Dr Alice Chang-Richards

PhD in Civil Engineering; ME in Management Science and Engineering; BE in Civil Engineering


Alice is a Lecturer with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Auckland. She is also a visiting scholar at Purdue University (Construction Engineering and Management SPARK Laboratory) and at University of Colorado, Boulder (Department of Civil Engineering) under the New Zealand James and Hazel Lord Fellowship. Before taking on the lectureship, Alice was a postdoctoral research associate/fellow at the University of Auckland from 2011 to 2013. Her main research interests include disaster risk reduction, climate change, construction informatics and technology, construction automation, smart cities and smart housing.

Alice has extensive disaster field experience and knowledge in Indonesia, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the USA. She has also provided consulting for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat in 2013, for the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) in 2015 and served as a consulting engineer working for Care International, Canada in its Post-Tsunami Housing Reconstruction Programme, Banda Aceh, in 2008.

Alice has published widely and has won a number of research excellence awards. She is leading several research projects funded by the National Science Challenge (NSC),QuakeCoRE and University of Auckland Public Policy Institute (PPI). 

To date Alice has authored and co-authored 8 book chapters and more than 40 technical papers in influential international journals and conferences. Her work has attracted more than 500 citations with an h-index 12 and i10-index 13 (Google Scholar).

Research | Current

Construction 4.0: a) Utilise the Industry 4.0 concepts and smart technologies, like IoTs (the internet of things), sensor network system and big data analytics in developing building stock information systems; and b) Use information technology to improve the building and construction process

Construction automation: Explore the innovative construction techniques, including digitisliation and industralisation of the construction industry, offsite construction, construction robotics and the skills required for future construction automation

Smart cities and smart housing: Housing quality and health impacts, a) Cultural and behavioural change for adoption of technological innovations in the housing sector; b) Understand the the correlations between climate change and its health impacts on the vulnerable (e.g. children  and the elderly) through housing and indoor living environment

Disaster risk reduction (DRR): a) Measure and understand the mechanisms for disaster preparedness; b) Disaster response and recovery capability; c) Livelihood resilience and d) Business resilience

Disaster simulation: Use the computer simulation (system dynamics, microanalytical modelling, multi-agent models, artificial neural networks) to model and understand pre-disaster preparedness mechanisms and post-disaster reconstruction process for theory development in disaster management

Teaching | Current

  • DISMGT 701 - Disaster Risk Reduction
  • DISMGT 703 - Disaster Resilence and Management
  • ENGGEN 721 - Research Methods and Skills

Postgraduate supervision

Currently supervised PhD students:

  1. Nipuni Nilakshini Wimalasena (start on 1 April 2018, funded by the NZ Commonwealth scholarship). Improvement of building regulations for next generation smart housing. Main supervisor
  2. Marwan Gharbia (start on 1 June 2018, funded by the Dean’s Discretionary Doctoral Scholarship, University of Auckland). Robotics in construction. Main supervisor
  3. Olabode Ayodele (start on 1 July 2017, on termed scholarships from the supervisor). An agent-based dynamic model of workforce development in the construction sector, Main supervisor
  4. Shawn Hezron Charles (start on 1 February 2018, funded by the NZ Aid scholarship). Best practice characteristics of project management in disaster recovery, Main supervisor
  5. Gerald Kwazu (start on 1 March 2018). Livelihood preparedness for stresses and shocks, Main supervisor
  6. Son Anh Phung (start on 1 July 2018, funded by the NZ ASEAN scholarship). Integrated salinity based planning – to reinforce Mekong delta brackish-freshwater conflict area in adapting to climate change and internal problems. Main supervisor
  7. Gujun Pu (start on 1 July 2016). Developing an toolkit to assess the livelihood recovery, Main supervisor
  8. Idoko Okewu (start on 1 September 2018, funded by the Federal Government of Nigeria). Simulation of post-disaster recovery learning process, Main supervisor



  • The University of Auckland Early Career Research Excellence Award (2016)
  • Project Management Institute New Zealand Research Achievement Award (2015)
  • James and Hazel Lord Fellowship, University of Auckland – for research collaboration with the University of Colorado at Boulder (2015)
  • Building Resilience Conference 2015 Emerald Best Conference Paper Award (2015)
  • Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence Highly Commended Paper Award (2011)


  • Faculty Research Committee (starting from 2018)
  • Department Postgraduate Advisor - Research PhD/ME (2017 - )
  • Faculty Postgraduate Committee (2015 - )
  • Coordinator for Master of Disaster Management (2014-2017)
  • Steering Committee Member for W120 Commission ‘Disasters  and  the  Built  Environment’, the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB) (2016 - )
  • Steering Committee Member for organising and hosting the Building Resilience Conference at the University of Auckland  (2016)
  • International Scientific Review Committee, contributing to the GAR Peer Review Process: The Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR), UNISDR (2014)

Areas of expertise

  • Developing decision support tools 
  • Risk analysis and modelling
  • Agent-based modelling
  • Systems dynamics modelling 

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Professional Membership:

  • Member of Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ)
  • Member of Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • Young Professional Fellow of Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)
  • Member of the New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE)
  • Member of i-Rec Post-Disaster Reconstruction Research Association
  • Member of the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB)

Service for International Refereed Journals as Invited Reviewer:

  1. Journal of Sustainable Cities and Society
  2. ASCE Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction
  3. ASCE Natural Hazards Review
  4. Journal of Natural Resources and Development
  5. International Journal of Strategic Property Management
  6. Construction Management and Economics
  7. International Journal of Production Economics
  8. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment
  9. Disasters Journal
  10. Journal of Disaster Prevention and Management

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Chang-Richards, Y., Wilkinson, S., Seville, E., & Brunsdon, D. (2017). An organizational capability framework for earthquake recovery. Earthquake Spectra, 33 (4), 1257-1278. 10.1193/092515EQS142M
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/42202
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Suzanne Wilkinson
  • Chang-Richards, Y., Rapp, R., Wilkinson, S., von Meding, J., & Haigh, R. (2017). Disaster recovery project management: A critical service. International Journal of Project Management, 35 (5), 783-787. 10.1016/j.ijproman.2017.03.003
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/41471
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Suzanne Wilkinson
  • Chang-Richards, Y., Wilkinson, S., Seville, E., & Brunsdon, D. (2017). Effects of a major disaster on skills shortages in the construction industry: Lessons learned from New Zealand. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 24 (1), 2-20. 10.1108/ECAM-03-2014-0044
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/32966
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Suzanne Wilkinson
  • Wilkinson, S., Chang-Richards, A. Y., Sapeciay, Z., & Costello, S. B. (2016). Improving construction sector resilience. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 7 (2), 173-185. 10.1108/IJDRBE-04-2015-0020
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/32967
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Suzanne Wilkinson, Seosamh Costello
  • Chang-Richards, Y., Rapp, R., Wilkinson, S., Von Meding, J., & Haigh, R. (2015). Call for papers: International journal of project management. Special issue "managing disaster recovery projects". International Journal of Project Management, 33 (6), 1193-1194. 10.1016/j.ijproman.2015.04.002
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Suzanne Wilkinson
  • Guo, F., Chang-Richards, Y., Wilkinson, S., & Li, T. C. (2014). Effects of project governance structures on the management of risks in major infrastructure projects: A comparative analysis. International Journal of Project Management, 32 (5), 815-826. 10.1016/j.ijproman.2013.10.001
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Suzanne Wilkinson
  • Stevenson, J. R., Chang-Richards, Y., Conradson, D., Wilkinson, S., Vargo, J., Seville, E., & Brunsdon, D. (2014). Organizational Networks and Recovery Following the Canterbury Earthquakes. Earthquake Spectra, 30 (1), 555-575. 10.1193/022013EQS041MR
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Suzanne Wilkinson
  • Chang-Richards, A. Y., Vargo, J., & Seville, E. (2013). Organisational Resilience to Natural Disasters: New Zealand’s experience. China Policy Review, 10, 117-119. Related URL.


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 10, Room 1014
New Zealand

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