30 Jan 2014

Earthquake Engineering

From Our Changing World, 9:20 pm on 30 January 2014

Stefano Pampanin with a steel-reinforced column that collapsed during shake testingIt’s nearly three years since the February earthquake in Christchurch caused 181 fatalities, and extensive damage to buildings in the city centre. Since then earthquake engineers at the University of Canterbury have continued their world-leading research to create buildings that will better withstand earthquakes, as Alison Ballance discovers when she meets Stefano Pampanin, from Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, in the structural laboratory where the performance of both existing and new building components are tested on a shake table. The world's largest shake table is in Japan and is capable of testing a 6-storey building; the Canterbury University shake table can test a 2-storey building.

Stefano Pampanin (left) is standing next to an old type of steel-reinforced concrete column that collapsed during shake testing - new buildings are not constructed like this (image: A. Ballance)

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