UC jumps to 21st in the world in Civil and Natural Resources Engineering

Thursday 9 May 2013, 2:28PM
By University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury (UC) has jumped more than 30 places to be ranked 21st in the world in Civil and Natural Resources Engineering in the latest QS world university rankings by subject.

Last year UC was ranked in the 51st to 100th group of universities in Civil and Natural Resources Engineering. The latest rating by the independent London-based university ranking company puts UC well within the top one per cent of universities in the world in Civil and Natural Resources Engineering.

No other university in New Zealand is within the top 40 in this subject area.

UC Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engineering) Professor Jan Evans-Freeman says the 21st ranking in the world is the highest ranking UC has ever reached, putting it ahead of institutions such as Stanford University, Oxford University, Cornell University and University College of London.

``This is a huge boost for us and will really help us attract more students next year. Our Civil and Natural Resources Engineering department has a long tradition of research into innovative solutions for many hazards facing society today, driven in part by the particular needs of living in New Zealand. The Department is especially well regarded internationally for its research into seismic engineering.

``Professor Andy Buchanan, Associate Professor Stefano Pampanin and Dr Alessandro Palermo have developed a completely new system of earthquake-resistant buildings using post-tensioned structural timber.

``Their work has resulted in a step-change in the use of timber as a structural material, allowing direct competition with concrete and steel for many multi-storey buildings. New buildings of up to 10 storeys are being built in Europe, North America and Australia, with proposals for a 30 storey timber building on the drawing board in Canada,’’ Professor Evans-Freeman says.

In its report, QS says UC enjoys an international reputation as a university that has a distinguished heritage, embraces and extols traditional values of academic excellence and takes singular pride in its strong research culture.

``The University has an impressive profile in research, learning and advanced scholarship as is evidenced by its strong performance in recent performance-based research fund exercises. This fuels the University's resolve to continue with strong contributions to fundamental and applied research, with well-regarded postgraduate and research programmes and with strong research and collaborative links with other leading tertiary institutions and research organisations, nationally and internationally.

``The University of Canterbury's overarching goal is to be among the top two universities in New Zealand over the long-term, reach standards equivalent to comparable Australian universities in research, teaching and learning and secure and maintain a ranking in the top 150 universities worldwide.’’

UC features in the world's elite (Top 200) universities in 19 subjects in this year's QS world university rankings by subject.

Out of 2858 universities, UC is rated in the top 100 in English Language and Literature, History, Linguistics, Philosophy, Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, Psychology, Geography, Accounting and Finance, Education and Law.

UC is rated in the top 150 universities in Modern Languages, Computer Science and Information Systems, Earth and Marine Sciences, Communication and Media Studies, Economics, Sociology, and Statistics and Operational Research.

Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, and Mathematics are rated within the top 200.

UC is currently ranked among the top three percent of universities in the world and is the only New Zealand university with a five star QS rating.