In a move to meet the demand for disaster management experts in New Zealand, the University of Auckland has created the Centre for Disaster Resilience, Recovery and Reconstruction within its Faculty of Engineering, as well as offering a new masters degree in disaster management.
Associate professor and new co-director of the centre Suzanne Wilkinson says, "that a new breed of disaster management expert is needed who can understand the complexity of built environments, state-civil society relations, social capital and leadership."
The other co-director is Dr Ljubica Mamula-Seadon, whose position is supported by a grant from the Auckland Council.
The programme is the result of discussions between the university's Faculties of Engineering and Science, Schools of Architecture and Planning, centres for Development Studies and Environmental Law (NZCEL), and the Department of Social and Community Health.
“There has also been consultation with central and local government, the engineering profession and with other education providers that have interests in this area,” says Mamula-Seadon. “These organisations are challenged by the potential impacts of disasters and understand the need for suitably qualified practitioners.”
The masters degree in disaster management will be available for engineering students at the University of Auckland from 2014.