facilitate the interaction between businesses across the world – enabling addressing of these challenges as well as challenges of everyday cooperation of firms in global supply chains?

In this inaugural professorial lecture, I will build on research at UC as well as my involvement with international standard setting NGOs – including International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – and discuss the status quo as well as future challenges of standards setting, adoption and control mechanisms that ensure consistency of international standards across the globe. The lecture is designed for a diverse audience that is interested in social and environmental issues as well as in the generic matters of cooperation in international business – inclusive of non-academic audience such as business leaders or social activists. The lecture provides an insight into the exciting world of international standards, potentially the universal language of the future.

 

Food–energy–water nexus in the Mekong” – Presented by Professor Tom Cochrane, Department of Civil & Natural Resources Engineering

 The Mekong basin in Southeast Asia is undergoing rapid development.  Basin wide water infrastructure development (hydropower/irrigation), climate change and land-use change are causes for concern due to potential impacts on highly valued fisheries, agriculture, and natural ecosystems. Extensive water, sediment and nutrient modelling and analyses were thus conducted to understand the food-energy-water nexus in the basin and assess future threats and evaluate alternative pathways. Results show that recent development of flood protection dykes, as well as sea level rise and land subsidence pose a major threat to the long term sustainability of the Mekong Delta. Future adaptation and mitigation strategies should include optimal operation of water infrastructure (hydropower, dykes, and irrigation systems) to reduce hydrological and sediment changes, reduction in groundwater pumping, water storage management, sea level rise protection infrastructure, land reclamation, enhancement of coastal and in-stream habitats, and others.  A single solution is not sufficient for this complex basin; multiple mitigation initiatives are necessary through transboundary communication and coordination. The analysis and methods, as well as the lessons learnt in this research can be translated to other river systems around the world undergoing rapid development and climatic threats.

Professor Ian Wright

Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua

There is a Staff Intranet Specifically For You

Did you know there is a staff intranet for you, depending on your type of role? Have a look at it, because there are a lot of links that you will probably find useful.

Open the UC Intranet Home page, look in the top left corner, and go from there.

To find the UC Intranet Home page:
1. Go to https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/
2. Scroll down to the bottom right corner (tap the End key on your keyboard to go straight there)
3. Click Intranet (Staff)

The Technology Information for Staff website also has links to the information that you are likely to need regularly at the University of Canterbury.


For great time-saving tips, look up our Archive of Tech Tips or look through the Technology Information for Staff website.

Was this tip helpful to you? Anything else you want to know? Please leave a comment below.

You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.

Black Flu – Why should we remember the 1918 influenza pandemic in New Zealand?

A century on, the lessons of the 1918 influenza pandemic could help New Zealand plan for a future pandemic, according to UC Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Rice. In this UC Connect video he shares insights into the pandemic and discusses the risk of another major influenza pandemic is even greater now, thanks to international jet travel.

 

New Zealand Geotechnical Society Geomechanics Award

Congratulations to Chris McGann for recently being awarded the New Zealand Geotechnical Society Geomechanics Award. He led a paper “Development of an empirical correlation for predicting shear wave velocity of Christchurch soils from cone penetration test data,” (published in Soil Dynamics & Earthquake Engineering, 75, 66-75, 2015) . The paper was authored with Brendon A. Bradley (University of Canterbury); Merrick L. Taylor (Arup); Liam M. Wotherspoon (University of Auckland); and Misko Cubrinovski (University of Canterbury).

We decided to dig deeper and while we felt we had experienced a fair amount of soil looseness since 2011, decided  to start with a more scientific understanding the importance of ‘soil stiffness’. 

Why is understanding ‘soil stiffness’ important when it comes to understanding how the earth shakes and moves.

The magnitude and distribution of stiffness in the soil profile below a site plays a critical role in how earthquake ground motions coming from the underlying bedrock are amplified or de-amplified at the ground surface. In terms of magnitude, softer soils will tend to amplify lower frequency parts of the motion, while stiffer soils will amplify higher frequencies. In terms of distribution, the presence of large abrupt changes in stiffness between layers will also strongly influence the site effects. The shear wave velocity profile of a site provides the information necessary to account for these site specific effects in engineering analysis as shear wave velocity is directly proportional to small strain shear stiffness.

There’s an unprecedented dataset in the Christchurch region and this is a low-cost experimental method – in what way is this important globally? Who would be interested in this, and in what parts of the world?

The correlation between cone penetration test (CPT) data and shear wave velocity developed in this work combined with the unprecedentedly large and spatially dense CPT data set made available through the New Zealand Geotechnical Database project enables an assessment of the spatial variability of shear wave velocity across the region that hasn’t ever been possible before at this scale and resolution anywhere in the world. Establishing a sensible way to account for the inherent variability of soils in engineering analysis is an important topic of research, and researchers all over the world are interested in the insights that the Christchurch dataset can provide.

Can you describe a place/context out in the field in the Christchurch region which demonstrates your work in a practical way?

The two strong motion stations in Lyttelton provide a textbook example of the importance of local site effects. One station is sited on rock, while the other is sited on soft soils. The ground motions from the February 2011 earthquake recorded at these sites are dramatically different, with the softer site showing a large amplification at lower frequencies relative to the rock site. Because the position and distance of these stations relative to the earthquake source are essentially identical, any differences in the recorded ground motions can be attributed to site effects and the dramatic differences observed for the February event highlight the importance of the soil stiffness in the surficial ground motions.

More Erskine Programme Arrivals

The Erskine Programme would like to welcome four more visitors to UC who have arrived in recent days:

  • Professor Emeritus Michael Brandemuehl from the University of Colorado, USA arrived on  7 September and will be teaching in the Department of Mechanical Engineering,
  • Professor Kathleen Wermke from the University of Würzburg, Germany also arrived on 7 September and will be teaching in the School of Health Sciences,
  • Associate Professor Enrico Marchi from the University of Firenze, Italy arrived on 8 September and will be teaching in the School of Forestry, and
  • Professor Jonathan Morris from the University of New South Wales, Australia arrived on the 9 September and will be teaching in the Department of Physical and Chemical Sciences.

We would like to wish our new arrivals and their families all the best for their stay.