2019 AEES Conference

In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Newcastle earthquake, the conference was held in Newcastle, NSW from 29 November to 1 December 2019.

Papers are available here.

In remembering the tragic events of the Newcastle earthquake 30 years ago, the focus was on what has changed in the intervening years and if, as a community, we are really any better prepared for the next event. Key conference themes included:

  • Adequacy of current design standards
  • Compliance with current standards (from both a design and a construction perspective)
  • The role of seismology in developing building codes for areas of low seismicity
  • Disaster planning, response, recovery and resilience studies
  • The performance of non-structural parts and components
  • Structural monitoring
  • Seismic retrofit of existing structures
  • The performance of lifelines, large-loss facilities and critical infrastructure including power distribution systems and dams
  • Mining

Keynote Speakers

Dave Brunsdon is a director of Kestrel Group, a small consultancy that provides strategic advice on building and emergency management issues.
He is the principal engineering adviser to a range of national organisations and local authorities. He chairs the Ministry of Education’s Engineering Strategy Group that provides technical oversight for the design and seismic assessment of school buildings, and he also advises the national building regulator on the implementation of the new earthquake prone buildings regime. He works for Engineering New Zealand on a part-time basis, providing support and advice on engineering practice matters.
Dave is a Distinguished Fellow of Engineering New Zealand and Life Member of both the NZ Society for Earthquake Engineering and the Structural Engineering Society of New Zealand. He is also a member of the Australian Earthquake Engineering Society, and Engineers Australia.

Des Bull is a Technical Director of Holmes Consulting LP. His duties involve the development of structural engineering services for the company, with an emphasis on concrete structures (commercial buildings and bridges) and the performance of concrete materials in a variety of environments and in service conditions. He has been a practising structural engineer for 37 years.
Des was the Holcim Adjunct Professor in Concrete Design, at the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury, retiring from that role is 2019. Des lectured on the design of structures, with a specialisation in concrete buildings. He has been responsible for initiating and supervising a number of research programmes over the last 26 years, in the Department.
Des is a Past President and an Honorary Member of the NZ Concrete Society, Life Member of the Structural Engineering Society NZ, Fellow of the NZ Society for Earthquake Engineering and serves on the Revision Code Committees for NZS 3101: Concrete Structures and NZS 1170.5: Earthquake Loads. He has written or co-written some 150 papers and 8 design guidelines/manuals.

James Daniell was born in Canberra and raised in Adelaide and currently lives in Karlsruhe, Germany. James speaks several languages and his work spans the world. James studied at the University of Adelaide, completing an Honours Degree in Civil and Structural Engineering (1st Class), as well as a Bachelor of Science in Geology and Geophysics. He was awarded the Honours Alumni University Medal for 2007, a University Medal and numerous other scholarships, prizes and sports awards during his time at the university. After a short stint in petroleum engineering, he moved to Europe taking up an Erasmus Mundus Scholarship, and was awarded a MSc. (Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology) from University Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France and University of Pavia, Italy.
In 2008, James was awarded the most prestigious postgraduate award from Australia: a General Sir John Monash Award. As a John Monash Scholar, James chose to undertake a PhD at the Geophysical Institute of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, producing a new methodology for rapid global earthquake loss estimation allowing for accurate economic and social losses estimation, within hours of an event. He was awarded a Doctor of Engineering in 2014 with “summa cum laude”.
Over the past five years, James has also produced teaching courses on risk analysis; managed various risk assessment projects in Germany and elsewhere in the world; produced various software packages; contributed to EU Projects: and worked for the World Bank and other NGOs in the field of natural hazards risk.

Rob Melchers is Professor of Civil Engineering and ARC DORA Research Fellow at The University of Newcastle, Australia. He holds a BE and M Eng Sc from Monash University and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He has used his background in structural engineering and probabilistic mechanics to develop mathematical physicochemical models for the long-term marine corrosion of steels such as those used for major marine infrastructure applications, including offshore structures and pipelines. Apart from fundamental corrosion studies supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) he is involved in industry-funded projects on the microbiologically influenced corrosion of offshore mooring chain and also of the long-term corrosion of cast iron bridge piers and buried cast iron water supply pipes. His most recent awards for corrosion research include the 2009 Australasian Corrosion Association Corrosion Medal, the 2012 Jin S Chung Award (International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers) and the 2013 John Connell Gold Medal (The Institution of Engineers, Australia). He was the 2014 Eminent Speaker for the College of Structural Engineers, The Institution of Engineers Australia.

Welcome & Conference Dinners

Friday: Newcastle Club. The welcome reception was held on the North Terrace of the historic Newcastle Club.  Located in the heart of Newcastle CBD, the Newcastle Club is one of the oldest and most established private Clubs in Australia.  The view across Newcastle Harbour will give you an opportunity to relax and enjoy the beauty and fascination of a busy working port whilst getting to know other conference participants.  

Saturday: Hope Estate. The conference dinner was held at the Hope Estate, located in the heart of Hunter Valley wine country.  With award winning craft beer, sensational Estate-grown wine and fabulous fresh produce, guests were taken on a tour of the brewing process while enjoying taster platters and beverages along the way, before enjoying a wonderful three course dinner in a hall located with giant wine barrels signed by famous visitors to the estate.

SeismOz 2019

A meeting of Australian Seismologists was held on the Friday morning at the conference venue, outlining the current state of earthquake monitoring and projects in Australia by the main organisations working in the field.