• Professor of Geotechnical Engineering and Associate Dean International
  • School of Engineering
  • University of Auckland. Private Bag
  • 92019 Auckland, New Zealand
  • Phone: +649 3737 599 ext 87919
  • Fax: +649 3737 462
  • email:


  • Earthquake resistant design of foundations
  • Ultimate and serviceability limit state design of foundations
  • Field evaluation of foundation performance
  • Geotechnical characterization of residual soils, volcanic soils and closely jointed rock masses


  • B.E. (Hons) University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1966. Civil Engineering.
  • PhD University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1971. Civil Engineering.


  • 1985 – present: Professor of Geotechnical Engineering, University of Auckland
  • 1977-1985: Senior lecturer in Civil Engineering University of Auckland
  • 1969-1977: Head of Geomechanics Laboratory, Ministry of Works and Development Central laboratories, Gracefield, New Zealand.
  • 1972-1974: On leave from Ministry of Works on a University Grants Committee Postdoctoral Scholarship Fellowship with the Cambridge University Soil Mechanics Group.
  • 2003-present: Visiting faculty member of the European School for Advanced Studies in the Reduction of Seismic Risk, IUSS Pavia.


  • 1995 – 2006 10 awards from the Institution of Professional Engineers, New Zealand
  • 2005 Faculty of Engineering, Distinguished Teacher
  • 2005 University of Auckland Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award


  • MEYER, V. M, LARKIN, T. J., & PENDER, M. J. (2005) “Shear strength and dynamic shear stiffness of New Zealand volcanic ash soils”, Soils and Foundations, Vol. 45, No. 3, pp. 9 - 20.
  • PENDER, M J, WESLEY, L D, LARKIN, T J and PRANJOTO (2006) “Geotechnical properties of a pumice sand.” Soils and Foundations, Vol. 46, No. 1, pp. 69-81.
  • PENDER, M J (2007) “Seismic design and performance of surface foundations”, Chapter 10, Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, K. D Pitalakis (ed), Springer, pp. 215 – 241.
  • COLLINS, I F, MUHUNTHAN, B, TAI, A & PENDER, M J (2007) “The concept of a “Reynolds Taylor state” and the mechanics of sand” Geotechnique, 57:5, 437-447.
  • PENDER, M J., PRANJOTO, S., & CARTER, D P., (2007) “Diameter effects on pile head lateral stiffness and site investigation requirements for pile foundation design” Journal of Earthquake Engineering, 11 Supplement 1, 1-12
  • WESLEY, L D, PENDER, M J, LARKIN, T J., MEYER, V M and TSOPNI, S., (2008) “Cone penetrometer tests on pumice using a calibration chamber”. Provisional acceptance by Geotechnique.
  • PENDER, M J (2007) “Effect of the variability of foundation stiffness on performance based seismic design”. Proc. 8th Pacific Conference on Earthquake Engineering. Singapore, December.
  • PENDER, M J, WOTHERSPOON, L M, INGHAM, J M & CARR, A J, (2006) “Approach to design of shallow foundations for low-rise frames structures”, 100th Anniversary Earthquake Conference Commemorating the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, EERI
  • PENDER, M J (2006) “Creep and particle crushing effects during Ko compression of pumice sand”, Proc. International Symposium (IS-Yamaguchi 06), Ube, Japan, September