In 2001, University of Canterbury entered into an agreement with the University Institute for Advanced Studies (IUSS) of the University of Pavia in Italy for the exchange of postgraduate students in earthquake engineering. The exchange is between the College of Engineering in Canterbury and the European School in Reduction of Seismic Risk (ROSE) School. This followed an invitation for John Berrill to join faculty of the ROSE School.
The IUSS was created with the purpose of introducing advanced programmes at under- and postgraduate levels. Developing the European Schools of Advanced Studies at the Master's level is one of the goals of the Institute. In this framework, the aim of the ROSE is to prepare professionals and researchers in earthquake engineering.
With earthquakes being a worldwide issue, the demand for specialists in earthquake engineering is increasing. High quality education of professionals and researchers has an extremely high impact on reducing the seismic risk.
The first exchange student, Francisco Lopez, is at Canterbury working on his Master's thesis project with the Geomechanics group. He was also aided through a scholarship provided by the EQC, which will cover his travel and living expenses.
With John Berrill, two other Canterbury graduates are involved with the ROSE school, Professor Nigel Priestly, recently retired from the University of California, San Diego, and Professor Michael Collins, currently at the University of Toronto.