Meet the team
Dr. Tobias Smith is a structural engineer with over ten year experience in timber, concrete and steel design. Tobias is passionate about project management and delivering PTL’s services on time and on budget. With a background in the study of time and costs involved in the implementation of innovative technologies, Tobias understands what it takes to integrate new solutions seamlessly into any project. He has worked in design offices in both New Zealand and Italy and is keen to find practical design solutions to reduce losses due to earthquakes. Tobias sits on several New Zealand code committees and is actively involved in several world leading research initiatives.
Dr. Andy Buchanan is one of the pioneers of modern timber construction. With beginnings as a consulting engineer in Christchurch and now an Emeritus Professor at the University of Canterbury, and a Chartered Professional Engineer, Andy has worked for many years in the field of timber engineering, earthquake engineering and fire engineering converting cutting edge research results into industry solutions. He has been president of the New Zealand Timber Design Society, and is author of Structural Design for Fire Safety and the New Zealand Timber Design Guide.
Francesco combines his knowledge of structures with a passion for technology, creating numerical models which ensure the security of PTL’s structural design. Specializing in the seismic response of timber structures, Francesco’s skill means that PTL can apply cutting edge modelling techniques quickly and economically giving our clients access to services and quality assurance that others cannot. With Francesco on the team, PTL can ensure that its buildings are efficient in design and cost while maintaining the highest level of safety with the utmost level of confidence.
Silvia combines her skills in structural drafting and her comprehensive understanding of building design to work on a wide variety of projects at PTL. Originally from Italy, Silvia obtained a degree in building engineering-architecture and a specialization in fire prevention. With 4 years of engineering experience in Italy before moving to New Zealand, Silvia has been involved in post-earthquake structural inspections, structural fire design, and designing and drafting a range of structures such as complex residential buildings, a mass timber church, and a tennis court.
Daniel is an experienced structural engineer with a focus for practical and cost-effective solutions. With a passion for timber and seismic design, he has designed and managed a number of multi-storey structures. He has also assisted clients and fellow engineers with independent peer reviews for projects with innovative materials or structural systems. With design experience from both Italy and New Zealand, combined with a solid research background, he brings cutting edge knowledge and international best practice into every project to the client's satisfaction.
Dave graduated from UC School of Engineering in 1972 and spent the next 7 years working for consultants in Christchurch and London. He joined Holmes Consulting in 1980 and for the next 7 years was involved in structural design of dwellings, industrial units and multi-storey buildings. In 1987 Dave became a Director at Buchanan & Fletcher Ltd a company that completed a wide range over its 33 year history. With the merger of PTL and Buchanan & Fletcher in 2020, Dave joined PTL as a senior engineer. The focus of Dave’s work is assisting Architects, Designers & Contractors to achieve their objectives with a common sense, practical and efficient solution, providing a bit of education around structural concepts along the way.
Senior Fire Engineer
Dennis Pau is a Chartered Professional Engineer in fire safety of building design. He is a Senior Fire Engineer in PTL Structural Consultants, and also a postdoctoral fellow in Civil and Natural Resources Engineering at the University of Canterbury. He attained B.E. from University of Canterbury in 2006, and later, pursued a Master in Fire Engineering (MEFE) before converting the degree into a Ph.D. in Fire Engineering in 2009. During his Ph.D., Dennis has been involved with the development of Verification Method C/VM2 which is now one of the means of compliance with the New Zealand Building Code (NZBC) Clauses C1-C6 Protection from Fire. He completed his Ph.D. in 2013, and worked for a Christchurch building services consultancy for 3 years, over the rebuild period following Christchurch earthquakes.
Dennis has broad fire engineering consulting experience, having worked on a range of building projects such as residential, health care, commercial, retail, and mixed-use within New Zealand. He is competent with the application of fire engineering design tools, such as zone model B-RISK and CFD model Fire Dynamics Simulator, to assess the impact of smoke spread on occupants’ tenability and evacuation. He has overseen various projects from the early Concept Design through to Construction and the final sign-off.
Emma is a structural engineer with a passion for timber engineering which stems from the technical design challenges, sustainability, and beauty encompassed in timber buildings. Originally from Canada, Emma obtained her Masters of Engineering in Integrated Wood Design from the University of Northern British Columbia before moving to New Zealand to design timber structures and explore the country. Emma has design experience on a wide variety of timber projects across New Zealand and the Pacific Islands including log cabins, mass timber resort structures, a CLT community centre, and complex single unit and multi-storey residential buildings.
Dr. Stefano Pampanin is a leader in low-damage, high performance seismic design. With a family background in structural engineering Stefano has provided his international expertise to some of New Zealand’s most innovative projects. As a Chartered Professional Engineer both in New Zealand and Italy, over the last 15 years Stefano has helped shape the way in which buildings are designed for seismic action through the development, codification and practical implementation innovative solutions. Stefano is a Professor of Structural Design and Earthquake Engineering at the University of Canterbury and Past President of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering.