Canterbury Seismic Instruments (CSI) presents:
New Zealand has a shaky history when it comes to earthquakes. Particularly in the last decade, the Canterbury region has experienced seismic activity on a large scale. Earthquakes across the region, and in Kaikoura and Seddon, have caused widespread destruction to buildings, caused businesses to close and a tragic loss of life. But there are positive outcomes too – we’ve learned from our experience and put that knowledge to work.
Sentinel is a direct result of what we’ve gleaned from our experience living through the Christchurch, Seddon and Kaikoura events. A decade of consistent activity has taught us that when it comes to the safety of buildings, decisions made based on science and evidence improved safety, enabled business continuity and boosted economic recovery.
One of the key learnings was the high value of precise and targeted information. It’s what the Sentinel solution is built around, meaning that city authorities, building and business owners, first responders and the general public have the up-to-the-minute information they need to make decisions around buildings and safety.
Sentinel provides information about the physical state of buildings in real time. It uses EQRNet, which is our network of ground-shaking sensors. They are spread in a closely-spaced grid across a city, and the quality and relevance of the information they produce around every seismic event informs enhanced decision-making processes.
Unlike other seismic solutions like Geonet, for instance, Sentinel records shaking variability street-by-street, building-by-building. What affects one building may have a completely different impact on its neighbour, and Sentinel’s unprecedented spatial density captures this with pinpoint accuracy.
A cloud-based solution, Sentinel instantly compares pin-point shaking to every building’s design intent and NZ Building Code Limit States. It then sends immediate alerts to building and business owners via text, email and its own app. City-wide summary data helps emergency management teams, and a free Public Service lets every individual manage their own response.
What this means is that we can prevent city-wide red-zones like the ones Christchurch suffered after the February 2011 earthquakes. Not only that, but it eliminates delays in discovering dangerous damage in occupied buildings, as some in Wellington were after the 2017 Kaikoura event. We can’t prevent earthquakes, but we can be ready for them and harness technology to manage the effects of them, keeping people safe and helping to ensure business continuity.
Sentinel’s earthquake resilience service is a key solution to deliver big improvements in understanding and managing earthquake effects on our cities and society. We can and must do better.
Behind Sentinel is a world class team of technical experts and experienced business people.
I’m responsible for the day-to-day operational management of Sentinel and all other CSI operations. I have extensive commercial experience in technology ventures, with prior senior roles at Link Engine Management, Solid Energy NZ Ltd, and Whisper Tech Ltd. I have a Master of Engineering (Mechanical, with Distinction) and I’m certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute.
I’m responsible for all technical strategy, development, delivery and performance activities. I created the original CSI technology platform and have been involved in its development ever since. For me, Sentinel is the realisation of a major personal goal, to provide real-time useful and practical earthquake information to everyone. I have a BSc (Physics), a BE (Hons) in Electrical and Electronic engineering, and a PhD in Civil Engineering.