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Lloyd Davis

Two University of Tennessee Space Institute faculty members are safe following the earthquake that devastated Christchurch, New Zealand.

Lloyd Davis, professor of physics, and Bill Hofmeister, research professor of material science and engineering and director of the Center for Laser Applications, are both currently in the country and without injury.

Bill Hofmeister

Davis is on sabbatical and with his family on the north shore of the island. He arrived in New Zealand in January.

Hofmeister is in Christchurch with his wife as a Visiting Erskine Fellow in engineering at the University of Canterbury. He arrived earlier this month. Hofmeister is keeping a blog while in Christchurch. To read his blog, visit

On Tuesday, he recounted the earthquake: “That 7+ magnitude quake left a lasting impression on the collective conscientiousness.  The quake lasted 40 seconds, caused tremendous damage, but no one lost their life.  Christchurch this month had the look of a war zone, with barricades along city streets cordoning off unsafe buildings.  We were impressed with the resilience of the people and the town.”

UTSI Director Buddy Moore said he is contact with the professors and expects Hofmeister will return to the United States shortly.