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Citation on the award of Life Membership, April 2015

Richard Sharpe is conferred with Life Membership for his significant contribution to earthquake engineering in New Zealand.

Richard has been actively involved in a wide range of NZSEE activities since he joined the Society as a member in the 1970s, in addition to being a major contributor to the development of earthquake engineering in the commercial environment in New Zealand.  His work has included conceptual design of buildings for earthquake resistance, development of seismic philosophies for major projects and utility service providers, earthquake code development, post-disaster management and natural hazard management.

He was the Society’s President from March 2002 to March 2004, and served as a member of the Management Committee from 1990 through to 1993, 1996 to 1998 and 1999 to 2006.  Richard was the Acting Administration Secretary during 2003. Richard has been involved in other activities of the Society, including as Leader of the reconnaissance team that visited Turkey in the aftermath of the Marmara Earthquake in 1999 and contributing to the development of the guidelines for the post disaster evaluation of buildings.

Richard was elected a Distinguished Fellow of IPENZ in 2007 acknowledging his contribution to the advancement of engineering practice and, in particular, his contribution to earthquake engineering both in New Zealand and internationally.

His international contribution includes; leading the development of a building code for Nepal, being a founding member of the National Society for Earthquake Technology in Nepal, leading a significant project to investigate the feasibility and design of seismic retrofit of 369 apartment buildings in Istanbul, being a member of the advisory group for the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) project, being the driving force behind the construction of the base isolated Bhuj District Hospital in Gujarat, India, a long-time supporter of the Earthquake Engineering Technology Business Cluster (now Natural Hazards Inc), and advisory roles to the governments of India, Romania, UAE, Indonesia and islands in the South Pacific.

His other national level roles include being a member of Sector Advisory Groups convened by the New Zealand Government to consider changes to the earthquake prone building provisions of the New Zealand Building Act and also improved management of buildings after a major disaster. Richard became chair of the U C Quake Centre in 2015.

Richard’s contribution and leadership across a wide range of earthquake engineering activities has been extensive.  The Society is very pleased to acknowledge Richard for his outstanding commitment to earthquake engineering in New Zealand through this award of Life Membership.