Pathmanathan (Brabha)
Brabhaharan

Technical Director Geotechnical Engineering, Tunnels and Resilience
New Zealand

Brabha has proactively participated in reconnaissance and learning missions following earthquakes overseas (Wenchuan Earthquake China 2008, and Kumamoto Earthquake, Japan 2016) and in New Zealand (Canterbury 2010-2011, and Kaikōura 2016), as well as numerous storms.  He brings valuable lessons from these disasters for clients as well as engineering and planning practice. 

Brabha relishes the opportunity to work across all sectors, from transport and buildings to water and energy, and bring innovation and resilience into projects including Wellington Inner City Bypass, Ferrymead Bridge, West Wind Farm and Wellington East Girls College.  One of his highlights is was infusing substantial resilience into the 27 km Transmission Gully expressway scheme, while reducing costs by 30%. 

“Resilience doesn’t necessarily need to cost more. One of the biggest challenges is meeting societal expectations for quick return to functionality after natural disasters. Our codes focus on life safety because, at one point, this wasn’t assured. However, it’s time we shifted our thinking to include resilience.  After all, infrastructure and buildings are there to provide functionality to society, and we need to be ready for the future.”

Brabha has a flair for innovation and combines applied research and practice to explore and bring new ideas to benefit clients and society.  His 2017 research on design of cut slopes proposed a resilience-based design approach for the first time. Brabha recently led the highly-acclaimed Wellington Transport Resilience business case – a first in New Zealand – which demonstrated how resilience can be addressed for a complex distributed network.

Brabha is a Chartered Professional Engineer and a Fellow of Engineering NZS and has been recognised by awards such as the 2013 Freyssinet Award from Engineering NZ for his supreme contribution to the profession and industry.