Engineering for Natural Hazards Mitigation

Developing analysis, design and decision-making methods to support the assessment of built environment components and systems in the context of natural hazards.

Nature at Waiheke Island

In Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally, infrastructure and communities are exposed to a range of natural hazards. Natural and anthropomorphic processes have exacerbated the impacts of these natural hazards, with ongoing development decisions affecting the current and future disruption and wellbeing of the wider community.

The Engineering for Natural Hazards Mitigation centre seeks to develop analysis, design and decision making methods to support the assessment of built environment components and systems in the context of natural hazards.

Our research

Natural hazards are a significant challenge that national and international populations must face. We will undertake research that explores ways to mitigate the effects of natural hazards across the built environment and communities, with significant opportunities internationally to support developing countries.

Our world-class research is inspired by our place in Aotearoa. For Aotearoa-focused projects, research will be motivated by the character of the built-environment and the hazards that we are exposed to.

Research in this centre will sit at the intersection of the built environment and natural hazards, focusing on:

  • Improving understanding of the exposure of the built environment to various hazards.
  • Modelling and assessing the performance of built environment components and the socio-economic implications of performance.
  • Developing approaches to mitigate the effects of natural hazards on existing built environment components and systems.
  • Exploring the influence of management and planning approaches on natural hazard exposure and implications.
  • Developing new design procedures and construction to improve the performance of new built environment components.
  • Embedding the implications of natural hazards impacts into decision making for the built environment.

Our research team has expertise across a range of natural hazards and built environment components and systems, with involvement across many national research programmes.

How can you work with us?

The Engineering for Natural Hazards Mitigation centre involves a variety of external stakeholders and partners. Our members across the centre have strong existing relationships with a range of organisations. This spans from project advisory roles through to strong collaborative partners that are active in research, including consultancies, iwi, local government, central government, infrastructure bodies and international organisations.

Members of the centre are active in a number of national research programmes. These include:

If you are interested in working with us, please contact our centre’s Director.

Our people

Our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Māori and Pacific populations are increasingly exposed to natural hazards given their strong attachment to coastal and riverine environments. The Engineering for Natural Hazards Mitigation centre will work to identify the most effective way to engage with Māori in order to create positive outcomes for the iwi and hapū involved.

There are strong relationships with multiple iwi and hapū across a number of different existing research projects in the natural hazards area, and we will continue to develop and expand the breadth of these partnerships.

Our centre will look to improve the visibility of these relationships across the department to identify expanded research partnership opportunities. A strong enabler of these existing relationships has been where our staff and students whakapapa to.

We will promote the research pathway to our undergraduate students, and Māori students will be encouraged to engage in research with their iwi and hapū. This will both develop their individual research skills and expand the breadth of research engagement and partnership.