Kelvin is currently General Manager Strategic Relationships for the Hazards Division of GNS Science. He is a geologist by training who joined the predecessor organisation to GNS Science in 1974.
His speciality is the geology of earthquakes and tsunami, in particular, those associated with the Alpine Fault and Hikurangi subduction margin. This has evolved increasingly into technical and strategic risk management. He often works with engineers, planners, and policymakers on the design of new structures, seismic safety assessment of infrastructure and disaster risk management.
His research and applied science has been undertaken throughout New Zealand and extensively around the Pacific and beyond presented in more than 130 peer-reviewed journal publications and a similar number of peer-reviewed reports for public and private sector clients. In an earlier role as Director of the Natural Hazards Research Platform, he was one of the principal spokespersons during the Canterbury earthquake sequence of 2010-11 and more recently in the aftermath of the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake.
He currently serves as NZ representative on the Governing Board of the GEM (global earthquake model) Foundation, is a member of the High-Level Risk forum of OECD, is an advisor to NZ Aid funded projects in Vietnam and Indonesia, an elected Fellow and Life Member of the NZ National Society for Earthquake Engineering, and has received the two principal awards of the NZ Geosciences Society. In 2012 he received a Queens Service Order honour for services to science and Canterbury earthquake recovery.