Following the traditions of Newton and Einstein, we use our skills in physics and mathematical analysis to build models of physical processes. The models are described by systems of equations, typically evolution equations. We use these models to understand the causes of measurements in order to make better predictions.
For example, we study the interaction of seismic waves with groundwater flow. In Christchurch, our aim is to explain measured ground accelerations and groundwater responses to earthquakes in order to quantify the dominant mechanisms that led to the extreme liquefaction. This will help engineers and planners better understand the hazards and reduce future risk.
Making realistic predictions requires us to deal with uncertainties since models are approximations to reality and measurements have error. We use our mathematical toolkit to quantify uncertainties and build them into the model architecture.
Normally model equations are too complex to solve directly. We use mathematical and computational techniques that are at the forefront of research. This permits us to build more realistic models.
In summary, we use scientific computing to combine models, measurements and uncertainties in order to better manage hazards and risks.
We have received funding from the New Zealand Ministry of Science and Innovation to support product development, company internships, and research. We work collaboratively with GNS Science and other partners on the following MSI funded projects: