Earth Dam researcher wins Ivan Skinner prize

Earth Dam researcher wins Ivan Skinner prize

Congratulations to Dr Kaley Crawford-Flett who has been awarded the 2019 Ivan Skinner Award by the Earthquake Commission and New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering for excellence in earthquake engineering research.

The award was presented at the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering’s annual conference today and recognises Dr Crawford-Flett’s work on dam engineering, in particular the performance of New Zealand embankment dams in regard to seismic events.

EQC Director Resilience, Dr Hugh Cowan said that Dr Crawford-Flett has made an excellent contribution to earthquake engineering knowledge and she works in an area with considerable potential for further advances.

“Kaley’s work is highly collaborative and strengthened already unique linkages between researchers and industry in a field where few others were practicing.

“New Zealand presented particular challenges for embankment dam management that were not necessarily understood internationally. This included the variability of soil types and the highly tectonic environment in which the dams are located.

“Earth or rockfill dams accounted for at least 75 per cent of all dams in New Zealand. Most of these embankment structures were designed at least 40 years ago before the evolution of current engineering design standards.

“This Award will allow Kaley to broaden her world leading research and allow her to put time into writing, publishing and presenting her work internationally.”

The Ivan Skinner Award is made each year in support of research that helps reduce the impact of earthquakes on people and property.

Dr Crawford-Flett works as a geotechnical researcher at the University of Canterbury Quake Centre, where she leads academic and industry research on the seismic behaviour of earthfill dam materials. 

She is also a MBIE-appointed member of the Technical Working Group for proposed New Zealand Dam Safety regulation and is a reviewer for several academic journals. Her unique combination of skills and applied knowledge make her a valuable addition to NZ’s research community.

The EQC press release is here: