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spring/fall 2000

Message from the Head With this combined spring/fall issue of the newsletter, we are pleased to share with you recent activities of the Department. The last year has been a very busy and fruitful one. For the first time in many years, there has been no cut in the Department’s budget; furthermore some new monies are being made available for targeted initiatives. So instead of expending energy on what we can no longer do, we are now focusing on opportunities. Amongst these are two Federal Government programs, namely the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Program that is directed at research infrastructure, providing 40-cent dollars, and the Canada Research Chairs (CRC’s) Program. In the Spring of this year, we were informed that our undergraduate program had received accreditation for another six years, and the review was laudatory of the Department. Recently, CFI funding for an addition to the materials lab to complement Dr. N. Banthia’s research on advanced concrete materials has been received, and work on the addition should be completed by early 2001. In addition, we were notified of CFI funding for a $2.5 million earthquake research facility, and we now await a matching contribution from the BC Knowledge Development Fund. The leader of this project is Dr. C. Ventura, backed by other faculty members in the structures and geotechnical areas. Faculty renewal continues to be a very high priority. A major focus of our efforts at present is our geotechnical group. Between mid-1997 and mid-2002, the Department will have seen its four most senior faculty in this area retire: R. Campanella (1997), L. Finn(1998), P. Byrne (2001) and Y. Vaid (2002). We are currently seeking a replacement in Dr. Vaid’s area, and a CRC position in earthquake engineering with emphasis on soilstructure interaction. The significant roles that our geotechnical group has played and continues to play are highlighted in the very thoughtful “View from the marketplace” column written by Al Imrie of B.C. Hydro, as well as in the description of research activities related to soil dynamics. The provision of high quality infrastructure support is an issue with which we continue to wrestle. While new programs have been developed for faculty and equipment, a gap still exists for the recurring funding of highly qualified technical support personnel. This is an issue that we will be focusing our attention on in the years ahead. We continue to feature people in the newsletter: active and retired faculty, sessional lecturers, undergraduate and graduate students, and staff. We touch on activities such as conferences, competitions and scholarships, as well as alumni reunions such as those of the classes of 1949 and 1950, where my wife Elfie and I were accorded a very warm reception. Lastly, a number of other activities and initiatives are described throughout the newsletter. I look forward to receiving your comments on this issue. Please contact me at adr@civil.ubc.ca. Alan Russell, Department Head

Seminar series enters 4th-year The successful faculty seminar series will be offered again this year. Targeted at faculty, staff, students, and members of industry, the schedule of presentations during the second term is as follows: 23 January 2001, Peter Byrne: The Earthquake Hazard in the Lower Mainland: What Will Happen When the Big One Comes? 27 February 2001, Thomas Froese: Information Technology and .Com - How Will They Change Civil Engineering? 20 March 2001, Carlos Ventura: The Art and Science of Earthquake Engineering Please visit www.civil.ubc.ca for details regarding rooms and any last minute changes to the schedule.

Where are they now? Students survey department grads The Department has provided support for this year’s 4th-year class to conduct a survey of the grads of ‘99 and ‘00. We are interested in how many are working as civil engineers and where, what those not practicing civil engineering are doing, and so forth. For more details, please contact this year’s 4th-year Civil Engineering Club President, Mr. Brian Lee. He may be reached at 451-8297 or brianlee@engineer.com.



A view from the marketplace Strong linkages needed between academia & industry Those of us working in industry often think of academic staff combining teaching and research duties, with any spare time devoted to writing papers on their research projects. But of course, there is another important element that professors can and should provide, and this is fostering a strong linkage between the campus world and the marketplace. This role is key. Engineering is an applied science, but it can only be applied effectively if its principles are current, value based and practical. This means they must be tested and used in the marketplace. The professor is instrumental in this implementation.

by Al Imrie

Effective implementation is provided by professors in a number of ways, i.e., by him or her (1) carrying out specialist consulting for the public and private sectors; (2) providing specialized testing (e.g., shake tables, centrifuge) or tools (e.g., software) not otherwise available commercially; and (3) developing and guiding applied research attuned to the needs of industry.

UBC/Industry interaction UBC’s Department of Civil Engineering has certainly been providing this linkage in an effective manner, with many of its staff participating in or contributing to industrial assignments. Some examples are listed below (please note that the list only gives a sampling of these assignments, is not intended to be complete, and emphasizes geotechnical issues disproportionately because of the writer’s background): • • •





Pioneering the theory and practice of Cone Penetration for site characterization Applying a two dimensional Effective Stress Analysis computer program (TARA-3) to embankment dams Publishing data and articles enabling practitioners to have better understanding of the effects of direction of principal stress and of drainage on the liquefaction behaviour of sandy materials Adapting powerful codes or programs taken and applied from use in other disciplines in new situations (e.g., FLAC used in rock mechanics evaluation and modified for use in geotechnical problems) Actively collaborating in the CANLEX Initiative (a multi-agency university-industry program) to help advance the knowledge of soil liquefaction Developing numerical soil models, or constitutive models, for deformation analysis of soil structures undergoing liquefaction CIVIL ENGINEERING at UBC

• •

• • •

Specialized laboratory testing including shake table tests of concrete gravity dam models Carrying out QA review of the dynamic testing of a gravity dam, which helped identify and explain some inconsistencies in the test results Developing and refining the UBC Watershed model for integration into an inflow forecasting system Carrying out PMF studies for a number of dams Conducting training assignments for overseas projects in the field of hydrology.

Many of these developments were first applied on projects of direct benefit to local consultants and the engineering community. Of course it is important that the industrial needs be fed back to universities, and this can be done by practising engineers presenting lectures to students, which may include suggestions for research or examples of case histories. BC Hydro is pleased to participate in these presentations as do many other owners and agencies. UBC Civil has been a strong supporter of the UBC - BCH Partnership program, which also helps to link the university and industrial sectors. Initiated by BC Hydro in the early 1990s and focussed on Masters’ students, it provides a mechanism for funding continued education and enhancing a student’s knowledge, qualifications, and career opportunities. In addition, the student gains meaningful work experience during the summer months by working at BC Hydro. Students are selected from applications made through the university or from Hydro staff. For Hydro, the program gives access to well qualified students to assist in solving technical problems. In addition, the problems (in the form of a research or thesis topic) are normally posed / supported by BCH as being amongst those considered important or even critical to the Corporation’s ongoing work.

Future research: Challenges that lie ahead One of the challenges for the Department today is that a number of professors either have just retired or will be retiring shortly. We understand that not all positions are being replaced and this is a concern for industry, as I am sure it is for the Department. To help address this situation is one of the reasons that the writer accepted a position on the External Advisory Council now being formed by the Department. With research monies being harder and harder to come by, we have developed the strategy of seeking out collaborative research situations amongst other dam owners which allow significant funds to be made for evaluating major common problems amongst the participants. This approach has been used in the university sphere as well; BC Hydro and UBC have already participated in one of these programs (CANLEX) and have agreed to participate in another about to get underway. This is the “Development of a Canadian Earthquake Modeling Capability,” which will make use of a large centrifuge to model seismic loading and help advance the state of practice in this critical engineering field. Other suggested opportunities arise from the fact that large civil structures may age in unusual ways as shown by Bennett Dam, which was an eye-opener for many practitioners. This event suggests, for example, that particle migration (movement of fine silt) may occur over time in large earth embankments under certain conditions. We must learn more about the process, and I suggest that there is now an opportunity to undertake some of the strategic work on filters, which would be an extension of some work already started at UBC. Industry would be very supportive of such an effort. Mr. Alan Imrie, M.Sc, P.Eng., P.Geo., is the Manager of Technical Services and Chief Technical Officer in the Power Supply Engineering Division of BC Hydro where his responsibilities include technical guidance and quality assurance review for professional staff.

People Meet the faces of Civil Engineering at UBC Dr. Noboru Yonemitsu, expert in Environmental Fluid Mechanics Dr. Yonemitsu joined the Civil Engineering Department as an Assistant Professor in July 1999. His background is in Engineering Physics, which provides him with a very versatile technological knowledge base. Between 1984 and 1997 he worked as a research scientist with various industries, including OKI Electronic Co., Northwest Hydraulic Consultants Ltd., and Suimon Engineering, Canada. He taught at the Department of Applied Physics in Hokkaido University in 1986 and at the College of Science and Management at UNBC in 1997-1998. His general area of expertise is that of environmental fluid mechanics. This spans a number of related areas and physical scales such as mixing processes in strongly stratified fluids (hydrodynamic instabilities and interfacial waves, interfacial friction), interaction between micro-scale turbulent structures and benthic organisms, contamina nt/sediment transport in the stratified environment, rehabilitation of mine-tailings ponds, and development of on-site wastewater treatment systems. His approach to these problems has been through the use of laboratory and field experimentation allied with relatively simple numerical and analytical models. Dr. Yonemitsu can be reached at noboru@civil.ubc.ca.

Dr. Loretta Li, expert in Geoenvironmental Engineering Dr. Li joined the Civil Engineering Department as an Assistant Professor in August 1995 after spending 1-1/2 years as an Assistant Professor at Memorial University in Newfoundland. Dr. Li teaches undergraduate courses in soil mechanics and geoenvironmental engineering, and graduate courses in environmental geotechnique and soil-contaminant interactions. One of her two areas of specialization is heavy metal contaminated soil remediation. She has developed an innovative electrokinetic soil remediation technique that has successfully removed lead from ilitic soil for the first time. She has also specialized in experimental research work on soil-contaminant interactions, with emphasis on the migration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in sub-surface soils. Her pioneering research in red mud tailings is recognized world-wide, and she has been invited to give two keynote presentations at international conferences on this subject. Currently, Dr. Li’s graduate students are working on topics such as VOC migration in sub-surface soil and intrusion into buildings, prevention and treatment of acid rock drainage (ARD), development of remediation technologies, contaminated site investigation, mobility of contaminants, modelling of the fate of contaminants, and environmental mobility. Dr. Li may be contacted at lli@civil.ubc.c a; her home page address is http://www.civil.ubc.ca/home/lli.

Dr. Don Anderson, retired Dr. Don Anderson officially retired effective 1 July 1999 after a 33-year academic career with the Department. A gala retirement party was held and attended by active and emeritus faculty, staff, family, friends and former students. Don received his BSc degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Alberta in 1956. He then worked as a design engineer and field engineer in Edmonton from 1956-1960. He received his MS in Civil Engineering in 1962 from the University of Illinois and his PhD in Engineering Mechanics from Stanford University in 1965. He worked as a research engineer at the Stanford Research Institute before joining UBC as an Assistant Professor in July 1966. Don was promoted to Associate Professor in 1976 and Full Professor in 1990. As a faculty member, he has made significant contributions in the areas of nonlinear analysis of structures for seismic excitation, theoretical and experimental analyses of masonry for seismic conditions, code provisions for masonry design, dynamic nonlinear response of blast loaded structures, and wall and shell instability analysis. Dr. Anderson’s advice has been sought on several world-class projects both near and far because he is outstanding in his field of applied mechanics. He has been part of special visiting delegations to sites of major earthquakes around the world; documentation of the findings from these visits has helped to shape current practice. He is recognized as the consultant’s consultant – a role he excels at among both the members of the external engineering community and his Department colleagues in the areas of structural and geotechnical engineering. Throughout his academic career, Don was always a champion of students—his door was always open, and more often than not, a student was either sitting in a chair talking with Don or discussing concepts on the board. Over many years, Don provided excellent service to the Department in several roles, including course scheduling, graduate advising, curriculum committee work, and five years as Assistant to the Head. Don remains active as an emeritus and members of the Department continue to enjoy his soft-spoken ways, friendly smile, quiet advice and wisdom, and sense of humor. ...People continued on page 6 CIVIL ENGINEERING at UBC


Research Spotlight on geotechnical research activities In this issue, we highlight past and current work in the area of soil dynamics; many significant contributions have been made. Our geotechnical group currently consists of Peter Byrne, Jonathan Fannin (joint appointment with the Faculty of Forestry), John Howie, and Yogi Vaid. From mid-1997 through to mid-2002, four faculty members in the area will have retired: Dr. Dick Campanella (1997), Dr. Liam Finn (1998), Dr. Byrne (2001), and Dr. Vaid (2002). As a result, the group is going through a very significant transition, the goal of which is to retain the excellence and strength that have been enjoyed over a very long time period. remediation to curtail liquefaction is being carried out in the foundation soils beneath new and existing structures. Millions of dollars have been spent in densifying the soils beneath the new Vancouver Airport Terminal building as well as the new container port facilities at Delta port. In addition, the major bridges such as Oak Street, Port Mann, and Second Narrows are being studied, and ground treatment to curtail liquefaction will be a major cost. BC Hydro has retrofitted a number of its dams to curtail liquefaction, and the Greater Vancouver Regional District is currently studying liquefaction effects at Seymour Falls Dam, which supplies much of the water for Vancouver. What are we doing in the Civil Engineering Department about this? The geotechnical faculty at UBC has been involved in the earthquake-induced liquefaction problem, both prediction and remediation, for the past 35 years. We have concentrated on the following aspects:

Geotechnical engineering and soil dynamics Large ground displacements have occurred during past earthquakes due to soil liquefaction, causing severe damage to many structures including buildings, bridges, and docks and lifeline facilities such as road, rail, water, gas, sewer, and telephone lines. Examples of such damage occurred during both the San Fernando (1971) and Loma Prieta (1989) earthquakes in California. The Kobe, Japan earthquake of 1995 caused very large ground displacements due to the liquefaction of man-made fills and resulted in unprecedented damage to dock, bridge, and lifeline structures. Could similar damage occur in the Lower Mainland? The coastal area of British Columbia lies in a zone of high seismic activity. Many areas such as the Fraser Delta are also underlain by deposits of natural and manmade soils that are prone to liquefaction. These areas have been built up, and JOB T ITLE :

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(1) Characteristic behaviour of soil under loading Fundamental studies of the characteristic behaviour of soil under simulated earthquake loading have been carried out over many years. They have involved testing elements of soil under controlled conditions in the laboratory. This work, initiated by Drs. Finn and Campanella in the 1960s, has since been continued by Dr. Vaid. Early tests showed that soil liquefaction occurs in water-saturated sandy soils due to the tendency of the sand skeleton or matrix to compact or densify when shaken. If the water cannot escape, the load shifts from the sand grains to the water, and the shear strength and stiffness of the soil drops dramatically and behaves as a heavy fluid – hence the term soil liquefaction. Dr. Vaid’s work in this area of the fundamentals of soil behaviour is internationally recognized. Initially the question was about how much loading the soil could take before it liquefied and what energy or level of densification was required to prevent it from liquefying. Contributing factors such as level of normal and shear stress and methods of forming samples were also considered. Later, the concern became “if the soil does liquefy, what happens?” The test data showed that the soil will pick up strength and stiffness as it strains, the amount depending on its density and the direction of loading. Samples or elements loaded vertically are much stiffer and stronger than those loaded horizontally because the soil is inherently anisotropic due to the way nature deposits the grains with gravity acting vertically downward. Most recently, Dr. Vaid has been considering the effect of drainage and finding that only a very small amount of water injected into a soil element could greatly reduce its post-liquefaction stiffness and strength. This effect has also been demonstrated by Japanese researchers who

(Left) Building response to earthquake induced liquefaction of the foundation soil, Adapazari, Turkey, 1999. (Above) Computer controlled triaxial testing apparatus; capable of stress and strain controlled testing.

conducted shake table tests that showed that the stability of a sand slope during shaking is greatly affected by the presence of a layer of silt. In collaboration with Dr. Fannin, the scope of these tests is being extended to novel offshore foundations. In related assessments of earth structures, Dr. Fannin has been examining the dynamic behaviour of geosynthetic reinforced soil structures. (2) Site characterization While in principle it is possible to recover samples from the site under consideration and test them to find their properties, testing for liquefaction, in practice, generally involves on-site penetration tests. Through correlation with both laboratory tests and field experience during past earthquakes, such indirect test data can give reasonable estimates of soil properties for use in analysis. Dr. Campanella and his graduate students were early leaders in equipment development for and interpretation of in-situ tests. Dr. Howie is now pursuing work in this area. Current research projects include the characterization of ground improved against liquefaction, the measurement of the energy input during penetration testing, the interpretation of penetration tests in gravelly soils, the capacity of helical piles in sensitive clays, the use of geophysics to monitor earth dams, and explosive compaction.

(3) Analysis procedures In order to design against earthquakeinduced liquefaction, it is necessary to determine the soil properties from a field and laboratory testing program and then carry out analysis to evaluate the likely response in terms of the magnitude of liquefaction- induced displacements. In many cases, when the predicted displacements are too large, foundation treatment is required to increase density; the amount and extent of such treatment is determined from analysis. Drs. Byrne and Finn have been involved in the development of such analyses over the past 25 years. Basically two approaches are used: a state of practice total stress approach, and state of art effective stress, which directly considers the pore pressures generated during shaking. In the early days, the triggering of liquefaction was the target of the analysis, and if significant zones of liquefaction were predicted, densification to reduce the zone(s) of liquefaction would be called for in design. More recently, emphasis has been placed on displacement resulting from liquefaction. In many soil structures (e.g., the foundation of Canada Place), significant zones of liquefaction can be acceptable provided that the resulting displacements will not unduly damage the structure. At UBC, Drs. Finn and Byrne working independently have developed a dynamic analysis procedure, which considers both

the triggering of liquefaction and the resulting displacements. The modeling involves dynamic analysis using prescribed earthquake design motions in which each pulse of load is tracked in each soil element and when liquefaction is triggered, the much softer post-liquefaction behaviour based on Dr. VaidÂ&#x2019;s laboratory studies is incorporated into the analysis. In this way, looser zones in the foundation will be predicted to first liquefy and soften; this in turn will affect how the rest of the structure behaves. If the loose zones are at depth, they liquefy first and isolate the soil and structure above. More complex analysis takes into account the possible flow of water between elements, which can greatly affect the predicted displacements. The analysis procedures developed at UBC to predict liquefaction-induced response and to aid in the foundation design of new buildings and the retrofit of existing infrastructure are being used by the major consulting firms and BC Hydro as well as the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Highways.




continued from page 3...

Dr. Alex Sy, Sessional Lecturer Since 1988, Dr. Alex Sy has participated in the Department’s activities as a Sessional Lecturer in fourth-year courses in foundation engineering and graduate courses in soil dynamics, seismicity, and soil exploration. He has collaborated with Dr. Campanella to mount a short course on pile design and installation and has participated in several research projects. He brings over 20 years of diverse consulting engineering experience in geotechnical and earthquake engineering to both undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Sy is currently Vice-President, Geo-environment at Klohn Crippen Consultants Ltd., where he has worked since 1977. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Queensland in 1975 and his MEng and PhD degrees from UBC in 1985 and 1993, respectively. He has worked in Canada and Australia, with assignments in the United States, South America and Southeast Asia. Dr. Sy has extensive experience in earthquake engineering, foundation vibrations, and pile dynamics, including the design and testing of pile foundations, in-situ testing, machine vibration analyses, seismic hazard assessments, liquefaction studies, and dynamic soil-structure interaction analyses. He has authored over 35 publications on these subjects. As part of his PhD research conducted at UBC, Dr. Sy developed a rational approach to correlations between Becker Penetration Tests (BPTs) and Standard Penetration Tests (SPTs) for liquefaction assessment in gravelly soils. His BPT interpretation method has been applied to several sites in Canada and the United States, including the seismic assessment of the Lion’s Gate Bridge north approach and BC Hydro’s Terzaghi, Hugh Keenleyside, and Mica Dams.

Chris Daniel, MASc, Geotechnical Engineering Chris Daniel was born in Port Moody and raised in Alberta. He completed a BASc degree with distinction in Geological Engineering in 1997. His MASc thesis in geotechnical engineering, completed in 2000, concerned penetration testing in gravels and included research into the fundamentals of energy transfer during the driving of standard-diameter and large-diameter tube samplers. This topic is central to the assessment of the liquefaction susceptibility of gravels. Chris’s introduction to in-situ testing at UBC occurred over two summers of fieldwork during which he participated in field research programs at two BC mine tailings dams. His graduate work under the supervision of Professor Howie initially focused on the Resistivity Piezo-Cone Penetration Test (RCPTU), but after a field trip to Seward, Alaska, to assist the US Corps of Engineers with a drilling investigation of gravels that liquefied during the 1964 earthquake, he concentrated on dynamic penetration testing and energy measurement. Chris is ideally suited to field-based research as he possesses a strong interest in outdoor activities, including orienteering, skiing, ocean kayaking and climbing. He also loves to travel. He worked during the summer of 1997 with Klohn Crippen Consultants, assisting with field exploration in the Peruvian Andes, and represented UBC at the in-situ testing competition at the Panamerican Conference in Brazil in 1999. Prior to completing his MASc thesis, he took some time out to gain valuable practical experience with Thurber Engineering Ltd. in Calgary, Alberta. Chris was previously a recipient of an NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship during his MASc studies. He has stayed on to pursue his PhD and now holds a Killam Fellowship.

Rozlyn Bubela, Premier’s Award for Young Women in Science The top young woman in science can be found in UBC Civil Engineering. Last October, Rozlyn Bubela, who was then a fourth-year Civil Engineering co-op student, was announced as the undergraduate winner of the 1999 Premier’s Awards for Young Women in Science—and the $10,000 scholarship that goes with it. The Premier’s Awards recognize outstanding female students from technical disciplines where women are currently underrepresented. Winners must demonstrate strong leadership and research potential. Rozlyn was chosen for the top scholarship in recognition of her exemplary academic record, as well as her leadership, idealism, and commitment to the advancement of other young women in technical careers. In addition to maintaining an average of 90% or better every year at UBC, Rozlyn served as a Residence Advisor for the last three years of her undergraduate degree program. “Rozlyn is a truly exceptional student,” said Dr. Bruce Dunwoody, Associate Dean of UBC Engineering Student Services. “She is a young woman who, clearly, has shown her potential as a future leader in the engineering profession. ” Following completion of her BASc degree, Rozlyn began graduate studies in Structural Engineering and in a few months time, she hopes to be working with Professors Helmut Prion and Carlos Ventura. Rozlyn is still an active volunteer, these days devoting her time to the “Scientists and Innovators in the Schools” program, which seeks volunteer scientists, engineers, technologists & technician s to visit classrooms throughout BC. The program is an initiative of the Provincial Government administered by Science World and Rozlyn encourages others who might be interested in getting involved to visit the Science World web site at www.scienceworld.bc.ca. 6


Co-op student helps with seismic upgrade Yvonne Wai recently gained a wide view of what engineering is all about. The third year Civil Engineering student worked as a co-op student at BC Hydro for a fourmonth term, starting May 1999. Yvonne had the opportunity to work with several engineers on different projects, with a focus on one major undertaking: the Seismic Upgrade Project to reinforce transmission line towers in case of an earthquake. Her duties included getting up at 5:30 in the morning to monitor and inspect pile driving and then writing a report based on her inspection. “I looked forward to going back to school where I could apply real work experience to my studies,” said Yvonne. BC Hydro is no stranger to the Engineering Co-op Program. Barry Anderson, Manager of the Stations & Transmission Department, has been hiring co-op students for ten years and says the biggest benefit is “we are getting real work from the students. We work them pretty hard. The students learn very quickly and bring strong computer skills.” BC Hydro is Canada’s third largest electric utility company, serving more than 1.5 million customers and operating 61 dams in 43 locations.

Dramatic growth for Civil Co-op! In five short years, Civil Engineering Co-op Education has gone from a summer-only with just 18 students participating, to a year-round program with over 120 students. Students are pre-selected for academic excellence (based on a minimum of two years in UBC’s engineering program) and personal strengths and then employed fulltime for periods of four- to eight-month work terms. Work terms start every four months (September, January and May), ensuring employers year-round access to talented, bright students. Our students work throughout Canada and around the world! Demand for co-op students is strong, and employers who offer quality co-op

positions will have a significant advantage when students are making career decisions. Hiring co-op students is one of the best ways for an employer to increase visibility on campus and attract future graduates. The Civil Engineering Co-op Program is committed to finding the best fit between an employer’s workplace needs and our top students. We provide employers with onestop access to some of the best students in Canada and our coordinators ensure that hiring is quick, convenient, cost effective, and professional. For more information please contact Shawn Swallow at (604) 822-4280 or sswallow@interchange.ubc.ca. You can also visit the co-op website at www.coop.apsc.ubc.ca.

Department seeks greater online web presence The Department has hired Brian Walker to help promote its online presence. Brian earned his MEng from the Department in the area of Geotechnical Engineering. Brian is preparing selected course materials for delivery online. Initially, online resources will be tailored to supplement classroom learning by allowing increased access to course materials and communications functions. Experience gained in this initial stage of course development will be used to guide the distribution of resources for future online learning initiatives. An important long-term goal is to develop robust online materials for courses suitable to distance education. The two major course delivery schemes available to Civil Engineering are WebCT and MyCourses. WebCT is a powerful commercial course authoring tool initially developed at UBC. MyCourses is a smaller scale course delivery system designed with ease of use in mind. This system was initially developed for use by the Faculty of Applied Science; however, it could potentially be scaled for campus-wide use. Work is underway to make the Civil Engineering web pages database driven, providing means for timely updates and more dynamic content. Web material is being developed to summarize current and past research initiatives and promote faculty interests. A long-term goal is to develop a Civil web portal as a central location at which students, staff, and faculty can access all online resources related to Civil Engineering at UBC.

Civil leads the way in Building Science This fall, Civil Engineering, together with Wood Science, offered a new course on the topic of building science and enclosure design. This is an important course in light of the current concerns about how the exteriors of our buildings are performing, particularly following the disaster with “leaky condos”. The course objectives include providing fundamental understanding of the loads such as thermal, moisture, and wind, on a building’s exterior, and how building envelope elements of different materials and configurations fulfill their functions. The course also focuses on the importance of detailing envelope systems, particularly looking at the continuity of system elements. A hands-on approach has been adopted which includes building science calculation work, as well as detail drawings of wall assemblies. The issues are discussed in the context of building codes and professional practice, with field trips and guest lecturers providing students with insights into the local context, including research currently underway. The course is being taught by a graduate of this department: Douglas L. Watts, BASc (UBC, Civil 1980), MArch, PEng, MAIBC, MRAIC, CP, BEP. Mr. Watts has practised as an architect, and as a structural engineer, and has taught in the architecture programs at the U. of Washington and UBC. He most recently finished a two-year term as the City of Vancouver Building Envelope Specialist. He serves on a multitude of boards and committees focusing on Building Envelope issues. The Department continues to pursue fundraising for a chair in order to create a full-time, permanent position in Building Science and Enclosure Design. CIVIL ENGINEERING at UBC


Two-years strong Civil students compete in AISC Steel Bridge Competition Following an encouraging rookie performance in 1999, UBC again fielded a team to participate in the millennium edition of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Steel Bridge Competition in Spokane, Washington in April. This annual event challenges students at universities in the US and Canada to assemble teams capable of designing, fabricating and building a sixmetre (20 foot) span steel bridge. Last year’s respectable sixth-place finish gave the 2000 team some valuable insight, not to mention first-hand experience, via four returning team members, including team captain Rozlyn Bubela. This edge, combined with the enthusiasm of seven new members, raised hopes for a more competitive showing. Judging of overall performance was similar compared to the previous year, with bridges ranked according to total weight, deflection under prescribed loads, construction speed, efficiency and economy, and aesthetics. However, a new set of rules concerning increased span and tighter construction constraints provided increased technical challenges. Nonetheless, some of the results did improve: Using a simple and structurally efficient design, the 2000 team constructed their 22-foot bridge in a competitive seven minutes, compared to 11 minutes in 1999. Unfortunately, this year’s team wasn’t quite as successful in the deflection competition,

Team UBC 1999 (from left to right): Ed Wang, Jason Esau, Eugene Chong, Canisius Chan, Peggy Leung, Rozlyn Bubela, and Michael Roberts.

where under an initial load of 2,000 lbs the UBC bridge slumped laterally, resulting in disqualification. While this was obviously disappointing, the team took heart in the support and constructive criticism offered by other teams. The students felt that this open attitude exemplified the true nature and purpose of the event, and provided for a tremendous learning experience for all involved. In 1999, the team placed second for bridge stiffness with a five millimetre vertical deflection under a full load of 2,500 lbs.

Students of both the 1999 and 2000 teams participated in the Steel Bridge Competition in their “free time,” spending long hours fabricating parts, practicing setup and soliciting financial support. The latter was made easier with generous support from the Civil Engineering Department as well as from various members of the engineering and steel construction communities. In fact, in an effort to encourage future participation, the Department has pledged ongoing support for as long as there exists an enthusiastic and devoted team focussed on learning and positive results. Students and/or sponsors interested in getting involved with the 2001 UBC Steel Bridge Design Team should contact James Yoneda at jamesyoneda@hotmail.com. Congratulations to all team members in 1999 and 2000. Your performance has made us proud!

Team UBC 2000 (from left to right): Rozlyn Bubela, James Yoneda, Terence Jibiki, Fabio Garbin, Simon Drexl, Brian Lee, Terrence Davies, Peggy Leung, Canisius Chan, and Jason Esau. Missing from photo: Anu Saini. 8


New earthquake engineering lab moves ahead The Department received notice during the summer that its application to CFI for funding of a new earthquake engineering research laboratory was approved. The total budget is approximately $2.5 million, with 40% coming from CFI, another 40% from the BC Knowledge Development Fund (yet to be approved), and 20% from UBC. Additional funding is being sought for long-term support for highly qualified technical support personnel.

Mr. Paul Giannelia helps launch the Designated Design Elective initiative

A view from inside the new facility.

Key features of the new facility will include: • A high head (30 feet) earthquake testing laboratory with the space for analysis of test results and storage of related equipment. • Adequate space and access to accommodate realistically sized test specimens. • A large reaction foundation mass that can handle high load capacity actuators. • Provisions for future enhancements of the load and stroke capacity of the table. • The ability to simulate all of the possible motions experienced during an earthquake (three translational and three rotational motions). • State-of-the-art shake table control and test monitoring systems. • A state-of-the-art telecommunications and conferencing system for remote monitoring of tests. • A strong reaction wall in the Structures laboratory for quasi-static testing of assemblages.

Engineers aim to build data bridges Civil Engineering Assoc. Prof. Thomas Froese has received a three-year $618,750 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for an international research project Assoc. Prof. Tom Froese aimed at reducing the amount of human intervention required in sharing building information. The results could lead to improvements in building efficiency and more accurate estimates in tendering for work by those in a relatively low-margin business. “When you build a building, a lot of the process happens before a shovel goes into the ground,” says Froese. “The bulk of that

Confederation Bridge Builder in Residence

has to do with information handling. Problems in a building project often have to do with information breakdowns—wrong information, late information.” Froese says a common data standard would help speed up the adoption of new information technology. He and Civil Engineering Dept. Head Alan Russell are collaborating with researchers from the National Research Council, the University of New Brunswick, Concordia University, Ryerson Polytechnic University, and Public Works and Government Services Canada on the project. Stanford University, the United States Corps of Engineers and the International Alliance for Interoperability will also be involved. Reprinted, in part, from UBC Reports, October 5, 2000

An important component of the Department’s new Designated Design Elective initiative is the ‘designer-inresidence’. The Paul Giannelia, primary objective is to President & CEO - SC Infrastructure Inc. provide undergraduate students, especially those in their final year, with access to individuals who are renowned for their conceptualization, design or construction knowledge and accomplishments. Of particular importance is exposure of the students to the interdisciplinary aspects of design, and the multitude of considerations involved in finding solutions to meet the needs for civil engineering infrastructure that are technically, economically, environmentally and politically feasible. Mr. Paul Giannelia, the Project Director for the Confederation Bridge Project, accepted our invitation to spend two days in residence during March of 2000. He made several in-class presentations and gave one public lecture. His presentations dealt with “Thinking Outside the Box,” “Development and Construction of the Confederation Bridge,” and “The New Millennium, the Global Marketplace, dot.com and the AEC Industry.” In addition, he participated in classroom discussions, and had extended roundtable discussions both with faculty members and graduate students. Mr. Giannelia’s time in residence was a great success, and the Department is very grateful for his willingness to take time out from an enormously busy schedule. The ‘designerin residence’ program will be continued this year. Dr. Robert Sexsmith (sexsmith@civil.ubc.ca) is coordinating this initiative for the 2000-2001 academic year. Mr. Giannelia is the President and CEO of SC Infrastructure Inc. (“SCII”) and Strait Crossing Inc. (“SCI”), Calgary, Alberta. Some of the major projects he has undertaken include: the Cambie Street Bridge and Cassiar Connector in Vancouver, BC; the Olympic Speed Skating Oval in Calgary, AB; and the Winward Viaduct in Honolulu, HI. CIVIL ENGINEERING at UBC


The difference time makes Department Head celebrates 50 years with the classes of ’49 and ’50 The classes of ’49 and ’50 had their 50th class dinner reunions on September 29, 1999 and September 30, 2000 respectively. My wife Elfie and I were invited as guests to both reunions and enjoyed very warm and memorable evenings. On both occasions, I was asked to speak and used the opportunity to contrast events at that time with those 50 years later. I note a few of these comparisons below. The most significant differences between now and 50 years ago deal with a four- instead of a five-year program. Other items of note include the enormous increase in the knowledge base, information technology and the computer, the vastly increased role of women in the program, co-op education and learner centerededucation, which will eventually be available 24 hours a day via the web. Professors active at that time and throughout the 50’s and 60’s who were recalled with fondness by many were: Fred Muir, Alex Hrennikoff, Ernie Pretious, Archie Peebles, Sam Lipson, Wilf Heslop, Sib De Jong, and, Harry Bell. The last

by Dr. Alan Russell

Head Alan Russell and Dean Michael Isaacson (front row) share an evening with the class of 1949.

remaining lecturer for both classes, Dr. Joe Kania, who taught engineering economics, passed away this year at the age of 99. The very significant contributions to the profession and society by members of both classes were noted. I was struck by the tremendous camaraderie of those present; they obviously enjoyed their experience at

UBC and the journey together—both while at UBC and later throughout their professional and personal lives. Many contributed to making these two events an enormous success, but of special note are Ray Cunliffe of the class of ’49 and Bryan Quinlan of the class of ’50.

Memories and modern day: A few comparisons between then and now... ITEM

1949 & 1950


Dean of the Faculty Main source of students Graduating class

A Civil Engineer, John Finlayson Veterans from World War II 63 BASc Class of 49; all male; no graduate students 78 BASc, Class of 50; all male, no graduate students 20, all men, several were instructors

A Civil Engineer, Michael Isaacson high school 113 BASc (72 male, 41 female) MASc (18); MEng (29); PhD (9)

Faculty members Focus of faculty Program duration Minimum grade required for admission to 1st year engineering and failure rate at end of 1st year Combined BA and BASc Duration of courses English Surveying & drawings

Teaching and practice 1 year Arts & Science; 4 years engineering 60% in math, chemistry, physics, biology; 50% in everything else; approximately 33% failure rate Possible to get double degree Mostly a year long Several courses in English, and 3rd and 4th year essays Several courses in each

Railway design Structures & environment courses

1 course Heavy emphasis on structures; none on environment

Most useful tool

Slide rule



23.87 of which 2 are female; no instructors Teaching and research 4 years engineering Approximately 82% average; approximately 11% failure rate Only recently re-instituted 1 term long Two courses in English 1 drawing course, and 2 week survey camp None Reduced emphasis on structures; environment courses and environment option Computer

Conferences & short course activities Upcoming events

Recent events


International Workshop on Welding: An update on design, technologies and codes for engineers and architects

Fifth International Symposium on Stratified Flows

NRC approves new journal

University of British Columbia February 22-23, 2001 This workshop on welding is designed to specifically target practicing professionals such as engineers and architects. The aim of the workshop is to provide a forum to present and discuss current design practice, technologies and codes in welding. Practically oriented topics will be covered in order to increase in-depth welding knowledge and to promote creative application of welded structures. Speakers include practicing engineers and architects, academic educators and researchers and leading representatives from industry and jurisdictional authorities. Both architectural and engineering aspects will be addressed. The workshop is sponsored and supported by the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) and the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC). For more information contact Dr. Sigi Stiemer at sigi@civil.ubc.ca. Third International Conference on Concrete Under Severe Conditions of Environment and Loading

Vancouver, BC June 18-20, 2001 Hosted by the Department of Civil Engineering, UBC, the Third International Conference on Concrete under Severe Conditions of Environment and Loading (CONSEC’01) will be held in Vancouver, Canada from June 18-20, 2001. The first conference in this series was held in Sapporo, Japan in 1995 followed by the second conference in Tromso, Norway in 1998. At CONSEC’01, over 300 papers will be presented on diverse topics including: Performance of Concrete Structures under Severe Environments and Loading, New Design Concepts, High Performance and New Materials, Operations, Maintenance and Repairs and Structural Health Monitoring. For more information contact Professor N. Banthia at banthia@civil.ubc.ca.

Greg Lawrence, Noboru Yonemitsu and Roger Pieters hosted the fifth International Symposium on Stratified Flows at UBC from July 10-12, 2000. This symposium, sponsored by the International Association for Hydraulic Research, is the premier symposium in the field, held only once every 6-8 years. The Fifth Symposium was the largest to date, attracting over 200 papers covering a wide range of investigations into stratified flows in lakes and reservoirs, rivers and estuaries close to oceans, and the oceans and atmosphere. Tantalizing insights into current research on wakes and vortices, jets, hydrodynamic stability, internal waves, and turbulence and mixing were also provided. For information about obtaining proceedings, contact Dr. Greg Lawrence at lawrence@civil.ubc.ca. World Conference on Timber Engineering The Department of Civil Engineering was one of three organizing sponsors of the World Conference on Timber Engineering held in Whistler July 31-August 3, 2000. The conference attracted over 400 delegates from 35 countries and featured presentations on a wide scope of timber engineering issues, ranging from Wood Mechanics and Connection Methods to Conceptual Design and Earthquake and Resistance of Wood Buildings. Drs. Helmut Prion and Ricardo Foschi served on the organizing committee. For information about obtaining proceedings contact Dr. Helmut Prion at prion@civil.ubc.ca. Road Safety Improvement Training Dr. Tarek Sayed organized a 3-day seminar to train new consultants joining the ICBC road improvement program (June 19-21, 2000). The seminar was hosted here at the Department and was attended by 25 engineers representing 5 consulting firms. The objective of the seminar was to provide general training in the area of road safety.

Recently, the National Research Council in Ottawa approved the creation of the new “Journal of Environmental Engineering and Science.” This journal will be located, (at least initially), within the Dept. of Civil Engineering, near the current CJCE office. Co-editors will be Don Mavinic, UBC and Dan Smith, University of Alberta, who have spearheaded the initiative over the last 8-10 years. This is the first new journal approved by NRC in about 8 years. Target date for launch, in electronic format, is Sept. 2001, with 6 issues per year, starting formally in January 2002. Department particpates in new certificate in Structural Engineering In response to engineering industry needs, a new certificate program in structural engineering has been developed jointly by the Vancouver Structural Engineers Group (VSEG) and the Department of Civil Engineering. Courses offered through the program are intended to enhance the skills and knowledge base of structural engineers to assist them to become more effective in their firms (the program is unrelated to the APEGBC structural qualifications initiative). The Certificate is awarded upon the successful completion of 12 courses chosen from a selection of core and elective courses. The program is also open to anyone wishing to take individual update courses. Courses begin in September, January and April; most include lectures by structural engineering professors and practicing professionals. Lectures will be held in the evenings at the Vancouver Public Library Main Branch lecture rooms. About half the courses are focused on building design, while others are useful for designers of any type of structure and will also be of interest to designers in the bridge and heavy industry fields. More information about the program is available on the VSEG web site at: www.structeng.ba.ca. CIVIL ENGINEERING at UBC


Undergraduate scholarships Current undergraduate scholarships within Civil Engineering Over the years, a number of scholarships have been created by generous individuals and organizations for the purpose of assisting deserving students during the course of their studies. Listed below are current scholarships, the basis for their award, and the recipients for the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 academic years. For information about creating and endowing an award, please contact Dr. Alan Russell at adr@civil.ubc.ca. Charles and Jane Banks Scholarship:

Ian S. Ross Memorial Award in Engineering:

Awarded on the recommendation of the Faculty, General ($500): 1999 Recipient: Evan Cornish ($500); 2000 Recipients ($2500): Chad John Cranswick ($1000), David Scott Wallace ($1000), Robert Dies ($500).

($550): 2000 Recipient: Daniel John Potts ($550).

Christopher E. Webb Prize:

Top 4th year student in water resources, ($300): 1999 Recipient: Kenneth Ka-K Cheung ($300); 2000 Recipient: Stuart Ian McGregor ($300). Delta Hudson Engineering Ltd. Scholarship:

Entering 4th year in soil mechanics (CIVL 311), ($1000): 2000 Recipient: Matthew John Ronal Humphries ($1000). Edith Grace Buchan Scholarship:

Awarded on the recommendation of the Faculty, General ($1500): 1999 Recipients: Cheeta Lorain M. Soga ($750), Peggy Leung ($750); 2000 Recipients: Chung-Mehdi Jalayer ($500), Tat David Lam ($500), William Wai Lam Yip ($500). Frederick W. Coffin Scholarship:

Awarded on the recommedation of the Dept. of Civil Eng, General ($6600): 1999 Recipients: Amy Lam ($1600), Nathan Paul Loewen ($1600), Kenneth Cheung ($1100), Vikki Ngan ($1100), Nga Chau ($300); 2000 Recipients: Amy lai Tim Lam ($1000), Daniel Leonard ($1000), Ho Pong Li ($1000), Colin Macmillan ($1000), Ian Randall ($1000), Brandon Young ($1000), Hei Yiu Brenda Ma ($600). Golder Associates Geotechnical Scholarship:

Top 4th year student in soil mechanics. ($1000): 1999 Recipient: Rozlyn Bubela ($1000); 2000 Recipient: Hei Yiu Brenda Ma ($1000). Harry R. Bell Scholarship:

CIVL 235, Plane Surveying (2nd best). Also for graduate students, ($1000x3): 1999 Recipients: Daniel Leonard ($1000), Ho Pong Li ($1000), Dominic Tsang ($1000); 2000 Recipients: Wai Chi Chow ($1000), Nang Tat Agnon Fung ($1000), Sonya Vrtacic ($1000).

J. Fred Muir Memorial Scholarship:

General ($5250): 1999 Recipients: Yiu Pong Raymond Chan ($1600), Chun Lam ($1600), Evan Cornish ($1200), Stuart McGregor ($425), Vikki Ngan ($425); 2000 Recipients: Phyllis Chan ($750), Aaron Hahn ($750), Tony Sai Kuen Lee ($750), Nathan Paul Loewen ($750), Omri Olund ($750), Chit Ling Patrick Tong ($750), Peter Chin Wai Wong ($750).

Read Jones Christofferson Ltd. John H. Read Scholarship:

4th year best overall, financial need ($500): 1999 Recipient: Evan Wayne Cornish, ($500); 2000 Recipient: Daniel John Potts ($500). Roy Francis Hooley Memorial Scholarship in Engineering:

Outstanding aptitude in Structural engineering in 3rd year of Civil Engineering to 4th year. ($900): 1999 Recipient: Rozlyn Bubela ($1000); 2000 Recipient: Stuart Ian McGregor ($1000). Sybren Hendrik De Jong Memorial Scholarship:

Top student in Civil 235, Plane Surveying ($1375): 1999 Recipient: Stuart Ian McGregor ($1375); 2000 Recipient: Daniel John Potts ($1375). Thomas Arthur Beeching Scholarship:

Undergraduate or graduate, ($3000): 1999 Recipient: Rozlyn Bubela ($3000).

Awarded on the recommendation of Faculty, General ($2100): 1999 Recipients: Nga Chau ($500), Ming William Cheung ($800), Yan Shun Leslie Chow ($800); 2000 Recipients: Brian Ho-Yin Lee ($800), Stuart Ian McGregor ($700), Matthew John Ronal Humphries ($500), Mabel L.W. Chow ($100).

Ken Strauss:

Walter Shukin Memorial Scholarship:

J.K. Zee Memorial Scholarship in Engineering:

Top 4th year student in soil mechanics. Also for graduate students ($1200): 1999 Recipient: Kenneth Cheung ($1200). Lafarge Canada Inc. Scholarship:

4th year concrete design ($500): 1999Recipient: Kenneth Cheung ($500); 2000 Recipient: Brian Ho-Yin Lee ($500).

Entering 4th year in a soil mechanics (CIVL 311) and participates in other university or professional activities ($950): 1999 Recipient: Cheeta Lorain Soga ($950); 2000 Recipient: Mabel L.W. Chow ($950).

Many thanks to the above donors whose support is greatly appreciated! And congratulations to all of the students!

Lambert Scholarship:

4th year most deserving student ($400): 1999 Recipient: Rozlyn Bubela ($400); 2000 Recipient: Hei Yiu Brenda Ma ($400). MacKenzie Swan Memorial Scholarship:

Academic leadership ($1000): 1999 Recipients: Rozlyn Bubela ($500), Kenneth Cheung ($500); 2000 Recipient: Nathan Paul Loewen ($1000). Martin R. Tupper Memorial Award in Civil Engineering:

Leadership in intramurals or in the Engineering Undergraduate Society, ($700): 1999 Recipient: Nadine King ($700); 2000 Recipient: Brian Ho-Yin Lee ($700).

Civil Engineering at UBC is a publication of the Department of Civil Engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science, at The University of British Columbia Production Contributors: Ms Clare Quirk, Administrative Assistant Dr. Alan Russell, Department Head Ms Vicki Dimopoulos, Secretary Ms Laurie Dawkins, Communications Officer, Deanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office Special note is made of the expert assistance provided by Mrs Donna Shultz of the Faculty of Applied Science. For further information about the Department of Civil Engineering and its programs, contact us at: Department of Civil Engineering CEME Building 2324 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-2637 www.civil.ubc.ca



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Civil Engineering Newsletter 2000