Quincy Ma

Citation on the award of NZSEE Fellow, April 2017

Quincy Ma is awarded a Fellowship of NZSEE for his services to the education of young engineers, leadership, and earthquake engineering in New Zealand.

Quincy’s contribution to seismic engineering has evolved rapidly as he developed a wide understanding of technical systems, as well as the processes of developing and communicating ideas. An early emphasis was on the dynamic behaviour and measurement of structures subject to ground shaking. Coupled with this development of technical understanding, he has engaged in senior leadership roles such as two periods on the NZSEE Management Committee; 2008 – 2011 and 2013 – 2016, and as President 2014 – 2015. For the society, Quincy was the convenor of the 2011 Pacific Conference on Earthquake Engineering and the convenor for two NZSEE annual technical conferences. He was also the 2010 recipient of the EQC-NZSEE Ivan Skinner Scolarship Award.

While he was President of NZSEE, he was a member of the MBIE Engineering Design Reference Group that provided leadership on engineering matters resulting from the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence. With the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill, Quincy identified concerns with technical aspects of the proposed Act, as well as how the Act would be implemented and its impact on reducing the national seismic risk. These views were presented to the Select Committee with good effect.

Quincy completed his BE (2003) with 1st class honours and later his PhD in Civil Engineering (2010) at The University of Auckland. His doctoral study outlined an investigation into the fundamental mechanics of rocking structures subjected to ground motion. During these studies, from 2006, Quincy lecturered at the Engineering School on structural dynamics and structural analysis.

Currently Quincy is a Senior lecturer at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland, where he leads a number of projects on a wide range of earthquake engineering topics, including risk-based cost benefit analysis, seismic structural monitoring, mechanics of rocking structures and hybrid testing. Following the Canterbury Earthquakes, Quincy provided advice in the area of insurance risk to many high profile property portfolio owners in Christchurch. Immediately after the Kaikoura earthquake, he provided input to the rapid plotting of response spectra from GeoNet instruments. This form of the ground response data was invaluable for the initial assessment of buildings in the Wellington City area.

Subsequent to the temporary closure of the University of Canterbury laboratories due to earthquake damage and their rebuild, Quincy assisted Canterbury researchers by facilitating a set of experiments on the University of Auckland shaking table. Quincy worked particularly hard to address equipment and staffing issues to ensure that current research could continue effectively. This collaboration has resulted in successful research outcomes, as well as assisting the dialogue between the engineering schools, and has enhanced engineering research by the effective use of scarce resources.

In 2016 he was awarded the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Invitation Fellowship through the Royal Society of New Zealand. This allowed Quincy to spend time in Japan and then back in New Zealand, collaborating with earthquake engineering research in Japan.

Quincy’s contribution and leadership over many facets of earthquake engineering and allied organisations is appreciated by the Society, and is acknowledged with the award of a New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Fellowship.