Other Speakers - Session 1


Session 1

Session 1 Paper 1

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. 


Session 1 Paper 2

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).


Session 1 Paper 3

Carl Ashby

Carl is the Structural Group Manager in the Wellington Office of Opus International Consultants Ltd and has 24 years of technical experience in the engineering profession gained in New Zealand.  Carl has considerable experience in client and project team liaison on a wide range of commercial, industrial, residential, health, civil and infrastructure projects.  Carl is a well-known leader in the structural engineering industry he is a Fellow of IPENZ and has contributed to the advancement of earthquake and structural engineering through his participation in technical societies such as SESOC, NZSEE, and NZCS. He is also a Past President of the New Zealand Concrete Society.

Andrew Davidson

Andrew is a Structural Engineer with Opus International Consultants Ltd. Having graduated from the University of Canterbury in 2010 with a BE (Hons)(Civil) he has 7 years’ experience including the design and assessment of building and civil structures, roading and rail bridges and water retaining civil infrastructure.   

Callum Sutherland

From apprentice carpenter to now Project Manager Callum has risen within Fletcher to be a key contributor in successful project deliveries.  He joined Fletcher’s (Wellington) in 2003 as a qualified “chippy” and moved into the Fletcher Cadetship scheme in 2007. A long list of projects over the years has led to the current role in Project Managing the Multi-Level Car Park Structure at Wellington Airport. 

Rob Taggart

Rob is a construction Superintendent with Fletcher’s and has over 34 years’ experience in the construction industry. He has been involved with many large, complex and iconic projects within Wellington’s built environment. He is currently site superintendent on the Multi-Level Car Park Structure at Wellington Airport and previously held the same role on the Asteron Centre at No. 1 Featherston Street. Rob has also been involved in many other local projects including Te Papa and the Westpac Stadium.