Canterbury earthquake: Experts appointed to assist investigation
7 April 2011: Leading New Zealand engineering companies will assist the Department of Building and Housing with the technical investigation into the performance of the Canterbury Television, Pyne Gould Corporation, Forsyth Barr and Hotel Grand Chancellor buildings.
The companies are Beca Consultants, Dunning Thornton Consultants Ltd, StructureSmith and Hyland Fatigue and Earthquake Engineering.
The Department has also appointed a panel of experts, chaired by construction law expert Mr Sherwyn Williams, which will provide guidance on the methodology of the investigations and peer review the findings.
Members of the panel:
- Sherwyn Williams, construction law expert (Chair)
- Nigel Priestley, former Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of California and former senior lecturer at Canterbury University (Deputy Chair);
- Stefano Pampanin, a Structural Engineer who is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Canterbury;
- Helen Anderson, a seismologist and former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology;
- leading geotechnical engineer Peter Millar;
- architect Marshall Cook, past Adjunct Professor of Design at Unitec, whose work includes large urban design projects;
- Peter Fehl, who has extensive expertise in the construction industry;
- George Skimming, Director Special Projects at Wellington City Council with extensive experience in building consent practice;
- and structural engineers Adam Thornton, Ron Jury and Dr Clark Hyland from the investigating companies
Biographies of panel members:
Mr Sherwyn Williams (Chair)
Sherwyn Williams has specialised in construction law for over 30 years, mainly in the areas of claims and dispute resolution. He is a member of the Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute's panel of arbitrators and a member of Building Disputes Tribunal’s panel of principal adjudicators. Sherwyn Williams is the current President of the Society of Construction Law New Zealand, and is based in Auckland.
Professor Nigel Priestley (Deputy Chair)
Professor Priestley is an eminent Christchurch-based structural engineer. He has a PhD in Structural Engineering, is a former Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of California, has extensive international consulting experience, and his work has been recognised with appointments and awards in Italy, United States, Argentina, Switzerland and New Zealand. Professor Priestley has published three books on seismic design
Associate Professor Stefano Pampanin
Associate Professor Pampanin is based at the College of Engineering at Canterbury University. He specialises in Structural and Seismic Design and is a member of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, and is on the international faculty of the Reduction on the Seismic Risk (ROSE) School in Italy. Associate Professor Pampanin has been the recipient of earthquake engineering awards and has published numerous books and articles on earthquake engineering.
Dr Helen Anderson
Until recently, Dr Anderson was the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Research, Science & Technology (MoRST), and was the Chief Scientific Adviser for more than five years prior to that appointment. She is an expert in seismology, in particular the mechanics of large earthquakes and has a PhD in Geophysics from the University of Cambridge. Dr Anderson is Wellington-based.
Mr Peter Millar
Peter Millar is a leading geotechnical engineer, and is currently the Managing Director of Tonkin and Taylor (New Zealand’s leading geotechnical consultancy, which provided services to the Earthquake Commission on liquefaction following the earthquake on 4 September 2010). He will bring to the panel expertise in geotechnical issues and foundation design, and is based in Auckland.
Mr Peter Fehl
Peter Fehl has spent most of his working life involved with the construction industry. The earlier years were spent working for major contractors, as well as for his own company, on civil engineering and commercial construction projects, in various site and management positions. Peter Fehl will bring to the panel expertise in the practises of the construction industry at the time these buildings were constructed. Peter Fehl is based in Auckland.
Mr George Skimming
George Skimming is currently the Director Special Projects at Wellington City Council. He will bring to the panel expertise in the consenting practices at the time these buildings were constructed.
Mr Marshall Cook
Marshall Cook is a leading New Zealand architect with 40 years of experience in design and construction. He has worked on commercial projects throughout New Zealand and also in Japan, North America, Thailand and the Pacific Islands; educational and residential buildings; as well as large scale urban design projects. Marshall Cook is a past Adjunct Professor of Design at Unitec. In 2010 he was awarded the New Zealand Institute of Architects Gold Medal in Architecture. Marshall Cook is based in Auckland.
Mr Adam Thornton, Mr Rob Jury and Dr Clark Hyland
All three are leading the detailed investigations of the specified buildings. This places them in an ideal position to not only participate in a collaborative peer review of each of the other investigations, but to provide an in-depth understanding of a wide range of factors and issues identified in their particular investigations.
Messrs Thornton and Jury are Wellington-based; Dr Hyland is based in Auckland.