Congratulations to Risk Frontiers’ Professor Paul Somerville on receiving the Joyner Lecturer award for 2015 for his work to improve the understanding and quantification of earthquake hazards to aid in the design of structures to withstand earthquakes.
“I have worked with Risk Frontiers for 10 years now,” said Professor Somerville. “I have spent my entire career working as an engineering seismologist, and receiving this award is the highest honour of my professional career.”
Professor Somerville explains his research focus is in the area of earthquake and tsunami hazards and is applied professionally in the seismic design of tall buildings, bridges, dams and power plants throughout the Asia Pacific region.
“My research involves the analysis of the locations and frequency of occurrence of earthquakes, and of the level of ground shaking that’s expected from them, in order to develop ground motion levels for earthquake engineers to use in design,” he said. “In my work at Risk Frontiers, I use information about earthquake hazards, together with knowledge of their effects on the built environment, to build computer models that can reliably estimate hazards and losses due to future earthquakes and tsunamis. This helps insurers accurately price the insurance that they sell”
Professor Somerville says his work is at the interface between earthquake science and earthquake engineering.
“Also, I am both a researcher and a practitioner, and this award is attributable to the fact I straddle both earthquake science and earthquake engineering, and am involved in both research and practice in these two fields” he said.