UC Civil and Natural Resources Engineering

Civil and Natural Resources at the University of Canterbury is rated in the top 1 per cent of civil

Operating as usual

Photos from UC Civil and Natural Resources Engineering's post 21/06/2024


Multi-disciplinary collaboration between two departments at UC brings us closer to improving roads!

PhD candidate Zachary Todd successfully defended his PhD thesis titled 'Automated Road Asset Classification, Detection, and Localization' under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Li in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, with co-supervisors from Civil and Natural Resources Engineering: Dr. Daniel van der Walt and Prof. Mofreh Saleh, Ph.D, P.E., F.ASCE.

To celebrate, Zac's PhD friends baked him a 'Road Defect Cake' adorned with road markings and a pothole!


Curbing our carbon conundrum 🌍♻️

Associate Professor David Dempsey wants to understand how we can close the loop on current carbon storage solutions, how we store released carbon to be used by industry and perhaps how we might use the excess for an environmentally friendly craft beer or two.

The goal is to remove one million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere each year. “Right now, New Zealand is on course to overshoot its 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) by 100 million tonnes. Engineered carbon removal processes can take a big bite out of this,” Associate Professor Dempsey says.

This research will look at different engineered carbon removal processes, identify the best regions for durable carbon storage and develop robust environmental monitoring and carbon accounting frameworks.

“We’re aiming to providing a solution for New Zealand that could rapidly cut its emissions, offset resources that require carbon in their creation process such as steel, and begin reversing CO₂ levels.”

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3xdHDkR



We are happy to welcome Dr Iván Villaverde Canosa, CNRE’s newest Postdoc Fellow. Iván joins Dr Tom Logan’s research team studying cascading risks. Before joining the department, he earned his PhD in Human Geography from the University of Leeds in the UK. His research mostly focused on how Arctic communities experience and manage wildfire activity. His work revolves around the intricate relationship between humans and their environment, with a specific emphasis on climate change impacts, adaptation, and risk. Iván is dedicated to engaging communities in finding solutions to environmental challenges both through his research and teaching.

He is eager to contribute to UC and explore New Zealand's breathtaking landscapes. Although Iván is yet to fully explore Christchurch, outside of work, you can often find him hiking and birdwatching in nature.

Iván will find many kindred researchers with this background in our department. He will also be teaching the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) module of ENCN205 in Term 3. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Ivan!


✈️ How much risk are you willing to accept when you step on a plane, or get into your car? 🚗

Professor Derek Warner, alongside his research partners, has developed a method for faster and cheaper fatigue testing for materials in cars, ships and planes with the goal of reducing the risks without increasing the budget.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/4bh1VIl


What a story! 🎉🎓

Congratulations to PhD candidate Afrooz Bayat for successfully completing her PhD thesis recently!

The title of her thesis is “Enhanced performance of the hydrogen-assisted anaerobic digestion process by coupling with a microbial electrolysis cell”. The research aims to advance biogas upgrading technologies for sustainable energy production and waste management.

Special thanks to Afrooz's supervisors Associate professor Ricardo Bello-Mendoza (main supervisor) and Professor Aaron Marshall (co-supervisor); Associate professor Chin-Long Lee - exam chair, and to the examiners: Associate Professor Lokesh Padhye (university of Auckland, NZ) and Dr. Maazuza Othman (RMIT University, Australia).

Afrooz has experience working with local governments and industry practicing environmental Engineering. During her time in Christchurch City council, Afrooz focused on Water Quality Compliance. During her time in AECOM, she designed pyrolysis systems to convert waste into fuel gas. Currently, Afrooz is an Associate Lecturer in Systems and Environmental Engineering at Flinders University.

Following her PhD, Afrooz is interested in exploring innovative ways of waste management and renewable energy systems.

Big congratulations to Afrooz once again and we wish her good luck in all her future endeavours! 👏


🎓 Change your career direction by gaining specialised work-ready skills today!

Upskill in Geotechnical Engineering with this special course entitled, "Constitutive Modelling in Geomechanics." This special topic is now being offered for Semester 2 this year, delivered by visiting professor Mahdi Taiebat, PhD, PEng from The University of British Columbia.

This course can be credited towards Master of Civil Engineering (MCivilEng) with an endorsement in Geotechnical Engineering. For information on course information and class schedule, go here: https://bit.ly/4engZH4


We are happy to share that PhD candidate Seyed Omid Mousavizadeh Kashi from the Complex Transport Systems Lab (CTSLAB) successfully defended their doctoral thesis this week!

Omid's research title is "Traffic Estimation for Large-scale Heterogeneous Urban Networks with Sparse Data” and was carried out under the main supervision of Prof Mehdi Keyvan-Ekbatani.This research investigates urban traffic congestion, focusing on network-level traffic flow models to improve the accuracy of traffic state predictions in large-scale urban networks. It emphasises the Network Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram (NMFD) for better traffic management and control.

Many thanks to the examination panel for their time and positive feedback: Prof. Ludovic Leclercq (Université Gustave Eiffel (France)), Prof Francesco Viti (University of Luxembourg) and A/Prof. Gabriele Chiaro (Chair, UC).

Huge congratulations to you, Omid! You have unlocked a great milestone in your life! 👏👏👏

Learn more about what happens in the CTSLAB here: https://bit.ly/4b1dZxd



PhD Candidate Yu Li investigates a novel approach to improving our roadways! 🚗

Yu Li (Julie) specialises in civil engineering, focusing particularly on transportation and pavement. Pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Canterbury since 2020, she embraces the opportunity to immerse herself in a new academic environment and culture, expanding her horizons. In her opinion, roads are always easy to be crowded. Witnessing road construction projects on a daily basis, Yu Li is motivated to become a civil engineer, aiming to improve traffic efficiency and prolong the lifecycle of roads while ensuring road user safety. Besides, she upholds a core principle: never break traffic rules under any circumstances!

Have you ever thought about where exactly you drive and cycle on the road? Have you considered how this might impact the way we design and maintain our roads? Yu Li’s research focuses on predicting the lateral wheel paths of traffic automatically in different scenarios. The data has been collected in 40+ different locations in Christchurch using a newly developed cost-competitive IoT (Internet of Things) prototype. The model offers new insights into driver and cyclist behaviour in different scenarios commonly found in urban areas.

Julie's research can be used by engineers for improved planning and can also help prolong pavement life by better calibrating equipment used by contractors for pavement maintenance and construction. Due to the cost-effectiveness of this IoT approach, city-scale data collection can also become a reality for future research endeavours. Yu Li would like to thank her main supervisor, senior lecturer Daniel van der Walt, and the department for their support on her PhD journey.

Outside of university, Julie engages in activities like dancing, Zumba, and hiking. Lastly, Julie shares a well-known quote often said by her supervisor, Daniel: 'Enjoy research, enjoy your life!"

Learn more about Julie's innovative research here: https://bit.ly/4bVZo7g


🔊 Tamara Stratton helps Tongan community improve drinking water! ✨

Master’s student Tamara Stratton is transforming her academic research into practical solutions to enhance drinking water quality in Tonga. Find out what inspired Stratton to pursue her Diploma in Global Humanitarian Engineering at UC here: https://bit.ly/3z4YGpC

For more information on our Diploma in Global Humanitarian Engineering, go here: https://bit.ly/3VBjDjZ

(In the image from left to right: Assoc Prof Ricardo Bello-Mendoza, Stratton, and Siale Faitotonu)


🔊 Today we had the privilege of having Year 12 students and teachers from Canterbury on campus for Te Rā Tūhura | Discovery Day!

In the image, Senior Lecturer Dr. Jannik Haas presents "How can civil engineers help Aotearoa achieve its 2050 net-zero goal?" What a fantastic turnout! We hope everyone had a fun and inspiring experience in exploring civil engineering and understanding the importance of Year 12 for future opportunities.


We are happy to share that UC has been ranked #2 in Aotearoa New Zealand for employment outcomes and employer reputation in the prestigious 2025 QS World University Rankings. 🎓 🎉

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Peter Gostomski says UC graduates have the edge in the market because employers know “we provide our students with excellent, relevant skills and a high-quality educational experience."

This year’s QS World University Rankings report evaluated over 5,600 universities worldwide, assessing them across various criteria and UC is among the top 300 institutions globally. Read more here> https://lnkd.in/dCPsXveP


🔊 We are happy to introduce another talented new face this week! Gonzalo Munoz is our new Postdoctoral Fellow in Earthquake Engineering. Gonzalo has been working full-time with Professor Santiago Pujol and postdoctoral researchers Julián Rincón and Will Pollalis on the development of guidelines for the seismic retrofit of existing reinforced concrete buildings in New Zealand.

Gonzalo recently finished his PhD at the University of Auckland, in which he conducted studies to improve the understanding of the post-earthquake seismic capacity of damage and repaired reinforced concrete wall buildings. In his research, he conducted an experimental program at the Structures Testing Laboratory of the Civil and Environmental Department at the UoA focussed on pseudo static tests on reinforced concrete walls, exploring different loading protocols and repair procedures.

Gonzalo is based in Auckland, but he visits Christchurch regularly, so you can see him walking around the department from time to time. In his free time, he enjoys being part of a batucada band and dancing salsa.

We look forward to the contributions he'll bring to our team!


Each year, the John Angus Erskine bequest brings international academic visitors to lecture at UC. Earlier this week, our new Erskine Fellow, Adrian Rodriquez-Marek arrived in New Zealand together with his wife Tina and his son Alex. We are very lucky to have him back for a second time! Adrian is again working with the Geotech and Earthquake researchers - with Professor Brendon Bradley and Misko Cubrinovski.

Adrian is originally from Bolivia and is a Professor at Virginia Tech, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in the United States. His research is in the general area of geotechnical earthquake engineering, with a focus on prediction of earthquake induced ground motions and on seismic hazard and risk analysis. Adrian will be teaching a course in Risk Analysis in Earthquake Engineering (ENEQ621) and will be collaborating with colleagues at QuakeCORE in hazard related research.

In addition to his academic work, Adrian and his family hope to enjoy the hospitality that New Zealand always offer and to revisit the sights that led them to fall in love with this country during their first visit in 2016.

We are so happy to be hosting Adrian and are excited to work with him again!


Our wonderful UC Mechanical Engineering team on the West Coast for Tech Week 👩‍💻 University of Canterbury


Are you interested in upskilling in the building sector?

Join two special courses in Building Services and Energy Engineering this August and September. Check out the image for course codes and dates. Alternatively, find out more about these courses from these links here: https://bit.ly/3yxWMh8

Enhance your skills and advance your career! Are you make a difference? Enquire today: [email protected]

Photos from UC Civil and Natural Resources Engineering's post 29/05/2024


Research spotlight: Thomas Wallace investigates how flooding is affected by dam operation and stopbank breaches

Thomas Wallace somewhat stumbled into a master's program after a summer cleaning campervans. However, this master's provided a wonderful playground for finding his passion for flood modelling! This spark drove him to continue his research, leading to a PhD on how dams and stopbanks affect flooding.

As floods become more frequent and damaging, our flood protection systems have become increasingly important. Because of this, it is important to understand how these systems work and what their weaknesses are so they can be improved. Thomas' research looks at how stopbank breaches increase flooding. This research also examines the role dams can have in flood protection. This lets us make more informed decisions about options such as managed retreat and floodways and enables better long-term choices to reduce the risk our communities face.

Having grown up with nature, Thomas enjoys hiking, trail running, alpine skate touring, and adventures with his fiancé. As such, he was drawn to this project because it emphasises the importance of respecting the natural environment and finding a balance between human activities and their impact.

Through his PhD experience, Thomas has learned the value of our water infrastructure and the importance of connecting with local communities. There's always a story behind every researcher—Thomas Wallace's dedication and passion for his work are truly inspiring.

View Thomas' profile and research interests here: https://bit.ly/453JHbt


🔊 We are excited to introduce another talented addition to our team, William Dugdale, our new Fluid Mechanics Lab Technician! Will grew up in the beautiful Tasman region and holds a diploma in Mechanical General Engineering. With a diverse background in structural fabrication, aerospace machining, and metal art installation, he brings a wealth of experience to our team.

In his spare time, Will enjoys restoring rare vintage metal lathes, fabricating unique metal furniture, and tinkering with various projects. He is excited about the continuous learning and development opportunities in his new role here at UC.

Welcome aboard, Will! We can't wait to see the amazing contributions you'll make!


🔊 Attention 3rd and 4th year undergrads and current Master's students!

Join us this Wednesday at 5:15 PM in the John Britten Conference Foyer for our Postgrad Info Evening! Learn about various specialisations leading to amazing research pathways and job opportunities! Check out the image for more details..

We can't wait to see you there!


Gotta love today's story :)

We are happy to share that PhD candidate Julián Rincón Gil successfully defended his doctoral thesis today!

Julián's research title is "Active Confinement of Reinforced Concrete Columns” and was carried out under the main supervision of Prof Santiago Pujol. His co-supervisor is Prof Rajesh Dhakal. This research investigates an easy-to-design and easy-to-implement retrofit and repair technique involving external post-tensioned clamps fastened around the column. Julián currently works as a postdoctoral fellow in our department, and he is undoubtedly a name to watch out for in structural and earthquake engineering!

Special thanks to Assoc Prof Chris McGann for chairing the exam and to our external examiners, Prof Laura N. Lowes, and Assistant Prof Fabián Rojas.

Read a recently published article by Julián here: https://bit.ly/3wPS3ag

This journey hasn't been an easy one, but you did great. Big congratulations once again, Julián!


🔊 Calling all 3rd and 4th year undergrad students, and Master's students!

You're invited to our Postgrad Info Evening next Wednesday at 5:15 PM in the John Britten Conference Foyer!

Join us for an evening in partnership with our awesome student club, CivNatSoc, to explore all the exciting postgraduate study options available. Chat with our current postgrad students, alumni, programme directors, and lecturers. Discover a variety of specialisations and see how they can lead to amazing research pathways and job opportunities!

PS: There will be plenty of kai, so just bring yourself and your curious mind! 🍕

We can’t wait to see you there!

Photos from UC Civil and Natural Resources Engineering's post 21/05/2024

In the world of water and wastewater treatment research, there are individuals whose passion shine brightly, driving them to make significant contributions to a better, cleaner world. Among these passionate researchers is Sepideh Ansari, whose journey into the world of water sustainability is both inspiring and impactful.

Sepideh's journey to pursue a PhD degree in water and wastewater treatment research was inspired by a blend of her previous work and research experiences in this field. Her previous research in utilising eco-friendly treatment systems, such as wetlands, to treat wastewater in Iran, coupled with firsthand involvement in addressing real-world challenges like the treatment of low biodegradable wastewater, fueled Sepideh's desire to delve deeper into this critical area.

Sepideh began her PhD research at the University of Canterbury in 2022 under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Ricardo Bello-Mendoza (Main Supervisor) and Prof. Aisling O'Sullivan (Co-Supervisor).

Her research is part of the Clean Water Technology research program, a key National Science Challenge of Aotearoa New Zealand. Sepideh's research focuses on the adsorption process for nutrients (nitrate and phosphate) removal from aqueous solutions, utilising natural biowaste resources and sustainable biopolymers such as cellulose-based anion exchange hydrogels. More specifically, in her research, Sepideh is seeking more cost-effective and bio-based alternatives to unsustainable petroleum-based commercial anion exchange polymers, which are commonly used for nutrient uptake in water and wastewater treatment plants. Incorporating biowaste resources and natural biopolymers into water and wastewater treatment processes not only provides a renewable and eco-friendly solution but also helps mitigate pollution and promotes circular economy principles.

We need more people like Sepideh in the world! — .

View Sepideh's profile and research interests here: https://bit.ly/3yDHur2

Photos from UC Civil and Natural Resources Engineering's post 20/05/2024

Last week we participated in the "Decide Your Discipline" event designed to introduce First Year Engineering students to civil engineering, providing them with valuable insights into our undergraduate programme.

It was cool to have had interactive displays featured at our booth alongside our student club CivNatSoc. Attendees had the opportunity to engage in activities such as a liquefaction demonstration and groundwater model showcase and chat with our wonderful Teaching Assistants (TAs) regarding BE (Hons) in Civil Engineering programme.

We were happy to see many enthusiastic faces visiting our stand and joining us for our lab tours including our large Structural Engineering Lab (SEL), Geomechanics lab, Fluid Mechanics Lab, and our cutting-edge CTSLAB. It was a rewarding experience to share our passion for civil engineering and showcase the exciting opportunities that awaits them.

For more information on our undergraduate programme, go here: https://bit.ly/44QixER

Photos from UC Civil and Natural Resources Engineering's post 17/05/2024

Two groups of 120 Year 2 students each attended a three-day camp at Living Springs on Banks Peninsula in April, along with over 10 staff for each camp. Students conducted seven learning activities on site hazard risk assessment, water sampling, water analysis, stream invertebrates, site soil assessments, site sketching, and team-building. The field activities were combined with recreational activities, an evening discussion with past department graduates, and a quiz night at a local pub. Falling in the first term break, the camp serves to help new students to meet each other, develop professional character, and conduct field activities.


🔊 Calling all industry professionals to discover the future of engineering with our half-day workshop, "Navigating the Future: An Engineer’s Guide to Generative AI"!

Gain hands-on experience, ethical insights, and confidence to integrate AI into your projects. Limited space available—register now! https://bit.ly/3UFMGmW


Need help figuring out what engineering discipline to do? Come along to our event where all of the areas will be showcased and you can speak to the professionals!


🔊 Calling all First Year Engineering students to join our lab tours on 15 May 2024 during our "Decide Your Discipline" event.

Check out the image for the lab tour schedule..

We look forward to hosting you!


👋 Joining our pool of talented new faces, we are happy to introduce Associate Professor Shiling Pei, who is joining us during his Sabbatical.. Here's a bit about him -

Prof Shiling is from Colorado School of Mines, bringing expertise in timber design, natural hazard resilience, and large-scale shake table testing. He'll be teaching a Timber Design class module this month, collaborating with Professor Greg MacRae.

Beyond his professional achievements, Prof Shiling enjoys hiking, cooking, and board games with his kids. In the photo, you can catch a glimpse of one of his recent projects.

We're truly lucky to have Prof Shiling on board!


We are very lucky with so much new talent arriving. Dr César Pájaro recently started working as a Postdoc Fellow in our department.

He completed his BSc and PhD in Civil Engineering at Universidad del Norte in Colombia. He has prior experience as a consultant in Geotechnical Engineering in Colombia. César is interested in both seismic hazard and risk assessments, as well as in the development of empirical Ground Motion models. In his spare time, he enjoys play soccer (a big plus for our staff team!) and cooking. He came to New Zealand with his wife Deyarine.

César will be working within Prof Brendon Bradley’s team on research projects related to the validation and forward applications of physics-based ground-motion simulations.


💡 Learn why understanding and addressing street activation is essential for the long-term success of commercial developments. Our new Architect in residence, Richard Voss, together with Mark Arbuthnot and Carin Wilson, have co-written an article for the National Business Review on Urban Street Activation. Get insights from their back-to-basics approach here: https://bit.ly/4bo1LiJ

Photo credits: Coals Drop Yard Refurbishment, Kings Cross, London. (Design: Heatherwick Studio. Photo: Richard Voss)


Jess Cotton, final year BE(Hons) student in Civil Engineering, has been awarded the Engineering New Zealand Manatiaki Kōawa | Rivers Group Prize in partnership with Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury end of last year. The Rivers group provides research grants to support students whose research is focused on New Zealand's rivers, catchments and management of flood risk.

The prize recognises excellent performance by undergraduate students at University of Canterbury in the core civil and natural resources engineering course Hydraulics and Applied Hydrology.

Jess's hard work and skills hold a promising future for civil and natural resources engineering, making a real-world impact. Our hearty congratulations to Jess!

Left to Right: Assoc Prof Markus Pahlow (NZ Rivers Group representative), Final Year Undergraduate student, Jessica Cotton, and Senior Lecturer Craig McConnochie (Hydraulics and Applied Hydrology course coordinator)

Want your school to be the top-listed School/college in Christchurch?

Click here to claim your Sponsored Listing.

Videos (show all)

#FeelGoodFriday Happy International Women's Day to our incredible women in engineering! ✨ Here's to breaking barriers, m...
Today, we observed a controlled burn of gorse in our large fire lab. Did you know it’s often the smoke, not the flames, ...
Recording of Hopkins Lecture 2023Handshakes and contracts: Can the construction sector improve? Presented by Joanne Macg...
🔊 Enrol now for 2024!At UC, you can study a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Civil Engineering. A minor in Structural E...
It's not too late to enrol. ✍️Our Master of Civil Engineering (MCivilEng) program is designed to empower you by enhancin...
#BeEmpoweredToMakeADifferenceJoin us at the Geomechanics Laboratory and help shape the ground beneath our feet! Our stud...
#BeEmpoweredToMakeADifferenceRemember those childhood dreams of being an inventor? Well, engineering is where those drea...
On a mission to make earthquakes no more than a “nuisance”, Professor Brendon Bradley has built his career on fortuitous...
We nailed it! Our annual bridge-building competition was a massive success right on the stunning Central Lawn at campus....
Get ready for an epic showdown at this year's Bridge Building Competition! 🌉Join us for an adrenaline-packed event where...
#BeEmpoweredToMakeADifferenceIn our quest for knowledge and innovation, our laboratories at the Department of Civil and ...
#BeEmpoweredToMakeADifferenceAre you a problem solver at heart?Dive into the captivating world of Civil and Natural Reso...




69 Creyke Road

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Other Colleges & Universities in Christchurch (show all)
UC Sustainability Community UC Sustainability Community
Level 2, Engineering Services, Engineering Road
Christchurch, 4800

The University of Canterbury Sustainability Community is a network for students, staff and community who share an interest in sustainability. Check out our upcoming events and make sure you get involved!


Your University of Canterbury PGSA. By postgraduates. For postgraduates.

John Doe John Doe

UC Digital Screen UC Digital Screen
Ilam Road
Christchurch, 8041

Create the worlds we see on screen! The University of Canterbury has launched its new Bachelor of Digital Screen with Honours degree. An offering focused on Film, Game, Animation and Sound.

Christchurch, 8011

The ARA Filipino Society is a culture-based student organisation whose mission is to preserve and ce

UCISA - University of canterbury Indian Student Association UCISA - University of canterbury Indian Student Association
Christchurch, 8041

UCISA is a non-profit club at the University of Canterbury founded in 2022. We host a variety of social and educational events throughout the year aimed at promoting diversity and bringing people together. we plan on working closely with other clubs at UC

UC South Asian Fusion UC South Asian Fusion
20 Kirkwood Avenue
Christchurch, 8041

UCSAF is a club at the University of Canterbury, which brings a culture all the way from South Asia.

Test Ecom Catalog page Test Ecom Catalog page
123 Fake Street
Christchurch, 8025

UC Chemical and Process Engineering UC Chemical and Process Engineering
69 Creyke Road

Chemical and Process Engineers develop the most sustainable production pathways to provide society w

UC UniLife UC UniLife
University Of Canterbury
Christchurch, 8140

UniLife is a peer2peer mentoring programme for students new to Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury who do not live in the halls. Learn what UC has to offer, connect with other students, and make the most of your uni experience!

Đại Học Canterbury - New Zealand Đại Học Canterbury - New Zealand
Ilam Road
Christchurch, 8041

Chào mừng đến với trang fanpage chính thức bằng Tiếng Việt của trường Đại Học Canterbury, New Zealand

Abacus Institute of Studies Abacus Institute of Studies
4B/166 Moorhouse Avenue
Christchurch, 8011

Abacus Institute of Studies is an NZQA approved Category 1 Institution which delivers business, IT &