Mr Hugh Watson Morris



  • Senior Lecturer


Hugh Morris worked for Gisborne City Council in structural checking, water supply investigations and contract supervision, and structural assessment of earthquake risk buildings. One general interest project was the design of a round timber pole structure to support a hydroslide and supervising the erection.

Hugh returned to complete his ME on software for plastic design of steel portal frames and then worked for a year with Works Consultancy on projects related to roading. He began lecturing at The University of Auckland in 1989.

His interests in engineering and technology education, and the social impact of technology resulted in him representing the Faculty with input into the technology curriculum in schools, professional development options for teachers, this included a DipTechEd with the Faculty of Education.

In his first ten years he had considerable involvement with the development of writing three new New Zealand Standards for design and construction of earth buildings. These are still some of the most comprehensive standards in the world for adobe, rammed earth and similar house construction.

For the last seven years Hugh has been involved with teaching timber design and research into structural timber. He was involved in establishing the Chair in Timber Design and establishment of the Structural Timber Innovation Company research consortium. He was President of the NZ Timber Design Society for two years and is Chair of the World Conference on Timber Engineering scheduled for Auckland in 2012.


Bachelor of Engineering (Civil)

Research | Current


  • Seismic performance of earth buildings
  • Timber construction
  • Long term performance of timber connections

Committees/Professional groups/Services


Professional affiliations

  • NZ Timber Design Society (Immediate past President)
  • NZ Society for Earthquake Engineering

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Morris, H. W., Uma, S. R., Gledhill, K., Omenzetter, P., & Worth, M. (2010). The long term instrumentation of a timber building in Nelson NZ - the need for standardization. Proceedings of the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction CIB W18 Meeting 43, 1-10. Nelson, New Zealand.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 11, Room 1115
New Zealand