Stefano Pampanin

Citation on the award of NZSEE Fellow, April 2017

Stefano Pampanin is awarded a Fellowship of NZSEE for his services to earthquake engineering in New Zealand.

Stefano has been actively involved as a structural engineering educator, researcher and practitioner, and in the specialist field of low-damage design, seismic assessment and retrofit, and reinforced concrete structures. He is currently the Professor of Structural Design and Earthquake Engineering at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, where he joined in 2002 and at the Department of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering at La Sapienza University of Rome since 2015.

Stefano received his Laurea (magna cum laude) degree from University of Pavia in 1997, and both Master degree in structural engineering from University of California, San Diego and PhD in earthquake engineering from Technical University of Milan in 2000.

In the past 20 years, he has dedicated a significant effort in the research and development, codification, practical implementation, teaching and dissemination of innovative solutions for the seismic design of low-damage structural systems in concrete and timber, as well as for the seismic assessment and retrofit of existing RC structures.

His outstanding research contribution is evident in the various post-tensioned concrete “PRESSS” and post-tensioned LVL timber “PRESLAM” buildings in New Zealand and abroad. Stefano has also made significant contribution to the engineering practice of seismic assessment and retrofit, in particular in the area of non-ductile reinforced concrete beam-column joints and the use of innovative solutions such as FRP jacketing, haunch and selective weakening techniques to retrofit them.

He is author of more than 350 scientific publications in the field of earthquake engineering and received several awards for his research activities including the PCI Martin P Korn Award 2000, the fib Diploma 2003 for Younger Engineers, the EQC/NZSEE Ivan Skinner Award 2005; the Otto Glogau Award 2005, 2013; the IStructE Henry Adams Award 2012, the UC Innovation Medal 2013, the ACI Design Awards 2015. He was also elected as a Fellow of the IPENZ in 2015.

As a Charter Professional Engineer in Italy and in New Zealand he has assisted with the design and/or acted as peer reviewer on a number of projects utilising advanced non-codified solutions such as the use of displacement-based design and rocking concrete and timber buildings.

Stefano has been an active contributor to a number of New Zealand and international technical committees for the preparation of design guidelines and standards including fib WG7.4 to W.G7.6, WG6.10, ACI440-F, NZS3101:2006 (appendix B) and most recently as the Task Group Leader for the concrete section as part of the MBIE/NZSEE review of the NZSEE Seismic Assessment Guidelines.

Stefano was elected to the NZSEE Management Committee in 2010, and President 2012-2014. This was in the period post-Canterbury earthquake, which required a lot of energy and personal commitment. As President of NZSEE, Stefano has championed a number of technical study groups, research-to-industry dissemination projects, and was an effective communicator of earthquake risk mitigation to the public. He led the Recovery Project “Seismic Performance of RC Buildings” under the Natural Hazard Research Platform and was part of the Expert Panel of DBH, investigating the collapse of critical buildings and reporting to the Canterbury Earthquake Royal Commission of Enquiry.

Stefano’s greatest legacy and impact to the Society and New Zealand is probably his infectious passion for earthquake and structural engineering, which would have inspired the interest of a civil engineering student generation. His humour and Italian-English (or English-Italian) lectures and professional seminars are well received by his students and practitioners who attended them.

Stefano’s contribution and leadership is appreciated by the Society, and is acknowledged with the award of a New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Fellowship.