We are saddened to advise that Dr Robin Shepherd – our founding Director from 1979 to 1980 passed away peacefully at age 83 in Los Angeles, California.
Robin received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Canterbury in 1971 and D.Sc. in Structural Dynamics from the University of Leeds in 1973.
Prior to the HERA engagement, Robin worked at the NZ Ministry of Works in Auckland from 1958-1959, was senior lecturer at the University of Canterbury from 1959-1971 and Associate Professor at the University of Auckland from 1972-1979.
In 1980, after his year with HERA, Robin moved to the United States and became a professor at the University California till 1994. Robin was also a part-time Faculty member at the California Institute of Technology from 1993-1998 teaching senior undergraduate and Earthquake Resistant Design graduate classes.
From 1988-1996 he held the Directorship of the California Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering. Since 1994 Robin was also a member of the organizing/management committee on steel frame buildings seismic damage problems of the Structural Engineers and Universities Institute Joint Venture, California. Since 1994, he was professor emeritus at the University of Canterbury UC and since 1996 president of the Earthquake Damage Analysis Corporation, California.
Robin’s achievements include the introduction of digital computer-based dynamic analysis procedures to the seismic resistant design of buildings in New Zealand. He was recognized as the first to teach earthquake engineering as a formal subject matter at New Zealand universities. He also was a Fulbright scholar for the United States Government in 1977, and a visiting scholar at St. Johns College, Cambridge in 1984.
Robin contributed to over 150 technical papers on earthquake resistant design of structures to professional publications. He was a foundation member of the New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineering and in 2005 was made a life member of the Society.
Robin leaves behind his beloved wife of 30 years, Maureen and immediate family members Mark, Paul, Marco, Sveta, Egor, and Christina with their extended families. Robin’s “religion” was Rotary. He was an active Rotarian for over 40 years which culminated in his being District Governor of District 5330 in Southern California for the 2008-2009 year.