Collaborative Projects Students

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Collaborative Projects - Current Students

University of Canterbury

James Williams

RiskScape Funded PhD Student James Williams James completed a Masters in 2016 James Williams, a RiskScape funded Disaster Risk and Resilience PhD student from the University of Canterbury, is working on developing vulnerability, restoration and loss functions for tsunami impacts on infrastructure. These functions will eventually be incorporated within RiskScape vulnerability modules for tsunami. James aims to use his PhD research to model the impacts of tsunami on one of New Zealand’s main population centres, for lifeline damage, outage and economic cost.

James has worked with GNS Science and NIWA risk scientists on field work following the 2015 Illapel Earthquake and Tsunami in Chile, as well as the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake and Tsunami, on Banks Peninsula. He is also currently working on a GNS Science project which uses RiskScape to model the effects of a major Wellington Fault earthquake on lifelines in the Greater Wellington Region. In his first year of PhD study, James has been involved in several outreach activities, including a fieldtrip on the Christchurch hazardscape for visiting students from Macquarie University, Sydney (pictured), teaching classes to at Opihi College, Temuka, about the effects of Canterbury Earthquake Sequence, and presenting on tsunami impacts on lifelines to the Christchurch City Council and to members of the Hawkes Bay and Bay of Plenty Lifelines Groups.

James Williams with students from Macquarie University, Sydney

Kristie-Lee Thomas

Kristie-Lee Thomas is investigating disaster risk reduction in the Chatham Islands. For her thesis, Kristie-Lee is using RiskScape asset modules and James William's (UoC) vulnerability analysis and tsunami damage index for infrastructure to assess potential tsunami impact to emergency services and lifeline infrastructure on the Chatham Islands to inform disaster risk reduction planning.

Kristie-Lee is currently (November 2017) compiling the results of the impact assessment into a scenario to be used as a tool for a participatory workshop. The purpose of this workshop is to share the information gathered with stakeholders to engender community-led action to reduce tsunami impact.

Master of Disaster student explores Chatham Islands tsunami risk

Check out Kristie-lee Thomas featured on the show ‘Coast’ 8.00pm 29 April at : tvnz coast-new-zealand Where K-lee talks about her thesis research on preparing for and reducing the likely impacts of tsunami hazards on the Chatham Islands.

Massey University

Miles Crawford

Miles Crawford PhD Student with the Joint Centre for Disaster Research, and Massey University

Topic: How Risk Informs Natural Hazard Management: A study of the interface between risk modelling for tsunami inundation and local government policy and procedure


Past Students

University of Canterbury

In 2015 / 2016, James Williams, Lina Le and Finn Scheele; three Hazard and Disaster Management master’s students from the University of Canterbury, used RiskScape to assess evacuation and impacts to the built environment from a major tsunami inundating coastal areas within Christchurch City.

The students’ projects used inundation modelling from South America tsunami provided by Emily Lane at NIWA. A key aim of the projects were to develop methodologies that may be applied to any modelled tsunami impacting Christchurch City, and could be applied nationally. The methods and results are being used to improve and refine RiskScape, particularly regarding using the software for tsunami impact assessment. The projects were supported by Environment Canterbury, Canterbury CDEM, NIWA and GNS Science.

James Williams

James is currently working part time for GNS on the RiskScape project while completing a PhD; he completed his Masters in 2016

James Williams modelled the impacts to Christchurch infrastructure, and in doing so developed a tsunami impact assessment framework which implements a vulnerability analysis of ground transportation from the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, Japan as well as a tsunami damage index for infrastructure which is supported by a response and mitigation index for the same assets, all of which can be applied internationally. Infrastructure networks included in the impact assessment are ground transport, port facilities, and water networks.

James Williams Thesis: Impact assessment of a far-field tsunami scenario on Christchurch City infrastructure

Finn Scheele

Finn now works for GNS on the RiskScape project, he completed his Masters in 2016

Finn Scheele modelled the potential impacts to buildings, estimated the post-event habitability of residences, and estimated the displacement of residents. The focus was on the first week following the initial tsunami impacts. The modelling required an update of the database of buildings and populations within the inundation zone of coastal Christchurch. A novel methodology for assessing habitability and displacement was developed by considering multiple contributing factors, including provision of utilities, access and building damage. Modelling was undertaken using GIS.

Finn Scheele Thesis: Impact assessment of a far-field tsunami scenario for building damage and habitability in Christchurch, New Zealand

Lina Le

Lina Le completed her Masters in 2016

Lina Le, a 2014 NZAID awardee, proposed a method for visualising spatial variation in evacuation times, and relevant numbers of pedestrians and vehicles, to support evacuation planning for Sumner, Christchurch. This was obtained by characterising variable spatio-temporal population exposure, and incorporating terrain properties into population and vehicle movements. Three ‘extreme’ end-member scenarios were utilised to address possible evacuation methods; all pedestrians evacuated to 20 metres elevation, all pedestrians to bus stops for evacuation using public transport, and all people evacuated using private vehicles. The methods are equally applicable to other locations, to other hazards, and for both pre- and post-disaster evacuation analyses.

Lina Le Thesis: Tsunami evacuation model for Sumner, Christchurch, New Zealand

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