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Rights: The University of Waikato
Published 21 July 2007
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Dr Stefano Pampanin from the University of Canterbury is originally from Italy. After a period of research at University of California San Diego, he came to New Zealand because of its worldwide reputation for seismic engineering. He talks about why New Zealand is a leader in this field.

Transcript

DR STEFANO PAMPANIN
It’s really the positive attitude of, of New Zealand as a, as a very dynamic country. So from one hand being small has a lot of advantages, if you can combine it with a real mentality which is to move ahead, to be creative and progressive - which is what I think New Zealanders are - it gives a very good combination to avoid that big inertia, to introduce new technology, new system, new code provisions, new design guidelines into a much bigger country.

Now in NZ the mentality is much more proactive, that’s why are there these excellent breakthrough contribution in the earthwork engineering and in other sciences. And so it is feasible to do something here that would be unique - otherwise I would not have come over. The infrastructure is there - you need to have a little more industry founding coming in but it’s not that bad, because industry is very keen typically to provide materials. The other advantage is that, for example, NZ has a seismic design code, and it is possible to change that code very quickly by doing an experimental test in the laboratory which is convincing the right people - that is, creating promise to some standard technology - and you can amend the code much quicker than what you should be do – you had to do in a country with a big hierarchical level of “committee, committee, committee, committee” before reaching the boss.

Acknowledgement:
Robinson Seismic Ltd