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winter 2008

Faculty of Applied Science News Civil Engineering Engineering News at

The University of British Columbia


Field Trip Tradition

• Message from the Head • Flashback

If two years in a row can make a tradition, then this year’s 4th year field trip marks the return Transportation to tradition for the UBC undergraduate civil engiSystems and Freight neering program. The idea of a 4th year field trip Security (BITSAFS) was brought forward in 2006 as a complement • UBCDrive to the newly renovated capstone design course, • Caring for Our CIVL 445 Engineering Design and Analysis. For its Infrastructure second offering in 2007, the CIVL 445 instructor • Xiangyun Jiang, team of Professors Barbara Lence, John Howie, Civil Engineering Jim Atwater, took on the ambitious challenge of Co-op Student shepherding two full buses of undergraduate • Dean Isaacson to students through a two-day odyssey to several step down in 2008 intriguing civil engineering sites in the lower • People mainland and the interior of British Columbia. • Events & Day One kicked off with students marshalling Achievements beside CEME for a 7:00 am departure. The convoy travelled to the Golden Ears Bridge construction site in Langley, where the UBC group was ably hosted by representatives of the Golden Crossing Constructors Joint Venture. Our hosts organized two tours that all of the students completed. One dealt with the construction of the crossing approaches and the bridge piers, while the second provided an overview of the highway and road construction that is underway. All in all, an interesting four hours was spent examining various aspects of this complex and controversial engineering project. In the afternoon, the group departed for Sun Peaks Resort, its destination for the night. After a hearty dinner, everyone settled down for a presentation by David Ethier, P.Eng., (UBC ’72), of Urban Systems Ltd. in Kamloops. The subject of his talk was the planning, design and construction of the municipal infrastructure to service the Sun Peaks townsite, constructed over the past 15 years. The story of Sun Peaks presented a

Continues in 2007

• A View From Industry • Bureau of Intelligent

First stop: Golden Ears Crossing construction site

unique opportunity for civil engineering students to learn of the challenges and solutions involved in the design of a complete greenfield site. Since the project assigned in CIVL 445 presents a very similar challenge for student project teams, the technical presentation provided by Urban Systems was right on topic. Day Two began at a leisurely 9:00 am, with a quick trip to the City of Kamloops. The morning was nicely filled by tours of the new Kamloops Centre for Water Quality. This unique facility, the largest in North America when built, includes innovative membrane filtration Continued on page 4


from the Head

Change is in the wind. As I write my last message for Civil@ubc, the process to nominate the next Head of Department is well underway. The new Head will strap on the harness effective July 1, 2008, bringing a new vision and renewed energy to the administration of the Department. I confess that I have greatly enjoyed my time as Head and I am grateful for the opportunity to have served in this capacity in such a positive and collegial academic unit. That being said, I also acknowledge that my excitement is building for a return to full-time teaching and research. If a change in the Headship is not enough for the Department, we are also awaiting a simultaneous change in leadership of our Faculty of Applied Science. Dean Michael Isaacson will also be stepping down next summer, to return to his role as a faculty member in the Department of Civil Engineering. Michael will have served in administrative positions at UBC for a total of 16 years by next June, most of this time as Dean. The Faculty has been well-served by Michael’s leadership and energy. We look forward to welcoming him back to a day-to-day role in the Civil Engineering community.

The interest in civil engineering at the undergraduate level continues to be ultra-strong. In 2006-07, we graduated the largest B.A.Sc. cohort on record — 125 students. The overwhelming demand for seats in our program brought further change for the Department this year, as our second year intake was increased by about 20%. This, in turn, puts serious additional pressure on some of our core courses, particularly those with accompanying laboratories. As a result, we have arrived at the recognition that our 30+-year old laboratory teaching equipment is no longer adequate in functionality, or in number. In response, the Department is working very hard to renew our undergraduate teaching laboratories so that we can confidently continue as one of Canada’s top civil engineering programs. I would welcome any comments or suggestions that may arise as you read this issue of our newsletter. Please feel free to contact me at ehall@civil.ubc.ca.

Eric Hall, Department Head

Flashback From 2007 to 1977 The year 2007 marks the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering (CEME) Building. Among the dignitaries that were present for the opening, was a relatively young professor of civil engineering — Dr. William D. Liam Finn. Finn was a participant at the event Dr. William D. Liam Finn

because, at the time, he was also serving as the Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science. Thirty years later, he is still a valued colleague, who serves as an active emeritus faculty member in the Department’s geotechnical engineering group. Also thirty years later, the Department of Civil Engineering has again loaned one of its faculty members to serve as Dean of Applied Science, Dr. Michael Isaacson. Isaacson was the successful champion of the first “addition” to CEME, the Fred Kaiser Building, which opened in 2005.


A View From Industry

Shotcrete Next to water, concrete is the most consumed product on earth. There is approximately one tonne of concrete produced annually for every man, woman and child on earth. We are all familiar with the ubiquitous grey product for which it has been said: In an urban environment one is seldom more than a meter away from concrete. Think of it: pavement, driveways, curb and gutter, sidewalks, basements, parking structures, buildings, sewers, water supply pipes, bridges, airports, marine structures. Most such infrastructure is either concrete flatwork or formed cast-in-place reinforced concrete construction. There is, however, a small, but increasing percentage of concrete that is placed as sprayed concrete as the Europeans would say; or shotcrete as we call it in North America. Shotcrete is best suited to application to vertical and overhead surfaces, but can also be applied to horizontal surfaces. Nearly all the deep excavations (some as deep as 30 meters) in downtown Vancouver for the past three decades have been supported by the stressed, tie-back shotcrete support system. The cut-andcover tunnels for the Canada Line currently under construction are being constructed with this method. You might wonder how the University of British Columbia (UBC) fits into this growing area of civil

— A Versatile Construction Process

engineering technology. UBC has been a North American powerhouse in conducting graduate research in shotcrete and advancing the state-ofthe-art of the technology. One of the first graduates of the UBC shotcrete research program, Dr. Denis Beaupré discovered the benefits of using shotcrete with high volumes of air in the material discharged into the shotcrete pump. The high air volume increases the workability and hence the pumpability of the shotcrete, but a loss of about half of the plastic air content on impact on the receiving surface causes an instantaneous loss of slump in the in-place material. This is highly beneficial to the shotcrete process, as it reduces sagging, sloughing and fall-out of the shotcrete and enables build-up of the freshly applied shotcrete in a single pass. This advantageous technology is now routinely used in the shotcrete industry.

Dr. Lienrong Chen developed the Toughness Performance Level method for characterizing the toughness of fiber reinforced concretes and shotcretes. This work has found widespread adoption (including being incorporated in the Austrian Standard for Sprayed Concrete) and in the recently published ASTM C1609 Standard Test Method for Flexural Performance of Fiber-Reinforced Concrete. Other notable shotcrete research at UBC includes the work of Dr. Hugo Armelin and Dr. Marc Jolin. This research, which included the use of high speed cameras to capture the kinematics of the shotcrete shooting and rebound phenomena, brought science to what had up till this point been largely empirical observation. Other shotcrete research at UBC has included: • durability of shotcrete rehabilitation treatments of BC Hydro Dams by Roland Heere,

Dr. D.R. (Rusty) Morgan, Chief Materials Engineer AMEC Earth & Environmental

• Kevin Campbell’s work on restrained shrinkage cracking in bonded fiber reinforced shotcrete, • research by Vivek Bindiganavile in 2000 on effects of mineral admixtures on rebound in dry-mix shotcrete, • a study by Cesar Chan in 2000 into use of recycled aggregates in shotcrete, and • studies by Prabhakar Gupta in 2000 into the impact resistance of fiber reinforced shotcretes. Shotcrete is an increasingly growing part of the total concrete industry, and UBC Civil Engineering research is making major contributions to the understanding of shotcrete and the growth of the shotcrete industry worldwide. Shooting shotcrete into parking structure wall in Calgary


Bureau of Intelligent Transportation Systems and Freight Security(BITSAFS)

Clark Lim

A new Bureau of ITS and Freight Security (BITSAFS) has been established and opened for research in the Department of Civil Engineering. Under the guidance of

Trucks on Broadway

the Bureau’s Director, Professor Tarek Sayed, BITSAFS research mandate is to focus on the application of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies in the area of goods movement. Using techniques and tools such as simulation modelling, GIS, computer vision, and database systems, the Bureau’s research seeks to promote secure and efficient freight movement through the country and across national borders. The Bureau’s office will also house an ITS lab and the facility will be used to educate civil engineering students in the application of ITS technologies related to freight movement. BITSAFS is funded by Transport Canada and the BC Ministry of Transportation, as well as TransLink, ICBC, and other local transportation-related agencies. For more information, please contact Clark Lim, Managing Director of BITSAFS, at 604.822.8785 or clim@bitsafs.ca. The BITSAFS office is located at Room 051 in the ICICS building at 2366 Main Mall.

Field Trip 2007 Continued from page 1 technology for drinking water treatment, plus laboratories and classrooms for research and training initiatives sponsored by the City of Kamloops, Thompson Rivers University and Zenon Environmental Inc. (now GE Water & Process Technologies). Staff from the Centre and from Thompson Rivers University organized tours and a presentation on chemical coagulation for water treatment. The Kamloops stop closed with a much anticipated boxed lunch.

The return trip to Vancouver via the Coquihalla Highway afforded many examples of engineering challenges successfully overcome. A final stop at the Othello Tunnels on the old Kettle Valley Railway route, gave the students the opportunity to be reminded of the engineering intricacies faced by their early 20th century civil engineering predecessors. After a safe return to UBC, students and professors agreed that the CIVL 445 field trip is an event that deserves to become a tradition.

Final stop: Othello Tunnels



Driving Laboratory

The Department’s transportation engineering group is pleased to announce the opening of UBCDrive. Located in CEME 1003A, this driving laboratory houses an interactive, fixed base driving simulator which was developed by Oktal (www.oktal.fr) for conducting transportation and traffic engineering research. Funding was provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund, and the UBC Department of Civil Engineering. The driving simulator utilizes a distributed computer system, integrated with a mockup of a Hyundai passenger car cabin and five 32 inch LCD televisions that provide a horizontal field of view of approximately 180°. The large field of view makes the simulator suitable for intersection studies, as drivers are able to view traffic approaching on the crossroads. Drivers maneu-

ver through interactive the driving scenario. driving scenarios using Vehicles can be individually conventional vehicle conprogrammed to drive pretrols (i.e. steering wheel, and defined routes or to swarm brake and accelerator around target vehicles. pedals) and their behaviours The UBC driving simulator are recorded electronically. will allow the transportation To assist drivers making lane group to evaluate existing change and turning maneuand proposed roadway vers, images for the side and designs and operation rear view mirrors are strategies by analyzing embedded in the front view. changes in driver behaviour. The simulation software Currently, the driving SCANeR©II provides the simulator is being used for operator considerable flexithree research projects. bility in the design of road 1. Dr. J. Jenkins is evaluating networks and the creation the adequacy of the current of driving scenarios. Road design standards and marknetworks are comprised ing practices for passing of straight line, circular and areas of North American Euler curve road segments rural roads. This work is and the operator specifies funded through a NSERC the properties of the various Discovery grant. road profile elements, 2. Mr. Saeed Sahami’s disincluding the shoulder and sertation is focused on lane widths, type of developing a methodology pavement surface, and lane to evaluate whether drivers markings. The operator have adapted their driving can also add road signs, skills to interact with roadside furniture and the driving simulator and foliage, buildings, and other aims to establish an static objects. The traffic international protocol to is then added to produce address adaptation.

UBCDrive fixed base driving simulator


3. Together, Dr. Jenkins and Mr. Sahami are tracking the severity of simulator sickness symptoms experienced by those who drive the simulator and aim to develop a screening protocol.

Drivers wanted To be eligible to drive the UBC driving simulator, you: • have a valid license; • are not under the influence of alcohol or a narcotic; and • are available to drive for one hour. To inquire about driving, email UBCDrive@apsc.ubc.ca or contact: Jacqueline Jenkins, Assistant Professor Department of Civil Engineering jenkins@civil.ubc.ca Tel: 604-827-5824

Caring for Our Infrastructure On September 30, 2006 a highway overpass collapsed in Laval, north of Montreal, crushing two cars and killing five people. The collapse occurred without any warning. Within a year, another bridge, this time a steel-deck truss bridge on Interstate 35W in Minneapolis, plummeted more than 60 feet into the Mississippi River. This too occurred without any warning. Were these collapses avoidable? This question can be answered only after the on-going investigations are complete, but these incidents have brought the issue of the overall safety of our infrastructure to the forefront. Like Canada’s population, our infrastructure is also aging. Most of it was built in the 1960’s with reinforced concrete. Unfortunately, with copious quantities of deicing salts applied to our bridges and roads to prevent them from becoming icy and slippery, corrosion of the reinforcing steel within the body of concrete has become a real problem. Corrosion produces rust, which occupies about 20 times more volume than steel itself and causes cracking and spalling in concrete and sometimes even Installing fiber optic sensors on a bridge deck for long term monitoring

collapse. Decades of uncontrolled corrosion of reinforcing steel and lack of timely maintenance have now created an infrastructure crisis or ‘backlog’ in Canada and in fact around the world, of unprecedented proportions. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities estimates that major Canadian cities face an infrastructure deficit of approximately $44 billion just to maintain the current infrastructure, and world wide the problem is pegged at nearly $900 billion. Canada has nearly 60,000 bridges and 10,000 parking garages that require repair and/or strengthening and over 20% of these are in need of major rehabilitation or outright replacement. Not surprisingly, nearly half of our construction activity is currently geared towards the repair and strengthening of our infrastructure and as the infrastructure ages further, this will place further demands on our already stretched infrastructure budget. The Materials Group in the Department of Civil Engineering is actively involved in developing novel means of not only repairing and strengthening our deteriorating infrastructure, but also of developing technologies that will ensure that these problems will not plague our new structures some years down the road. The group serves as a prominent node in the Network of Centres of Excellence–ISIS (Intelligent Sensing for Innovative Structures) and is involved in researching the use of fiber reinforced polymer (FRPs) materials for use in new construction and repair. These non-magnetic and non-corrosive materials carry high strength graphite and glass fibers embedded in a non-corrosive polymeric matrix. A bridge deck with no steel, only FRP reinforcement

Sprayed FRPs for strengthening

A typical sensor on a bridge near Duncan B.C.


Typical ‘command’ centre for a

Bridge testing in progress

continuously monitored bridge

In the case of new construction, ISIS is currently involved in over a dozen fully monitored demonstration projects in Canada, for which all steel rebars have been replaced by FRP bars. The performance of these new materials is being monitored with fiber optic sensors (FOSs), data from which are acquired remotely over the Internet. But what about the hundreds of thousands of old bridges and other structures that are deteriorating and cannot benefit from the FRP technology? In this context the group is working on two fronts: first, on developing advanced nondestructive techniques capable of ‘seeing’ inside the structure (as is done in the medical field) by using infrared thermography, impact-echo, acoustic emission, ground penetrating radar, x-ray tomography and magnetic resonance imaging; and second, towards developing cost-effective, durable and environmentally friendly materials and processes for repair and strengthening of older concrete structures. Due to global warming, there is a strong impetus to reduce the amount of cement in concrete materials. Alarmingly, the production of one tonne of Portland cement releases nearly one tonne of CO2 into the atmosphere and the cement industry is responsible for nearly 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, and given the large quantities involved, it is estimated that replacing even 15% of the cement in all concrete with an industrial by-product such as fly ash, will help us achieve almost 50% of the CO2 reduction mandated by the Kyoto Protocol (483 million tonnes per year by 2012). Such measures are particularly important as cement consumption is expected to nearly double from 1.6 billion tonnes today to about 3 billion tonnes in 2025. All repair materials generally carry large amounts of cements, and one of the objectives of research at UBC is to reduce the cement content in repair materials by replacing it with an industrial by-product such as fly ash. An equally important goal is to use recycled aggregate in repair materials. Canada alone produces nearly 20 million tonnes of waste con-


crete per year from demolition projects, a large portion of which could easily be recycled back into new or repair concrete in the form of recycled aggregates. For structural strengthening, the use of hand-applied wraps, jackets and laminates is becoming popular. The implementation of these measures is labour intensive and cumbersome. Recently, the group has developed a highly innovative technique of applying FRPs using a spray process. A winner of many awards, the technique has already been applied to strengthen several structures, including bridges, masonry and storage tanks and is touted as one of the most effective means of increasing the seismic resistance of existing structures. Our infrastructure is mute and non-responsive. It would be highly desirable to have infrastructure that is sufficiently intelligent to provide an ongoing account of its internal condition. This is particularly true for critical arterial structures that are of strategic national importance — Lions Gate Bridge, for example — where collapse can cause huge loss of life and property. Towards this end, the group is developing lowcost, cement-based sensors based on ordinary graphite fibers or high-purity, single-wall carbon nano-tubes. These sensors can be easily mounted on structures and can provide continuous data of local and global strains and detect the nucleation of cracks. They can also detect changes in the chemical environment (such as chloride ingress), and indicate threshold concentrations at which steel corrosion will commence. Smart structures combined with innovative infrastructure rehabilitation technologies will not only save resources and life in Canada, but will also provide our private sector with a competitive edge in the emerging global infrastructure regeneration/management market that is valued at over $1 trillion.

Xiangyun Jiang, Civil Engineering Co-op Student Civil Engineering student Xiangyun Jiang joined the UBC Engineering Co-op Program in 2005. Although her GPA was high, she realized she lacked real work experience — technical and non-technical. She had acquired an impressive list of volunteer activities but good transferable skills, work history and personal confidence were missing. She felt that being involved in the Engineering Coo-op Program would be a good move for her. For her first four-month co-op work term, Xiangyun was hired by The City of Vancouver, Traffic Management Branch to assist the city’s staff with day to day traffic operations. She collected traffic data on the street, responded to public inquiries on the phone and designed new traffic signs using AutoCAD. Fortunately the position only required entry level technical skills; and it definitely aided Xiangyun in improving her communication and interpersonal skills, as she was required to deal with a variety of people on a daily basis. This was a perfect start! “After completing a work term with the City of

Vancouver, I became more interested in transportation engineering and thereby started my second co-op work term with the Transportation Planning Group at ND LEA Inc., now part of the MMM Group,” Xiangyun states. At NDLEA Inc., she was involved in transportation planning projects including impact studies, pedestrian studies and parking lot designs. Additionally she recruited and trained traffic counters, which required good time-management and organizational skills. “This job successfully transformed me from a junior to intermediate co-op student, who has gained practical experience in consulting engineering.” says Xiangyun. “Choosing to do my third work-term in Hong Kong was probably the best decision I made in the year 2007. Although the salary was below the average compared to co-op students who work in Canada, and the company did not cover the air ticket or accommodation, the work and life experiences I gained from Hong Kong paid off in many other ways.” Employed by world-renowned Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd., Xiangyun was given the chance to work on structural analysis and design for a variety of large-scale international projects. She worked on projects such as an MTR station vent shaft re-provisioning which is part of Singapore’s plan of building its massive underground transit system, and the London Dockland Light Railway Extension in which she was heavily involved in the station platform design for the 2012 London Olympics. Xiangyun concludes, “Doing an international work-term in a different cultural and work environment really allowed me to get a global perspective.” At the Engineering Co-op Program office we are very pleased with Xiangyun’s growth and achievements, progressing from a rather reserved second-year student with very little work experience, to a confident and highly acclaimed senior student, who has just been hired by SNC Lavalin for an eight-month work term in its prestigious downtown Vancouver office.

Correction In the Winter 2006 edition of Civil@ubc, the school shown on the front page was incorrectly identified as Victoria Secondary School. In fact, the photo shows a view of the South Park Family School in Victoria. The source of the photo is the web page of the South Park Family School ( http://www.sd61.bc.ca/school/southpark/gallery.aspx). We sincerely regret this error.


Dean Isaacson

to step down in 2008

“In September, I notified the Provost of my desire to step down as Dean effective June 30, 2008. This will

come after 11 years of service in the position. I have welcomed the opportunity to lead the Faculty over the past decade and have very much enjoyed my tenure as Dean. I look forward to reporting in detail in the spring 2008 issue of Ingenuity on the state of the Faculty and its accomplishments over the past 11 years.”

Much has happened in the department since 1997 when Dean Isaacson’s leadership role progressed from the Department to the Faculty level. During the last decade, Civil has made many advances in the areas of teaching, research and infrastructure. We have seen the completion of the Earthquake Engineering Research Facility and the Civil Design Studio, the establishment of the Civil Engineering Advisory Council, renovated office spaces and the production of this newsletter to name a few. Dean Isaacson initiated many of these accomplishments during his tenure as Department Head from 1992–1997 and has provided further leadership at the Faculty level as Dean. Not only has Civil benefited from Dean Isaacson’s leadership, but the Department's reputation has been enhanced through his research and professional contributions. Recognized worldwide as a thoughtleader in offshore and coastal hydrodynamics, he has authored more than

Alan Zenuk

Dean Isaacson, Ingenuity, Fall 2007

Dean Isaacson receiving the BC Innovation Council’s 2007 Chairman’s Award for Career Achievement from Hector MacKay-Dunn, QC, Chair, BC Innovation Council.

200 technical papers and co-authored two books, including Mechanics of Wave Forces on Offshore Structures, a definitive work in the field. An acclaimed expert on the topic of wave forces on coastal and offshore structures, Dean Isaacson has consulted on over 100 engineering projects and his research has been widely applied to many engineering projects.


In recognition of his continued contributions to the advancement of British Columbia’s scientific and engineering communities, the BC Innovation Council has recently bestowed upon Dean Isaacson the

Chairman’s Award for Career Achievement. Congratulations to Dean Isaacson for receiving this prestigious award and best wishes for the next stage of your career.

Not only has Civil benefited from Dean Isaacson’s leadership, but the Department’s reputation has been enhanced through his research and professional contributions. Dr. Eric Hall, Professor and Department Head


Meet the faces of Civil Engineering at UBC

Dr. Thomas Hug joined the department as a postdoctoral research fellow in July 2006. He currently works with Dr. Eric Hall on the mathematical modeling of biological wastewater treatment process. Hug received his M.Sc. (1997) and Ph.D. (2006) in Environmental Engineering in Switzerland from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in ZĂźrich, and the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (EAWAG) in DĂźbendorf. He worked in the area of water resources, water treatment and distribution, stormwater and sewage management, and biological wastewater treatment while he was teaching and

managing courses, supervising master students and working as research assistant at ETH and EAWAG. As a Ph.D. student, he investigated the formation of stable biological foam that causes operational problems in many wastewater treatment plants. He developed a rapid and robust quantification method for bacteria in activated sludge and proposed a mechanistic mathematical model that describes the excessive growth of filamentous bacteria in wastewater treatment plants. At UBC, Hug is investigating the use of membrane bioreactors (MBR) for biological nutrient removal from municipal wastewater. He uses mechanistic

mathematical models to evaluate hypotheses that may explain the reduced performance of an MBR compared to a conventional activated sludge system, which was observed by a previous PhD student in this department. However, Hug is not only interested in the complex interaction of biological processes in wastewater treatment, but he is also committed to the responsible use of mathematical models in research, teaching and consulting. Consequently, this research also aims to develop appropriate methods to deal with the inevitable uncertainties and biases involved in model application by scientists as well as consulting engineers.

Born and raised in Isfahan, Iran, Faezeh Azhari completed her B.A.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering at Isfahan University of Technology in 2003. Participation in the university Co-op program helped her obtain valuable experience in a professional workplace. Upon her arrival in Canada, Azhari began working for Griffiths Pile Driving Inc. as a junior project engineer, where she gained a great deal of knowledge on the design and installation of timber piles, auger cast piles, pre-cast concrete piles and steel sheet piles. Azhari joined the graduate program at UBC

in 2005 to pursue her M.A.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering Materials under the supervision of Professor Nemkumar Banthia. Prior to starting her thesis, she completed an extensive literature review on the durability of fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) and FRP/ concrete bond, also under the supervision of Professor Banthia. Azhari’s thesis work involves developing smart (self-monitoring) structural materials functioning as sensors in Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems. A variety of sensing devices are integrated in an SHM system such as fibre

optic sensors and Ferromagnetic sensors. Smart structural materials represent a new type of sensor that has recently emerged and can be used as a component of a structure to provide both structural capability and response to applied stresses, strains, cracks and other flaws. Azhari is experimenting on different types of carbon fiber or carbon nanotube reinforced cement-based composites by measuring their electrical resistivity when exposed to various environmental and loading conditions in order to develop these cement-based sensors.


Dr. Ziad K. Shawwash, Ph.D., BC Hydro Adjunct Professor in Civil Engineering since 2000, holds a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering (1983) from New England College in New Hampshire and an M.A.Sc. (1995) and a Ph.D. (2000) in Civil Engineering/ Hydrotechnical and Water Resources Engineering from UBC. The main thrust of his research is in hydropower optimization, hydrology and water resources management. After completing his undergraduate degree, Shawwash worked for the Jordan Valley Authority in Jordan, where he worked as a site engineer and resident engineer for building irrigation, water resources and infrastructure projects in remote regions of the country. He was seconded to the newly

formed Ministry of Water and Irrigation where he became the water resource planner and coordinated the activities of the Water Resources Policies, Planning and Management project, financed by the UNDP. He was also appointed to the Jordan Delegation for the Water Working Group in the Multilateral Middle East Peace Negotiations, where he prepared position documents and negotiated water-related issues for the 1994 Peace Agreement between Jordan and Israel. He was also involved in preparing a study on management options for the Jordan River Basin. In 1993 Shawwash held the King Hussein Scholarship for his master’s studies in which he developed a System Dynamics simulation model to

manage the chronic water situation in Jordan. During his M.A.Sc. studies he was also awarded the Earl Peterson Scholarship in water resources. Shawwash’s involvement in hydropower engineering began in 1996 when he started his doctoral research project to develop a short-term hydroelectric scheduling algorithm in competitive power markets, which was supported by BC Hydro and supervised by Professor S.O. Denis Russell. After realizing the quality and significant benefits of Shawwash’s research, BC Hydro agreed to finance a Professorship in Hydro Power Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering, for which he was appointed. Since 2000, Shawwash has supervised

Mr. Sany Zein is a professional engineering consultant long associated with UBC Civil Engineering. Mr. Zein enrolled at UBC as a student in 1987 and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering (Transportation) in the spring of 1989. His UBC professors included Dr. Frank Navin and Dr. Gerry Brown. Since graduating, Mr. Zein has established a distinguished career in the consulting engineering sector, first with Hamilton Associates and now with Opus Hamilton in Vancouver. He works closely with clients such as the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation, TransLink, British Columbia

municipalities and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. Mr. Zein’s projects in British Columbia have included the Sea to Sky Highway, the Trans Canada Highway, the Port Mann Bridge, and transit and sustainability-related multimodal urban and downtown transportation projects. Throughout his career, Mr. Zein has remained in close touch with the UBC community. He has frequently been a guest lecturer in a variety of Civil Engineering courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and more recently he has been a sessional lecturer for Civil 340, both in January 2007 and January 2008.

Mr. Zein is now one of North America’s leading experts in road safety engineering and transportation planning. His experience spans all of Canada and the United States. He is both a technical domain expert and an experienced project manager. Mr. Zein is the Chair of the Road Safety Standing Committee of the Transportation Association of Canada (Ottawa). He is also the Chair of the Road Safety Audits Sub-Committee of the Transportation Research Board (Washington, D.C.), and one of only two international members on TRB’s Road Safety Management Committee. He previously


eight M.A.Sc. and one Ph.D. students. In the past few years, he has advised Jordanian and World Bank officials on issues relating to the Red Sea–Dead Sea Water Conveyance project and on water management issues in Jordan. He has also provided consulting services internationally in water resources management, water and hydroelectric system optimization, and in flood control and management.

served as a Director of the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals and on the Task Force for the development of the Highway Safety Manual. Mr. Zein has been instrumental in the development of several national guidelines related to road safety.

Events & Achievements Professor Ken Elwood was recognized by the American Concrete Institute through its awarding of the Chester Paul Siess Award for Excellence in Structural Research for his co-authored paper that presented the estimation of residual axial capacity of reinforced concrete columns damaged during earthquakes.The ACI Board of Direction bestowed the award at its fall 2006 meeting. The UBC Chapter of Engineers Without Borders, was named the 2006 Chapter of the Year at the 2006 National EWB Conference. Civil Engineering undergraduate student Michelle Murphy was named 2006 Volunteer of the Year by EWB. Civil Engineering graduate student Colleen Chan won the AWWA Membrane Technology Conference Student Best Paper Award at the American Water Works Association conference in March. Chan’s supervisors are Professors Pierre Bérubé and Eric Hall. Civil Engineering graduate student Elizabeth Tilley was given the 2006 Philip H. Jones Award by the Canadian Association on Water Quality for the best oral presentation at the 2006 CAWQ Western Regional Symposium, held in Whistler. Tilley is a student in the UBC Bridge Program, working under the supervision of Professor Don Mavinic. Professor Nemy Banthia was honoured through the organization of a special session at the conference on Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies at Coventry University in June, 2007. The honour recognizes Banthia’s

research in cement-based and polymer-based fiber reinforced composites with particular emphasis on testing and standardization, fracture behavior, constitutive modeling, strain-rate effects and repair performance. The UBC Sustainability Office has recognized the contributions of Professor Jim Atwater and Senior Instructor Susan Nesbit to the Social, Ecological, Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) program. Atwater and Nesbit have worked tirelessly to engage students in research-based inquiry and problem solving using full cost assessment and a triple bottom line approach to inform decisions regarding UBC’s older buildings. Professor Rob Millar was awarded a Faculty of Applied Science Killam Teaching Prize. Millar’s lecturing prowess in large, undergraduate core-courses is legendary, making him a highly deserving choice for the award. Professor Ken Elwood has been appointed chair of an ad hoc committee that is charged with developing revisions to ASCE 41, Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings. A second invitation came from the B.C. Building Policy Branch, asking Elwood to join its Seismic Structural Working Group. The group is developing a regulatory framework for construction work on existing buildings in B.C. Graduate student Ngoc Tran and Professors Alan Russell and Sheryl Staub-French were honoured with the 2007 Construction Research Congress’ Best Paper Award

in May. The award was for their manuscript entitled 4D CAD Via Linear Planning and 3D CAD. Professor Ken Elwood was recognized with the President’s Award from the Los Angeles Tall Building Structural Design Council at its Annual Meeting in May. The citation states that the award was given “in recognition of [Elwood’s] outstanding contribution to the advancement of performance based design methodologies for reinforced concrete buildings”. Professor Emeritus Bob Sexsmith was presented with the A.B. Sanderson Award by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering at its 2007 annual meeting in Yellowknife. The Sanderson Award is presented to a member of the CSCE who has made particularly outstanding contributions to the development and practice of structural engineering in Canada. Professor Alan Russell has been inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE). Russell joins a very elite and distinguished group of engineers across the country, which works to ensure the well-being of the public, the environment and the economy. The Let’s Talk Science Partnership Program has benefited from the voluntary contributions of two civil engineering graduate students over the last two years; Faezah Azhari and Greg Lewsley were specifically acknowledged for their support of the program, which seeks to improve science literacy.

Professor Jacqueline Jenkins has been appointed to serve as the new Transportation Research Board (TRB) Representative at UBC. Jenkins will be replacing long-serving UBC TRB rep Professor Emeritus Frank Navin.

civil@ubc is published by the Department of Civil Engineering in The Faculty of Applied Science at The University of British Columbia. Production Contributors: Dr. Eric Hall Department Head Ms. Clare Ann Quirk Manager Administration Ms. Ayesha Ali Office Manager Ms. Leiz Gagnon Graduate Studies Ms. Jenny Ng Faculty Secretary Ms. ErinRose Handy Communications Officer, Dean's Office For further information about the Department of Civil Engineering and its programs, contact us at: Department of Civil Engineering Faculty of Applied Science, UBC 2002 – 6250 Applied Science Lane Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 Canada Tel: 604.822.2637 www.civil.ubc.ca


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civil @UBC 2008  

Civil Engineering newsletter 2008

civil @UBC 2008  

Civil Engineering newsletter 2008