Geoff Rodgers

Citation on the award of NZSEE Fellow, April 2021


Professor Geoff Rodgers
is awarded a Fellowship of NZSEE for his exceptional service to the Society and contribution to earthquake engineering research.

His strong in support of the Society includes active involvement and support through many activities including:

  • Member of the Management Committee 2018 to present
  • Convenor NZSEE conference 2020 and subsequent webinar series

Geoff is an active researcher in support of the aims of the society. While never stinting novelty or innovation, Geoff has always taken a pragmatic approach to his research, and, in particular, sought to do research which would provide industry-relevant and society-relevant outcomes. He has been very effective at working with practitioners to see research translated to practice. Thus, where much research is heralded, Geoff’s is in the world around us, as well. In particular, Geoff has collaborated with design engineers on several key projects within New Zealand and internationally. He designed energy dissipation devices for both Forté Health and Tūranga library in Christchurch and the Casa Adelante community housing project in San Francisco. These projects have been recognised through numerous industry body awards. Lewis Bradford Engineers and Tūranga has won awards for seismic resilience from NZSEE, SESOC, ACENZ, Concrete NZ, and IStructE.

Geoff also worked with Mar Structural Design in Berkley, where the Casa Adelante 9-storey community housing project provides community housing for low-income/formerly homeless residents in the rapidly gentrifying Mission district. This building was awarded a Gold rating from the US Resiliency Council for the holistic approach to resilience and also won the 2020 Outstanding Project Award for New Buildings $30-$80 million from the US National Council of Structural Engineers Associations. This project contributes to equity of access to seismic resilience in this community project, achieved through his international collaboration with the top architects and engineers.

He has also received several research awards, including the University of Canterbury Innovation Medal, the Royal Society Te Apārangi Early Career Research Excellence (Cooper) Award, and the Kiwi Innovation Network Norman Barry Emerging Innovator Award. His teaching has also been recognised by several awards, including the overall University of Canterbury Students’ Association Lecturer of the Year award.

It is thus very clear, Geoff is a world class researcher whose research is in the world around us and used every day. Great research is rare, the translation of any research practice is also rare. The combination of both is extremely rare.

Geoff is acknowledged with the award of a New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Fellowship.