Keynote Speakers

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Peter Laursen

Associate Professor Peter Laursen teaches Architectural Engineering at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly). Architectural Engineering focuses on structural engineering and its intersection with architecture in the built environment; it is located in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

After 10 years of international industry experience with bridge design in the US, France and Denmark, and after having completed his PhD at the University of Auckland in Earthquake Engineering, Peter joined Cal Poly in 2007. Focusing mainly on analysis and design of structural concrete, Peter's industry experiences comprised of prestressed box girders and reinforced concrete foundations, piers and pylons. At Cal Poly, Peter teaches structural analysis, concrete design and earthquake engineering to both engineering and architecture students. His current research interests focus on vibration testing of buildings and seismic behavior of sustainable masonry construction.

Peter earned his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Auckland, New Zealand in 2003 and received the university's Best Thesis Award that year. Peter obtained a M.S. from the University of California, San Diego in 1995 and was a Fullbright Scholar recipient. Peter is a registered professional engineer in California. 





Ken Elwood

Ken Elwood

Prof. Ken Elwood serves as the MBIE Chair in Earthquake Engineering and Director of the newest Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE), QuakeCoRE: NZ Centre for Earthquake Resilience.

Ken joined the University of Auckland in July 2014 after 11 years on faculty at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Ken was drawn to New Zealand to pursue the numerous opportunities for research and implementation in earthquake risk reduction. He is actively involved in research related to the seismic response of existing concrete and masonry buildings.

Ken received his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002, M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1995, and BASc from the University of British Columbia in 1993. Ken is a member of several international code committees including the seismic provisions of the American Concrete Institute Building Code (ACI 318).




Andrew Charleson

Andrew Charleson is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington. He is a structural engineer and teaches Structures to architectural students. Andrew has authored three books: Seismic Design for Architects: Outwitting the Quake in 2008, Structure as Architecture (2nd edition) in 2015, and Seismic Isolation for Architects published in 2016.