Academic Opportunities

Fostering the next generation of researchers is crucial for the longevity of any research organisation. Te Hiranga Rū QuakeCoRE provides support to students to further their academic careers. Profiles written for QuakeCoRE's 2020 Annual Report.
Picture of Ursula Cochran

Ursula Cochran

Science Writer

Shannon Abeling, Marion Tan, and Robin Lee

Te Hirangi Rū QuakeCoRE is developing the next generation of researchers by funding PhD scholarships and bridging gaps between PhD, postdoctoral fellowships and academic positions. QuakeCoRE has a strong mentoring ethos and the multi-institutional community provides diverse opportunities for students. QuakeCoRE is pleased to see some of its original students continuing their research in academic careers.

Shannon Abeling is a born and bred QuakeCoRE Scholar. She came from California in the first round of QuakeCoRE PhD scholarships to study the behaviour of unreinforced masonry buildings in the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence. Her supervisor, QuakeCoRE Principal Investigator Jason Ingham encouraged her to do extra-curricular activities. This led her to being a founding member of the QuakeCoRE Emerging Researchers Chapters (QERC) in 2016. She was president of the Auckland chapter for two years, then vice-president and outreach officer. Shannon is now underway with postdoctoral research into resilient buildings. “QuakeCoRE opened up opportunities to talk with researchers outside my field. Winning the Director’s Award in 2019 raised my profile and ultimately led to new collaborations and a postdoctoral opportunity”.

Marion Tan also came from overseas to do her PhD in New Zealand. QuakeCoRE made her experience less daunting because she joined an existing research community with good connections to industry. She was involved with the Wellington Chapter of QERC and became its president in 2017. Marion recently received a QuakeCoRE Proposal Development Grant enabling her to do groundwork for her next academic endeavour. She is applying for funding to develop a best practice framework for programs that place seismometers in schools. Marion aims to continue researching user-centric perspectives on technology that keeps people safe, because, as she argues, “technology is only useful if users know how to use it”.

Robin Lee is a lecturer in Earthquake Engineering at the University of Canterbury. He credits his position to the mentorship and good working relationship he has with QuakeCoRE director Brendon Bradley. Robin started his PhD before QuakeCoRE but his research on ground motion simulations was well aligned and quickly folded into the programme. Robin says “QuakeCoRE allowed me to collaborate with top researchers, both nationally and internationally, and provided me with an unprecedented opportunity to grow and establish myself as a researcher.” QuakeCoRE Proposal Development Grants have supported Robin with his recent Marsden Fast-Start application.

By supporting researchers such as Shannon, Marion and Robin, QuakeCoRE is ensuring a succession of academics dedicated to understanding more about earthquakes and how to live safely in a seismically active country.