UC establishes new Professorship

07 December 2015

A new UC professorship will promote greater architectural and engineering collaboration and expand the awareness, teaching and research of architectural engineering.

UC establishes new Professorship - Imported from Legacy News system

Tim Nees, UC Architect-in-Residence

A new University of Canterbury professorship will promote greater architectural and engineering collaboration and expand the awareness, teaching, research and dissemination of architectural engineering.

UC is establishing the Ada Rutherford Professorship in Architectural Engineering, made possible with the help of a significant endowment from the estate of Jim Rutherford in memory of his mother.

Professor Mark Davidson of UC’s College of Engineering, Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, said that UC plans to fill the professorship in early 2016.

“This new role will provide the leadership necessary to develop new postgraduate qualifications in Architectural Engineering which will be unique in New Zealand. These qualifications will provide the basis for a more systematic and effective interaction between the architectural and engineering professions. More specifically, they will provide important opportunities to broaden the education of engineers in an architectural context.

Strengthening links between engineers and architects is especially significant to Christchurch and Canterbury after the 2010/11 earthquakes. The Royal Commission’s subsequent report identified the need for architects and engineers to collaborate more effectively, right from the concept design stages of a building project.

“The Ada Rutherford Professor in Architectural Engineering will also contribute to UC’s education and research activities in Earthquake Engineering at the postgraduate level, where the Civil and Natural Resources Engineering department has considerable expertise and there is a need to further develop that specialist expertise in an architectural context," Prof Davidson said.

UC’s Architect-in-Residence Tim Nees said collaboration between architects and engineers would result in better and safer buildings, a richer built environment, more efficient design and delivery processes, and greater professional satisfaction. It would also 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,” Mr Nees said.

UC’s Alumni & Development Director, Jo Dowling, said the trust is supporting collaboration with a wide range of partners, both nationally and internationally. “This is only possible through the generous bequest from Jim Rutherford’s estate,” she said.

Jim Rutherford was a UC alumnus whose professional engineering and business career spanned more than 60 years in New Zealand and around the world. Rutherford'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 senior engineer in the world-renowned Arup engineering group.

In August, UC introduced a new postgraduate course for engineers to develop an understanding of architecture and architectural design principles. The postgraduate Architectural Engineering course ‘Integrated Design’ (ENCI 658) course was established by Tim Nees to encourage a collaborative model of professional engineering design. The Architect-in-Residence within UC’s College of Engineering is funded by the Warren Education Trust and the Ada Rutherford Trust.

For further information contact:

Prof Mark Davidson, Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, Phone: 03 364 2410 mark.davidson@canterbury.ac.nz  

Jo Dowling, Director - Alumni and Development, Phone 03 364 6048 jo.dowling@canterbury.ac.nz   

Tim Nees, UC Architect-in-Residence, Phone 03 364 2987 Ext 8167