Other Speakers - Session 5


Session 5 

Session 5 Paper 1

Edward Ayre

Edward is a Tunnel Project Engineer with McConnell Dowell Constructors Ltd. Graduating from Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall, England, he started tunnelling at the Terminal 5 development at Heathrow Airport working on various TBM's and underground shotcrete structures. For the last 11 years he has been working for McConnell Dowell Constructors in New Zealand on various tunnelling projects, including the Waterview Tunnels with an 14.46m EPB TBM, then longest pipe jack in Australasia at 900m long with a 1.8m internal diameter, a 3km long 2.8m internal diameter Earth Pressure Balance TBM drive on the North Shore in Auckland and a 4km long pipe jacked sewer scheme in Christchurch delivered during the earthquake sequence. Edward is currently the Project Engineer on the Artillery Drive Storm Water Tunnel.

Dene Cook

Dene is the Concrete Solutions Technical Manager for the Firth Humes Group, a business unit of Fletcher Building.  Dene has considerable experience in concrete both from a design perspective and as a material.  Dene is a former president of the NZ Concrete Society and a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers.


Session 5 Paper 2

Andrew Coumaros

Andrew has 18 years experience with RamsetReid, a major and reputable supplier in the construction industry across New Zealand and Australia. He has held a number of assignments from product development of fixings and concrete lifting systems, to engineering for concrete construction. He is currently the Engineering Services Manager ANZ for RamsetReid, responsible for Danley Flooring and Pavement CPD programs across ANZ and involved in developing post-installed and cast-in anchoring solutions for various projects across New Zealand and Australia. Andrew was responsible for developing and launching RamsetReid’s latest iExpert Anchoring Software and is also a board member of AEFAC (Australian Engineered Fasteners and Anchors Council). Most recently, Andrew has been actively involved in educating the construction industry on the new Technical Specification TS101:2015 within Australia and the latest in Flooring and Pavement Technologies across New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia. 


Session 5 Paper 3 

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 5 Paper 4

Peter Routledge

Peter is a Senior Bridge Engineer at Opus International Consultants in Christchurch and has over fifteen years’ experience in the design and construction of bridges in the UK and New Zealand. Peter was heavily involved in bridge inspections following the Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010-12 and was seconded to SCIRT to design strengthening and recovery solutions for numerous bridges. Notably, Peter was the lead structural engineer for the seismic strengthening of the Bridge of Remembrance Triumphal Arch, Christchurch which utilised rocking as a means of reducing seismic demands. Peter was the lead structural engineer for the design of Wigram-Magdala Link Bridge in Christchurch which is believed to be the first bridge in New Zealand and possibly the world to use low-damage PRESSS technology for the pier columns. 

Michael Cowan

Michael is a Principal Civil Structures Engineer with Opus and leads the Christchurch Bridge Team. He has over 19 years of design, asset management and construction observation experience for civil structures including bridges, culverts, retaining walls and other structures. Michael was the Team Leader for the Wigram Magdala Link project. 

Alessandro Palermo

Alessandro is Professor of structural engineering at the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. He is author of more than 260 publications including 3 international patents in the field of earthquake bridge and structural engineering. His core expertise deals with the implementation of innovative technologies that minimize post-earthquake damage in built infrastructure and assessment of concrete bridge structures. Alessandro has an extensive professional experience, spent six months working for Opus International Consultants and he assisted as external consultant to a few pioneering projects such as Wigram-Magdala Bridge Link (Christchurch), Western Belfast Bypass and monitoring of Rangitata bridges.

Alessandro is recipient of several awards including the 2013 Ivan Skinner award for his research on damage resistant bridge technologies.

Alessandro’s teaching style is well-received by the students; in 2016, after being nominated five years in a row, he was voted by the UCSA (University of Canterbury Student Association) the best “University Lecturer of the Year”, “College of Engineering Lecturer of the Year” and the “Great Character of the Year” (awards based on students' votes).

Alessandro has been a member of the NZ Concrete Society Council since 2011 and the New Zealand fib Head Delegate since 2015.