Collaboration between engineers and architects

15 July 2015

Respected design engineer, Alastair Cattanach will discuss the benefits of collaboration between engineers and architects at a free public lecture at UC on 31 July.

Collaboration between engineers and architects - Imported from Legacy News system

UC's architect-in-residence, Tim Nees

Respected design engineer, Alastair Cattanach will discuss the benefits of collaboration between engineers and architects at a free public lecture at the University of Canterbury (UC) on 31 July.

Strengthening links between engineers and architects is a topic of special significance to Christchurch following the 2010/11 quakes. The Royal Commission report on the earthquakes identified the need for architects and engineers to collaborate more effectively, right from the concept design stages of a building project.

The 31 July event is hosted by UC’s architect-in-residence, Tim Nees, and will launch a new postgraduate course in architectural engineering. The architect-in-residence within UC’s College of Engineering is funded by The Warren Education Trust and the Ada Rutherford Trust.

Since his appointment, Mr Nees (Civil and Natural Resources Engineering) has been busy establishing the new Postgraduate Architectural Engineering course ‘Integrated Design’, which will begin in August. The course is for graduate engineers to develop an understanding of architecture and architectural design principles, and how they can be applied to the collaborative model of professional engineering design.

The next step for UC is to establish the Ada Rutherford Professorship in architectural engineering, which it hopes to fill in early 2016.  This has been made possible with a significant endowment from the estate of Jim Rutherford in memory of his mother.

These initiatives all aim to expand the awareness, teaching, research and dissemination of architectural engineering

Guest speaker, Alistair Cattanach from Wellington’s Dunning Thornton Consultants has engineered buildings to withstand ground shaking and acceleration greater than that produced in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. He blends his passion for architecture and structural design to create practical engineering solutions for significant projects like the Waitomo Caves Visitor Centre.

Architect-in-residence, Tim Nees says collaboration between architects and engineers will result in better and safer buildings, a richer built environment, more efficient design and delivery processes, and greater professional satisfaction. It will improve the quality of New Zealand’s commercial and public buildings and housing.

“Support from the Ada Rutherford Trust is helping us create a new generation of structural engineers who can come together with architects and other building consultants to share information before any design assumptions are made. This means an appropriate design concept will emerge more quickly, one that will require less redesign and less refinement,” says Mr Nees.

“We wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing without the generous bequest from Jim Rutherford’s estate,” says Peter Smeele, Senior Development Consultant in UC’s Alumni and Development team.

“It is supporting our collaboration with a wide range of partners, both nationally and internationally.

Jim Rutherford was an alumnus of the University whose professional engineering and business career spanned more than 60 years in New Zealand and around the world. Jim’s passion for the collaboration of architecture and engineering evolved during his involvement in the design of the Sydney Opera House and throughout his extensive engineering career as a partner in the world renowned ‘Arup’ engineering group.  Jim co-ordinated with the University for over 20 years on the foundations of the new architectural engineering course.

The inaugural Ada Rutherford lecture will be held at 12:30pm on Friday, 31 July at Nzi3, cnr Creyke and Engineering Roads, Christchurch.

For further information please contact:
Phil Barclay
Communications and Stakeholder Relations Manager
University of Canterbury
Ph: 027 889 5636
phil.barclay@canterbury.ac.nz