AEES awards 2014 scholarship

The Australian Earthquake Engineering Society has awarded its annual scholarship to Ryan Hoult from the University of Melbourne.

Ryan is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Infrastructure Engineering and is being supervised by Associate Professor Helen Goldsworthy and Dr. Elisa Lumantarna. The topic of his thesis is the “Seismic Performance and Design Philosophy of Insitu and Precast Reinforced Concrete Walls and Cores in Australia”. The performance is to be assessed in comparison with the demands of higher level events such as 2500 year or 5000 year return period events rather than the current design return period event of just 500 years. As part of that topic he has, under the supervision of Gary Gibson from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, been working towards defining suitable spectra for all of the Australian capital cities as well as the effects of soil amplification.

The ML 5.4 Moe earthquake of 2012 was the largest event in 30 years for the state of Victoria.  Due to the increase over the years of the density of the seismic network around the Gippsland area, it was possible to obtain many recordings of the event at different distances from seismometers placed by the University of Melbourne, Geoscience Australia, and the Seismology Research Centre.  The largest aftershock was also recorded, with an extra five instruments capturing the event within a 20 km radius of the epicentre.

Our current understanding of the attenuation of earthquakes in Australia is limited due to the scarcity of strong-motion records.  This component of Ryan’s research is directed towards providing some comparisons with the estimated acceleration and displacement response spectra from ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs) thought to be applicable for the region, and will hence indicate which of these models is working best in this situation.