Affiliated Researchers

David Elms

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Ph: +64 21 456 706

David Elms is a civil engineer and academic. He graduated from Cambridge University and then worked for three years as a structural engineer with the De Havilland Aircraft Company. He did his doctoral work on the behaviour of thin shells at Princeton University and then joined the faculty of the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, specialising first on structural engineering and later on risk and complex systems, with additional research on soil-structure interaction problems.

He was involved in a number of investigations including the safety of nuclear powered ships and the failure of the NZ Police INCIS project. He was heavily involved in the founding of the Centre for Advanced Engineering, and also served as President of the Association of Engineering Education for South East Asia and the Pacific.

He retired in 2000 as emeritus professor and since then has been active in both consulting and research. A series of recent papers (2012 onwards) written with Colin Brown distil many of his ideas. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Dr Seosamh Costello

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Ph:  +64 9 3737599 ext. 88164

Dr Seosamh Costello is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Auckland. In addition to his academic role, he is also Associate Dean Postgraduate in the Faculty of Engineering.

Seosamh received a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from the National University of Ireland, as well as a MSc(Eng) and PhD from the University of Birmingham in the UK. He is also a Chartered Engineer (CEng) with the Institution of Engineers of Ireland. His professional experience includes the specification and design of automotive proving grounds, development of infrastructure asset management plans and performance management frameworks for private and public sector clients, and a period as project manager for the planning stage of a major highway scheme.

Seosamh’s academic career started with the University of Birmingham in the UK as a Research Associate and then Research Fellow before joining the University of Auckland in 2002. His research interests include infrastructure asset management, performance management, and the resilience of infrastructure and construction organisations.

Dr Herb de Vries

devries 2010 bigHerb de Vries is a lecturer in General Management, Small Business, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Canterbury. His specialist research interests are entrepreneurship and SME (small and medium sized enterprise) management, focusing on the emerging area of variations in entrepreneurship across cultures and international borders; and management practices under different social, economic and demographic conditions. 

For more information, see Herb's UC Profile.

Dr Caroline Orchiston

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Caroline graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Geology from the University of Otago in 1996, and went on to work in the mining industry for 5 years. She returned to academia in 2002, completing a Masters in marine tourism management in the Department of Tourism at Otago. Caroline then embarked on an interdisciplinary doctorate combining her earth science background with tourism studies by investigating the outcomes of a future large Alpine Fault earthquake on the tourism industry in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. During her doctoral studies, Caroline also taught into a number of undergraduate tourism courses.

Between 2011-13 Caroline was been employed as a Postdoctoral Fellow, funded jointly by GNS Science and the University of Otago. This 2-year project built on her doctoral research by focussing on the outcomes of the Christchurch earthquakes on tourism activities, at local, regional and national scales. The project involved several streams of research, including business resilience, governance, changes to visitor flows and the response of key foreign inbound tourism markets to the events in Christchurch.

Caroline has been involved in developing the research plan for the Resilience to Nature's Challenges Science Challenge, and will continue with the Challenge research over the next four years with specific focus on rural and cultural resilience. She is based at the Centre for Sustainability at the University of Otago.

Dr Dean Myburgh

Dr Dean Myburgh

Dean is a Director of 80-20 Options NZ Limited, a consulting practice that specialises in risk- and emergency management planning. He has held senior management positions in both the private and public sectors and consulted (internally and externally) to organisations in New Zealand and South Africa. Dean is a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Management and holds an MBA and Doctorate in Industrial Relations.  As a risk management practitioner, researcher and consultant, he has published guides on risk management as well as articles and research reports related to resilience.

For a number of years (mid-1996 until March 2006), Dean was involved regionally in projects related to the formation and operation of Auckland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group (ACDEMG). As a member of the ACDEMG Co-ordinating Executive Group, he sponsored a number of regional initiatives including the Recovery portfolio and has been involved in a number of exercises at a local, regional and national level that focus on response and recovery.

In 2012 Dean led a study-trip to Samoa by a group of University of Auckland engineering students to evaluate the post-disaster recovery following the 2009 tsunami. In recent years, he has also taught a Masters Paper in Engineering Risk Management at the University of Auckland.

Dean’s consulting focus addresses organisations’ readiness and reduction as part of their capacity and capability to pro-actively deal with crises, emergencies and disasters. His interest in and focus on resilience examines the contextual frameworks, processes, systems and competencies required by organisations to meaningfully address resilience gaps.