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Structural Engineering Society of New Zealand (SESOC) honoring Nigel Priestly

Tuesday, September 19, 2017  
SESOC President Jason Ingham is one of the speakers invited to present at a special Technical Session in La Jolla on Sunday November 5, 2017, hosted by The Masonry Society (TMS) to honour Dr M. J. Nigel Priestley, Emeritus Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. Professor Jason Ingham is Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and was a postgraduate student of Professor Priestley at UCSD from 1990-1995. Other international invited guests include Professor Guido Magenes from the University of Pavia, Italy and Professor Katrin Beyer from EPFL in Switzerland. Other former students of Professor Priestley now resident in the US will also make presentations.

The special technical session is to mark Professor Priestley’s significant and lasting contributions to masonry research focused on the seismic design of concrete and masonry structures, and on seismic design philosophy. Nigel is credited with developing the method for direct displacement-based seismic design, which is an approach that has been described as revolutionary. His work on the modelling of fundamental masonry characteristics, such as the stress-strain relation and the enhancement of fundamental masonry properties such as confinement in compression regions, is regularly cited by masonry researchers worldwide. Further details are provided at:

A further initiative related to Professor Priestley is the publishing of a set of biographies on different aspects of Nigel’s research and achievements:

“Michael John Nigel Priestley was born in 1943 and passed away in 2014. Nigel has been a scientist, a designer, a carpenter, a gourmet, a poet and a free man. His influence on the growth of many people and on the evolution of several areas of structural engineering has been enormous. For these reasons, his name has been borrowed to entitle a number of initiatives in earthquake engineering, including an international seminar, a scientific prize, and a museum. For this same reason a number of friends, colleagues, fellows and alumni have devised a volume of memories, in which his scientific and human heritage will be presented and discussed from several points of view, in the hope of further disseminating seeds of sapience.”