Pacific Engineering

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is currently looking into Pasifika led, research-related activities in the Pacific region and Pasifika communities.

This initiative is led by Dr Kilisimasi (Kris) Latu and Dr Tūmanako Fa'aui.

This initiative has two primary objectives:

  • To conduct research activities on topics related to Māori communities and Pacific Island countries by Māori and Pacific Island students, or any students and academic staff with interests in the Pacific region
  • To recruit and persuade potential Pacific and Māori students to study engineering at the University of Auckland

Current research activities

The current engineering research activities in the Pacific Island countries are mainly driven by climate change. This reflects the concerns in the Pacific region about the impacts of climate change in societies and communities. Understanding the social and cultural perspectives of these communities is critical for developing and defining optimal solutions to solve or mitigate community issues and interests.

Māori and Pacific Island staff and students at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering conduct engineering research activities in different disciplines, including the following:

  • Impacts of climate change: cultivating indigenous knowledge into climate change adaptation approaches
  • Infrastructure resilience to climate change and natural hazards
  • Water resources management: utilizing both overseas experience and local knowledge
  • Hydroinformatics tools: developing tools that present modelling estimates and statistical data online
  • Hydrological and hydraulic modelling: assessment of water availability, quality and flood assessment, and more
  • Renewable energy: shifting the reliance in conventional energy sources into renewable energy sources
  • Tsunami Inundation Mitigations Methods; Cultural Competency
  • Transportation projects: using data from Fiji as a case study for the Pacific Islands
  • Water security in the Pacific region
  • Water allocation framework in New Zealand

Our people


Pacific Engineering Symposium 2021 will be held at Te Papa Ako o Tai Tonga (South Campus) on the 2nd of July 2021. This symposium focuses on establishing professional working relationships between the Civil and Environmental Engineering Pacific Engineering team, professional Pasifika engineers and other interested parties. Please contact Kris or Tumanako for further details.