$8m boost for AUT engineering research

$8m boost for AUT engineering research

A funding injection of more than $8 million will boost Auckland University of Technology research into eliminating earthquake damage in buildings.

The $8,231,624  grant is for the five-year research programme Sustainable Earthquake Resilient Buildings for a Better Future, led by engineer Dr Shahab Ramhormozian, a Senior Lecturer at AUT’s School of Future Environments.

The grant comes from the New Zealand Government’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Endeavour Fund, which invests in projects to help build a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy.

Dr Ramhormozian says his research, in collaboration with Charles Clifton (University of Auckland) and Gregory MacRae (University of Canterbury), as well as his national and international collaborators from academia and industry, will generate optimised, versatile building systems that can withstand severe earthquakes and post-earthquake fire.

The new systems will be unlike current ones, where buildings are seismic-resistant enough to keep occupants alive in a severe earthquake but require extensive and costly repair or total replacement after.

“Using our systems, buildings will suffer no structural damage under severe earthquakes, therefore significantly reducing the cost of earthquakes on the built environment”, Dr Ramhormozian says.