Ian Aiken

Principal, SIE
Ian Aiken is a Principal with Seismic Isolation Engineering, Inc., in Berkeley, California, and has 30 years of experience in earthquake, structural and civil engineering. He holds a bachelor of engineering degree from the University of Auckland and masters and doctoral degrees in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. His particular areas of expertise are seismic isolation and passive energy dissipation for seismic structural control, and the use of nonlinear analysis methods for structural analysis. He has published more than 100 technical papers, reports and articles.
Dr. Aiken has been a consultant on more than 60 seismic isolation and energy dissipation projects, including many notable building, bridge and industrial structures worldwide. He has been a seismic isolation consultant to two of the largest Japanese general construction companies that have applied isolation to hundreds of residential, commercial and institutional structures, and a specialist consultant to the Japan Society of Seismic Isolation. Over the last 15 years Dr. Aiken has also been extensively involved in the development, testing and implementation of buckling-restrained Unbonded Braces in the U.S., including the first project in the U.S., the first hospital in California and the U.S., and the first bridge in the U.S. to use buckling-restrained brace technology.
Dr. Aiken has been a Director of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California, and a member of state and national committees on isolation and energy dissipation, including FEMA-BSSC for the NEHRP national provisions, SEAOC, AASHTO, ASCE and IEEE committees.


Ian Buckle

Director, Centre for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research and Foundation
Ian Buckle is the Director of the Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research and Foundation Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. Previously, he served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research at the University of Auckland, and as Deputy Director of the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, University at Buffalo, New York. He earned his B.E. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Auckland.
Dr. Buckle’s research interests include seismic performance of highway bridges; design and retrofit criteria for bridges; earthquake protective systems for structures including the theory, hardware, and engineering applications of seismic isolation; tsunami loads on bridges; and soil-structure-interaction for structures with deep foundations such as long-span bridges.  He has conducted short courses in bridge engineering, seismic retrofitting, and the seismic isolation of highway bridges. He is a recipient of the 2016 Charles Martin Duke Lifeline Earthquake Engineering Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers in recognition of his many contributions to improving the seismic performance of bridges.


Dr Kuo-Chun Chang

Professor, Department of Civil Engineering of National Taiwan University
Dr. Kuo-Chun Chang is currently Distinguished Professor of the Department of Civil Engineering of National Taiwan University (NTU). Before joining the faculty of National Taiwan University in 1991, he worked as Research Assistant Professor and Associate Professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Center for Earthquake Engineering Research at Buffalo for 6 years. For the past 30 years of teaching and research career, he has supervised more than 20 Ph.D. students and 100 master students from the United States and Taiwan on their thesis.
Dr. Chang’s research experiences relate to earthquake engineering and multiple hazards for buildings and bridges include seismic behavior and retrofit of conventional reinforced concrete structures, development of seismic isolation and energy dissipation systems and structural health monitoring systems, and seismic behavior of precast segmental concrete bridge columns. In addition, he has been involved in the development of design codes and guidelines related to seismic design of buildings, bridges and highways in Taiwan. His current research interests include structural control, innovative bridge bearing systems, multiple hazards structural health monitoring systems with advanced sensor technologies and the seismic behavior of accelerated construction of bridge columns.
Dr. Chang has published over 150 peer reviewed journal papers and more than 200 conference papers, and owned a dozen of patents related to his research. In addition, he has hosted many domestic and international conferences and workshops in Taiwan. He served as the past Director of National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE), past department chair of civil engineering department and the past Presidents of the Chinese Structural Association and Chinese Taiwan Society of Earthquake Engineering. He was also the recipient of the “2014 University at Buffalo Alumni Association International Distinguished Alumni Award”.


Paolo Clemente

Director of Research, ENEA
Paolo Clemente, Civil Engineer and Ph.D. in Structural Engineering, carried out post-doctorate research at the Institute for Construction of Bridges of the Faculty of Engineering of the University Federico II of Naples. He is currently Director of Research at ENEA and Coordinator of the ENEA task force for earthquakes. His main fields of interests are: Experimental dynamic analysis of structures and system identification, Structural preservation of cultural heritage, Long-span bridges, Masonry arch bridges, New anti-seismic technologies, Seismic hazard and microzoning.
He was an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Architecture Valle Giulia University Sapienza of Rome, at the Faculty of Engineering of the Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria and the Faculty of Engineering, University of Trento. He had previously collaborated with the courses of Design of Bridges and Special Structures of the Faculty of Engineering of the University Federico II of Naples. He also took lessons as part of doctorate courses, joint masters programs and refresher courses for engineers.
He is associate editor in the editorial board of the J. of Civil Structural Health Monitoring (JCSHM) and member of the editorial boards of the Int. J. of Lifecicle Performance Engineering, of the Int. J. Study of Civil Engineering and Architecture (SCEA) and of the Int. J. of Earthquake and Impact Engineering (IJEIE).
He is a member of ISHMII and ASSISi. He is the author of about 300 scientific works, and is in the register of experts of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research.


Misko Cubrinovski

Professor of Geotechnical and Earthquake Engineering,  University of Canterbury
Misko Cubrinovski is Professor of Geotechnical and Earthquake Engineering in the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch. He holds a BSc degree in Civil Engineering (1982) and MSc degree in Earthquake Engineering (1989) from UCM Skopje, Macedonia, and a PhD degree in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Tokyo (1993), Japan. His career involves 33 years of work in the academia and the profession including 15 years in Japan and 12 years in New Zealand.
His research interests and expertise are in geotechnical earthquake engineering and in particular problems associated with liquefaction, seismic response of earth structures and soil-structure interaction. Cubrinovski has authored or co-authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications, and has had major leadership role in the research and recovery efforts following the 2010-2011 Christchurch earthquakes. His honors include the 2016 Norman Medal (ASCE), 2014 Outstanding Paper Award (ASCE), 2014 Outstanding Paper Award (EERI), Ivan Skinner Award (EQC and NZSEE), NZGS Geomechanics Award (NZGS), ANZ Joint Societies Award from the New Zealand and Australian Geotechnical Societies, and Director’s Award of Taisei Corporation, Japan. He is a Faculty Member of the Rose School, Pavia, Italy, and Fellow of the University of Tokyo. Cubrinovski is the lead author of two of the guidelines in the series of MBIE-NZGS guidelines for Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering Practice in New Zealand (2016–2017).


Sally Dellow

Engineering Geologist, GNS Science
Sally has 29 years of experience in engineering geology and has worked on a wide variety of landslide and earthquake projects, many of which relate to natural hazard assessments. Her areas of expertise include earthquake hazard assessment, landslide hazard assessment, earthquake-induced landslides, rainfall-induced landslides and site investigations for structures. Sally has been involved in collecting and collating landslide data for over twenty years. She has led the effort to produce high-quality landslide and landslide related datasets that allow for the development of accurate landslide hazard models and underpin robust landslide risk assessment.



John Hare

CEO, Holmes Group
John Hare is a structural engineer and Chief Executive of the Holmes Group of companies.  He has worked in NZ, UK and the US, where he established a Holmes office in San Francisco in 2000.  Since 2006 he has been based again in Christchurch, where he originally commenced practice in 1985.
John is a Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand and the New Zealand Earthquake Engineering Society and a life member of the NZ Structural Engineering Society.  He sits on a number of advisory groups, including the steering group for the NZSEE Guidelines for assessment and improvement of existing buildings.
He has extensive experience in both the design of new structures and in the assessment and strengthening of existing buildings.  Following the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, John was seconded as Principal Engineering Adviser, firstly to Civil Defence and subsequently to the Canterbury Earthquakes Recovery Authority, whilst also acting as the President of SESOC.  During this time, he took a lead role in the development of the guidelines for the assessment of earthquake affected buildings.  In March 2013, John was awarded the Fulton-Downer gold medal from IPENZ for outstanding achievement, as a result of his activities over the previous two years.
In December 2017, John was appointed by MBIE to the expert panel for the investigation of the performance of Statistics House in the November 2017 Kaikōura earthquake and also assisted the Wellington City Council with the targeted damage evaluation procedures.


Caroline Holden

Strong-motion seismologist, GNS Science
Caroline is a strong-motion seismologist working at GNS Science. Her research is focused on understanding rupture mechanism of past last earthquakes and modelling ground-motion for future large earthquakes (Alpine Fault, Hikurangi subduction). Following the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes up to very recently with the 2016 M7.8 Kaikoura earthquake, she has been prominently involved as a GeoNet earthquake duty officer and working with the team of GNS scientists on unfolding earthquake complex ruptures.



David Johnston

Principal Scientist, GNS Science
Professor David Johnston is a Principal Scientist at GNS Science and Director of the Joint Centre for Disaster Research in the School of Psychology at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. His research has developed as part of multi-disciplinary theoretical and applied research programme, involving the collaboration of physical and social scientists from several organisations and countries.  His research focuses on human responses to volcano, tsunami, earthquake and weather warnings, crisis decision-making and the role of public education and participation in building community resilience and recovery. In 2016 he became Co-chair of World Meteorological Organisation’s (WMO) High Impact Weather Project (HIWeather) Steering Group. This follows his role as the Chair of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Scientific Committee (IRDR) (2013-2015), a program co-sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISCC), and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster reduction (UNISDR). He is the Editor of The Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies; and was the founding Editor of the Journal of Applied Volcanology.


Hon Steven Joyce NZSEE 2017 http://confer.co.nz/Hon Steven Joyce

Minister of Finance and Minister for Infrastructure.
After completing a zoology degree at Massey University, Steven started his first radio station, Energy FM, in his home town of New Plymouth, at age 21. Along with two business partners, he built up The RadioWorks over 17 years until, as a listed public company, it consisted of 22 local radio stations and four national radio networks. In 2000/2001 RadioWorks was purchased by Canadian company Canwest. Steven retired as Managing Director in April 2001 on his 38th birthday.
He chaired the National Party’s Campaign Review after the 2002 election, and then its major Strategic Review which led to a full reorganisation of the Party. He took on the role of the Party’s first General Manager, and led it through to the 2005 election. He managed the 2005 election campaign.
Steven was Chief Executive of NZAX-listed Jasons Travel Media Limited, a tourism marketing company, for two years from August 2006. He has also been a director and Chairman of Taranaki-based hospital bed manufacturing and export company Howard Wright Limited, and a consultant to National Leader John Key.
Steven chaired the National Party’s successful 2008 national election campaign and was also elected as a list MP at the same election. He was then appointed as a Minister in the new Cabinet.
He was previously the Minister for Economic Development; Minister for Regulatory Reform; Minister of Science and Innovation; Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment; Minister of Transport; Minister for Communications and Information Technology; Associate Minister of Finance; and Minister Responsible for Novopay.
Steven spends his spare time developing his lifestyle property north of Auckland, where he lives with his family.


Justin Lester

Mayor of Wellington City
Justin Lester was elected Mayor in 2016. He joined Wellington City Council as a Northern Ward Councillor in 2010 and then served as Deputy Mayor from 2013 until 2016.
During his time as a Councillor, Justin championed the living wage, prioritised good quality local services and supported local businesses. He feels strongly that good local government services make a huge difference in people’s lives.
Justin’s priorities as Mayor include kick-starting the economy, making housing affordable, improving Wellington’s transport, replacing outdated bylaws, ensuring the resilience of Wellington and prioritising arts funding.
With the November Kaikoura earthquake an increased focus has been put on our city’s resilience. We have just launched our Resilience Strategy, partnering with 100 Resilient Cities. This strategy has planned out a number of projects that we need to ensure happen. These projects will make sure that future generations can enjoy Wellington in the same way we have.
Justin has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. He was formerly the Director of Property and Asset Management at international commercial property firm Jones Lang LaSalle. He has served on the Boards of Wellington SPCA, Wellington Waterfront Ltd, Capital Football, Johnsonville Charitable Trust, Johnsonville Property Trust, and as a Guardian at Zealandia.
Justin met his wife Liz at university and in 2016 they celebrated their 10-year anniversary. They have two young daughters and live in Johnsonville.
Justin and Liz chose to move to Wellington to raise a family because of the city’s cosmopolitan and diverse make-up, and because it’s a liveable city where nature is so accessible. Justin wants to ensure future generations also see Wellington as a viable option for their careers and families.


David Loe

Operation Manager, North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery Alliance (NCTIR)
David Loe is currently the Operations Manager for the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery Alliance (NCTIR).
David has a background in large infrastructure projects, for the last 21 years in New Zealand and before that in the UK. A senior contracts manager for HEB Construction, David has had many roles in New Zealand working for HEB including recently Contractor’s Rep. for the Cambridge Section of the Waikato Expressway.
As General Manager for HEB Structures, one of the contracts David bid and subsequently oversaw was the Awatere Bridge replacement and approaches project. As far as he is aware this has come through the November earthquake unscathed – thankfully!


Ronald L Mayes Invited Speaker NZSEE 2017Ron Mayes

Consultant,  Simpson Gumperts & Heger
Ron Mayes a 1972 Ph. D. graduate of University of Auckland and a Fulbright Scholar is a co-founder and Acting Executive Director of the US Resiliency Council and the past co-chair of the Building Ratings Committee of SEAONC. Ron is a lifelong advocate for improved earthquake resilience of our communities.   He founded and served as President of Dynamic Isolation Systems, Inc. a firm that pioneered the use of base isolation technology in the United States. Ron has also served as the Chair of ASCE 7 and ASCE 41 code committees on base isolation and energy dissipation.  Currently a Staff Consultant with Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger in San Francisco, Ron is the firm’s in-house expert on the application of innovative technology.  Ron is a past Secretary/ Treasurer of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), SEAONC and The Masonry Society and a former Technical and Executive Director of the Applied Technology Council (ATC). Ron was selected “Structural Engineer of the Year” by the Wiley Journal “Design of Tall and Other Buildings” in 2006 and is a Fellow of both SEAOC and SEAONC.


David McGuigan NZSEE 2017 Speaker Conference Wellngton 2017 http://confer.co.nz/David McGuigan

Deputy Chief Engineer, New Zealand Government  
David McGuigan is a Chartered Professional Engineer and the Deputy Chief Engineer of the New Zealand Government branch responsible for building regulation. He has extensive experience in structural and earthquake engineering and has worked on significant projects in New Zealand, Europe and the Middle East. David has been actively involved in the inspection and assessment of buildings damaged by the 2010/2011 Canterbury Earthquakes and the assessment of buildings for earthquake risk operated by national portfolio operators. Since joining the government in 2014 David has been involved in the specific projects that have been developed to respond to the issues identified by the 2010/2011 Canterbury Earthquakes. This includes developing legislation for the identification and improvement of buildings likely to perform poorly in an earthquake event, the review and update of building design standards and the development of guidance to support the use of low damage technologies in buildings.


Renzo Medeot

Seismic Engineering Consultant
Nuclear Engineering graduated from the Politecnico di Milano.
Involved in academics and scientific research during the first seven years of his career both in Italy and abroad.
Engaged in 1972 by a private corporation leader in Italy in the field of structural devices to set up and then manage its research laboratories, where many innovative products, systems, and technologies were brought to life. In the above named Company he has occupied various positions culminating as Managing Director.
He has completed the seismic design or retrofit of over 160 structures, such as bridges, edifices and industrial plants all around the world. Among them his first isolation system of a large bridge structure (Somplago Viaduct ; L = 1240 m – 1974) and recently the longest cable stayed bridge in the world (Russkij Bridge; L= 1872 m – Vladivostock – Russian Federation), and the third largest mosque in the world (Djamaâ El Djazaïr Mosque – Algiers).
During his career, he has been dedicated to academic endeavors as a secondary activity with many appointments as Guest Lecturer in various European Universities for Master and PhD Courses.
Dr. Medeot has also served as the Chair of several international Technical Committees, among them the Technical Committee on Highway Bridges of the PIARC (1981- 1992) and CEN TC 340 (1993-2015), which has drafted the European Norm EN 15129: Anti-seismic Devices.
He has been the main proponent of six successful Co-operative International Research Projects in Seismic Engineering financed by the European Commission and the Coordinator of three of them.


Mike Mendonça, MBE

Chief Resilience Officer of Wellington City
Mike is Wellington’s Chief Resilience Officer. This is an appointment funded by the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative, which looks to build city resilience to the shocks and stresses of the 21st Century. Mike is a graduate of Canterbury and Massey Universities. He has variously worked for Deloitte, Local Government, Central Government and the NZ Army. In his spare time Mike can be found fishing with his wife Stacey off Wellington’s west coast, or following the exploits of his two teenage sons.


Will Parker

Technical Principal, Opus Wellington Building Structures 
Will is a Technical Principal with Opus Wellington Building Structures team and has over 25 years’ experience in the design, construction and assessment of structural engineering projects. Until this year, Will led the Opus Christchurch Building Structures team for 10 years.

Will has a particular interest in performance based design and the implementation of low damage building solutions.





Alessandro Palermo University of Canterbuty Speaker NZSEE 2017 PCO Christchurch http://confer.co.nz/Alessandro Palermo

Professor, University of Canterbury
Alessandro Palermo is Professor of structural engineering at the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. He is author of more than 240 publications including 3 international patents in the field of earthquake bridge and structural engineering. His core expertise deals with the implementation of innovative technologies that minimize post-earthquake damage in built infrastructure. Alessandro has an extensive professional experience and he worked very closely within the industry in pioneering projects such as Wigram-Magdala Bridge Link (Christchurch), Carterton Event Centre (Masterton). He also is co-funder and director of a University spin-off company, PTL timber consultants.
Alessandro is recipient of several awards including the 2013 Ivan Skinner award for his research on damage resistant bridge technologies and the 2013 University of Canterbury Innovation Medal (co-recipient with Profs. Andy Buchanan and Stefano Pampanin) for his research-to-implementation contribution on post-tensioned timber buildings.
Alessandro’s teaching style is well-received by the students; in 2016 he was voted by the UCSA (University of Canterbury Student Association) the best “University Lecturer of the Year”, “College of Engineering Lecturer of the Year” and the “Great Character of the Year”.


Stefano Pampanin

Professor, University of Canterbury & University of Rome ‘La Sapeinza’
Stefano Pampanin is Professor of Structural Design and Earthquake Engineering at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, where he joined in 2002 and at the Department of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering at La Sapienza University of Rome since 2015.
He is a Past President of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, NZSEE, (2012-2014) and Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers in New Zealand (IPENZ) since 2015.
In the past 20 years, he has dedicated a significant effort in the research and development, codification, practical implementation, teaching and dissemination of innovative solutions for the seismic design of low-damage structural systems in concrete and timber, as well as for the seismic assessment and retrofit of existing RC structures.
He is author of more than 350 scientific publications in the field of earthquake engineering and received several awards for his research activities including the PCI Martin Kon Award 2000; the fib Diploma 2003 for Younger Engineers (under 40-years old), the EQC/NZSEE Ivan Skinner Award 2005 (inaugural recipient); the Otto Glogau Award 2005, 2013; the IStructE Henry Adams Award 2012;, the UC Innovation Medal 2013, the ACI Design Awards 2015.
As a Charter Professional Engineer in Italy and in New Zealand he has assisted with the design and/or acted as peer reviewer on a number of projects implementing: a) advanced design methodology, such as Displacement-Based-Design; b) numerical modelling for non-linear time history analyses; c) innovative/advanced technology, such as rocking-dissipative solutions for concrete, timber, steel, base isolation and supplemental damping, seismic assessment and retrofit solutions.


Bruce Pepperell

Regional Manager, Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO)
Bruce is currently the Regional Manager Civil Defence Emergency Management for the Wellington region where he is able to indulge his passion for people, organisational change and operations management.






Felice Carlo Ponzo

Scientific Director of the Laboratory for testing on Material and Structures, University of Basilicata

Professor Felice Carlo Ponzo was born on 28.07.1964 in Napoli and he is graduated cum summa laude in Civil Engineering, at the University of Pavia”, on 1989. On 1998 he has achieved the PhD in “Constructions in the Seismic Area: analysis and strengthening of the structures”, at the University of Basilicata (Potenza).
Since October 1st 2006 he is associate professor of the technical-scientific sector ICAR/09 (Structural Constructions) at the School of Engineering of the University of the Basilicata, where he is currently titular of the courses of “Steel and wood Constructions” and “Structural Strengthening”.
His research is mainly related to the Earthquake Engineering themes, resulting in more than 250 papers on national and international journals, conference proceedings and books.
Currently Prof. Ponzo is:

  • Scientific Director of the Laboratory for testing on Material and Structures of University of Basilicata since may 2008;
  • Since 2003, member of the directive counsel of the RELUIS Consortium “National Network of University Seismic Laboratories”;
  • Since 2011, Member of the board panel of the TERN Consortium (Technological district for earth observation) funded by MIUR;
  • Since 2014, Coordinator of the Civil and Environmental Engineering course at the School of Engineering of the University of Basilicata;
  • Since 2014, member of Patents and Technology Transfer Commission of the University of Basilicata;
  • Since 2014, member of the Scientific and Technical Council of CGIAM (Center for Integrated Geomorphology for the Mediterranean Area), based in Potenza.
  • Since 2015, Deputy-chairman of the Education Committee of the School of Engineering of the University of Basilicata;
  • Reviewer for: i) Engineering Structures, Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, Journal of Earthquake Engineering, Natural Hazards, Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Engineering Structures, Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, Composites Part B: Engineering, Journal of Structural Engineering, Bulletin of New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, Progettazione Sismica.


Peter C Smith

Consultant, Spencer Holmes
Peter Smith is a Consultant to Spencer Holmes Limited (Spencer Holmes), a firm of civil and structural engineers undertaking a broad range of commercial, industrial and domestic work primarily in the greater Wellington area. He was a director of Spencer Holmes for a period of 38 years, having retired in March, 2013.


http://confer.co.nz/ Invited Speaker Sarah Stuart-Black

Sarah Stuart-Black

Director, Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management
Sarah Stuart-Black was appointed the Director of the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management in December 2014. She joined the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management in 2003 and has held a number of different roles during her time with the Ministry. Sarah has had a diverse range of experience within New Zealand and England, as well as Ethiopia, Niue and the Solomon Islands. She was a member of the United Nations Disaster Assessment & Coordination Team for nine years and has represented New Zealand at a variety of international forums, bilateral, regional and global meetings, exercises and forums. Sarah has published a number of papers in international journals and has co-edited three books.


Ping Tan

Earthquake Engineering Research and Test Center, Guangzhou University
Dr. Ping Tan is a professor and deputy director of the Earthquake Engineering Research and Test Center of Guangzhou University. He received his doctoral degree from Hunan University in 2000 and worked as a Post-doctor researcher at Washington University in St Louis and City University of New York from 2002 to 2005. Dr. Tan specializes in the field of seismic isolation, energy dissipation, and smart structural control. He was PI and co-PI of 18 key technology research projects, and won 2 national science and technology progress awards in 2010 and 2016. Dr. Tan is the vice-president of Anti-Seismic Systems International Society (ASSISi).


Peter Townsend Speaker NZSEE 2017 Conference Wellington http://confer.co.nz/Peter Townsend, CNZM

CEO, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce
Peter Townsend is the Chief Executive of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and has held that position since 1996. The Chamber, as the largest business support agency in the South Island, concentrates on assisting members to improve their enterprises; ensuring
members can operate in a business friendly environment; and encouraging new levels of business activity.
Peter holds several directorships including Chair of the New Zealand Defence Employer Support Council, Director of Pegasus Health (Charitable) Ltd, Member of Callaghan Innovation Grants
Committee and Board Member of the Air Force Museum Trust. He was a member of the CERA Transitional Advisory Board until December 2015 when it was terminated and in February 2016 Peter was appointed as a Director of Ōtākaro Ltd, the new Crown company established to
deliver key anchor projects and precincts in Christchurch. Peter is the Honorary Consul for Chile for the South Island, a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Management. Peter has a BSc (Hons) and a post Graduate Diploma in Business and in May 2014 Lincoln University made Peter an Honorary Doctor of Commerce for his services to business. In 2013 Peter received the Individual Leadership Award at the AUT Business School Excellence in Business Support Awards. In December 2013 Peter was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.


John Vargo Speaker Conferences&Events 043841511John Vargo

Co-leader, Resilient Organisations
Dr. John Vargo is co-leader of Resilient Organisations Ltd. based in Christchurch New Zealand. His interests focus on building organisational resilience in the face of systemic insecurity in a complex and interconnected world. organisational resilience is the capacity to survive disruption and thrive in an uncertain, turbulent world. The ResOrgs group (www.resorgs.org.nz) has been researching Organisational Resilience since 2004. John’s interest began as an auditor in the US looking at financial risk to firms and extended in NZ as a researcher in computer and network security prior to joining ResOrgs in 2004. John and the Resorgs team has been heavily involved in resilience research following the 2010-2011 series of devastating earthquakes that hit Christchurch, New Zealand. This research has looked at the impacts of the earthquakes on organisations and economic sectors and the application of the ResOrgs 13 indicator resilience model to systemic recovery. Other recent research projects have focused on the resilience of critical infrastructure organisations in Australia and New Zealand and the keystone role they play in the resilience of a community and a nation. John is a science leader on the NZ National Science Challenge for Resilience. John can be reached at: [email protected]


David Whittaker

Senior Technical Director, Beca Limited
Dr David Whittaker has more than 30 years of experience as a practicing structural engineer responsible for design of large commercial building projects in New Zealand, South East Asia and the Middle East. He is a specialist in the area of seismic isolation and has designed seismic isolation systems for numerous buildings around the world. He is co-chair of the New Zealand industry group currently preparing guidelines for the design of seismic isolation systems for buildings. David sits on the NZSEE Management Committee and is an Executive Committee member of the Anti-Seismic Systems International Society (ASSISi).



http://confer.co.nz/ Liam Wotherspoon Speaker NZSEE 2017Liam Wotherspoon

Senior Lecturer, University of Auckland
Liam Wotherspoon is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Auckland.  He sits on the leadership teams of QuakeCoRE and the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges research programmes, and is a Management Committee member for the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering.