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spring 2009

Faculty of Applied Science News @ Civil Engineering University EngineeringThe News of British Columbia

The Canada


Canada Line car travels across the North Arm Bridge connecting Richmond/YVR with Vancouver

Construction on Canada Line, a new 18.5 kilometer rapid transit system that connects Downtown Vancouver with Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Richmond City Centre, started in late 2005. Full transit service will commence on or before November 2009, in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Following is an overview and update on the project. The $2 billion project is a public-private partnership between various levels of government and InTransitBC, the private sector concessionaire. SNC Lavalin Inc. (SLI) is responsible for all design, procurement and construction. The alignment (see map on page 8) travels from south to north from near Richmond Centre (Brighouse), along Number 3 Road to Bridgeport Station. From here the alignment splits in two. One segment travels westbound over the Middle Arm of the Fraser River and parallels Grant McConachie Way to a terminus at YVR Airport Station. The second segment crosses over the North Arm of the Fraser

In this Issue 1 The Canada Line 2 Message from the Head Graduate Student Awards 3 Professor Doug Anderson Professor Borg Madsen

4 Simulating Disasters 6 Message from the Dean Giving back to Civil

River to the City of Vancouver. The alignment is elevated over Marine Drive and enters a tunnel portal at 63rd Avenue. The alignment then continues in a tunnel under the northbound lanes of Cambie Street until it reaches Olympic Village Station. The alignment downtown travels in twin tunnels under False Creek, Davie Street and Granville Street to a terminus at Waterfront Station. There are three major types of structures which form the guideway: • a 2.5 km long bored tunnel, • a 6.5 km cut and cover tunnel, and • a 7.5 km elevated guideway which includes two bridges. Near the airport the guideway also includes a two kilometer at-grade section. There are 16 stations on the line, eight underground, six elevated and two at-grade. The elevated guideway was constructed using the precast segmental methodology. The three meter precast segments were lifted into place using a special truss and post tensioned together into a beam (see image, page 8). The majority of the elevated alignment is dual guideway with track for both directions of travel. Single guideway Continued on page 8 7 Passionate about Structural Engineering 9 Student Co-op Tongji Symposium

10 Meet the Faces of Civil Engineering 12 Faculty Awards


OUR MISSION The Department of Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia provides an outstanding learning and research environment inspiring technical innovation, and leadership, in social and environmental responsibility, to address current and future challenges.

Congratulations to these Graduate Students for being selected for these awards! Ali Abedini •BCWWA Award

Message from the Head Welcome to this issue of the civil@ubc newsletter. Having been appointed as the Head of the Civil Engineering Department since July 1, 2008, I hope to make a positive impact on the Department which has already benefitted from strong leadership and an impressive resume of achievements. We have a world-class facility here that I am proud to have the opportunity to lead. As the Head of the Department, I hope to help guide the faculty and students on an educational journey that, I believe, will teach us all how we can improve the world with our combined efforts. Transition has certainly been a theme over the last several months; we welcome the new Dean of Applied Science, Dr. Tyseer Aboulnasr; our department has undergone an invigorating facelift, from which we will benefit from updated spaces for our faculty and a learning environment that will give students an opportunity to excel in their studies; we have successfully completed a review from the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) ensuring that we can provide a top-notch education with worldwide recognition to our graduates; we have completed a new strategic plan with one of its major goals being the improvement of the curriculum that we offer so we can build on the momentum of our previous achievements and deliver the very best graduates who make a positive and enduring difference in the quality of people’s lives. I hope you will find this issue of civil@ubc interesting and informative. Our focus in this issue is on the research within the Structural and Earthquake Engineering group. Dr. Carlos Ventura gives an overview of his research which simulates human interaction tools to coordinate joint actions by various organizations before and during large scale emergency events. Mr. John Pao, Chair of the Structural Engineers Association of B.C. (SEABC) discusses his passion for structural engineering. We welcome some of the people who have joined Civil Engineering, and bid farewell to those who’ve left us. I hope you gain some insight into the hard work and dedication of the men and women who contribute to the Department, the University and ultimately to the world. I welcome your comments and suggestions about this newsletter; please feel free to send me a message at

Reza Vaziri, Ph.D., P.Eng. Head, Department of Civil Engineering

Syed Abdullah •Pacific Century Graduate Scholarship UBC Graduate Fellowship Kerry Black •Dr. C. Guarnaschelli Scholarship •UBC Environmental Engineering Research Scholarship •AMEC Masters Scholarship for Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation Alexander Forrest •Canadian Water Resources Association Scholarship •Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Student Travel Grant Blair Fulton •Canadian Association on Water Quality Scholarship •Dr. C. Guarnaschelli Research Scholarship •UMA Scholarship in Civil Engineering •Ian S. Ross Memorial Award in Engineering •J. Fred Muir Memorial Scholarship

Parvez Fattah •Donald R. Stanley award for Best Paper Sepideh Jankhah •NSERC (PGSD3) Scholarship •Killam Predoctoral Award Bill Johnstone •Public Safety Canada Fellowship in Honour of Stuart Nesbitt White •Earl R. Peterson Memorial Scholarship in Civil Engineering Isabel Londono •IAWQ Water Quality Scholarship Chad Novotny •CAWQ Water Quality Scholarship Saifur Rahaman •BCWWA Award Ryan Thoren •UBC Environmental Engineering Research Scholarship

In our NEXT issue: • The forward thinking team behind redeveloping the UBC Civil Engineering undergraduate Curriculum work to create learning opportunities for students. • Highlights from the third in a series of lectures commemorating the late Professor Noel Nathan, and his contributions to the Department of Civil Engineering. • Professor Ventura is ecstatic about the donation of a new Shaker Table, courtesy of Nokia Products of Burnaby, which will enhance the Earthquake Engineering Program. … and much more! 2


UBC Civil Engineering


Professor Emeritus, John Douglas (Doug) Anderson, 1922-2006 Doug Anderson, long time Civil Engineering faculty member, passed away December 8, 2006 at the age of 84. He experienced progressive dementia over the last decade.

Professor Emeritus, Borg Madsen, 1926-2008 Professor Borg Madsen, a member of the Civil Engineering department from 1970 until his retirement in 1991, passed away in January, 2008. We were saddened by this loss. Borg focused on timber engineering and he was fond of saying that he was studying “timber” and not “wood”. This distinction led him to a series of internationally recognized achievements on the properties of timber as it is used in

From 1948-1956, Doug worked for the engineering department of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), and during his career ascended to the fourth ranked engineering position for the CPR system, the Assistant Engineer of Track. In 1958, Doug brought his wealth of experience and knowledge to UBC as an

Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1966. He continued to serve the department and Faculty of Applied Science (APSC) from 1964 until his retirement in 1987 in various roles, including Assistant to the Head of Civil Engineering, Assistant to the Dean of APSC and Assistant Dean of APSC. Doug was an unassuming person not given to wild outbursts of enthusiasm, but one who has a good sense of humour and was a faithful friend. He loved good bicycles and expensive cars — Jaguars, Cadillacs (in the days when Cadillacs still had some panache) and Mercedes. He also loved art, and had collected

engineering applications (he coined the words “ingrade testing”). He was a well known national and international figure, with an enthusiastic approach towards innovations in the forest industries. His passion for timber engineering included presenting his ideas around the globe, at educational or research institutions in Mexico, Chile, Russia, South Africa and, of course, Denmark, his native land. A modest man, Borg was particularly proud of two accomplishments: of his participation in the Danish

resistance towards the end of WWII, and of his alma mater, Technical University of Denmark, conferring upon him an Honorary Doctorate degree in 1990. He was extraordinarily active in national and international Codes for timber engineering and was a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering. At UBC he never missed a morning or afternoon coffee break, or lunch at the old Faculty Club, with the rest of the faculty. In fact, he promoted these gatherings to maintain the traditional “civility” of our department.


enough paintings by the Group of Seven that he could leave one to each of his nieces and nephews. Born in Prince Rupert, Doug grew up in Vancouver and studied at UBC, graduating in 1945 with a B.A.Sc. in Civil Engineering. Upon graduation, he was awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship at the University of Washington where he obtained an M.Sc. degree in 1947. Prior to beginning his career at CPR, Doug was an Instructor in Civil Engineering at UBC from 1946 to 1948. Doug lived in the family home in the Dunbar area and cared for his aged parents for many years.

Borg Madsen will be missed, and his unique and outstanding contributions to the advancement of timber engineering, to the Canadian forest industries, and to engineering education at UBC will not be forgotten.


Simulating Disasters

Carlos Ventura, Ph.D., P.Eng.

This article describes a research project conducted at UBC to develop a new integrated hazard analysis methodology to study interdependencies among critical infrastructures. The “Decision Coordination for Critical Linkages in a National Network of Infrastructures” project is an initiative by the government of Canada, being conducted by a multidisciplinary team at UBC, in cooperation with private and public Canadian infrastructure companies in the areas of energy, water, transportation and data networks. The purpose of the research is to develop simulation and human interaction tools to better coordinate joint actions by various organizations before and during large-scale emergencies, such as an earthquake event in a given region.

The Joint Infrastructure Interdependencies Research Program (JIIRP) A system of critical infrastructures (CIs) (power grid, water network, health system, etc.) constitutes the backbone of modern societies. Even though interdependencies exist among these components, operations are centered on each individual infrastructure. During a large disaster (e.g., earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, etc.), the situation is very different from normal life since the infrastructures are often affected simultaneously. Unless actions are coordinated, the overall response process may suffer serious stalls. For example, a damaged bridge has to be repaired before a spare transformer can be delivered to a power substation; if the power available at a substation that supplies a hospital and a water station has been reduced because of damage to the substation and all power is sent to the nearby hospital and none to the local water station, the hospital will have power, but will not be able to operate due to lack of water. The government of Canada, through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Public Safety Canada has funded research to develop innovative ways to mitigate large disaster situations. The JIIRP started in 2005 with six universities across Canada involved. UBC-JIIRP aims to model the real-time effects of a disaster situation and identify the interdependencies among critical infrastructure networks. There are six principal components of the project’s architec-

ture: the physical layers, damage assessment, the human layers, database, the infrastructure interdependencies simulator (I2Sim) and visualization. UBC’s damage assessment module involves the estimation of physical damage to the component, the number of casualties, the economic loss and the loss of function that results from the damage. The data generated in the human and physical layers are aggregated into a database called I2DB used to create the I2Sim environment. The I2Sim simulation environment provides a multi-system representation of all infrastructures involved in the disaster response at multiple hierarchical levels (local, municipal, provincial, etc.) of the global system response. In this combined environment, each member infrastructure uses its own internal models to determine its possible operating states, while I2Sim combines the operating states into a system-of-systems solution. Damage to infrastructures during a disaster and greater demand for resources creates a situation where decisions need to be made to optimize time and allocation of available resources. The simulator supports look-ahead and rewind functions to predict the evolution of system dynamics to assess the effects of suggested decisions before they are actually applied, and a mathematical formulation permits the analysis and discovery of vulnerable points in the system as well as gaps in policies and procedures. The UBC Point Grey campus was modeled as a case study implementation of the simulator methodology. The geographical location, infrastructure complexity, and the diversity of its population made it an ideal test case to develop, assess and validate I2Sim. The university has a population of approximately 10,000 full time residents and 47,000 transitory occupants and most of the utility systems are managed internally, whereby it shares many of the attributes of a small city. Based on the British Columbia Provincial Emergency Program’s (PEP) risk matrix, a ranking of critical events for the UBC campus was developed and an earthquake scenario was selected as the disaster to be simulated. Realistic estimates of the damage to buildings and lifeline systems were required in order to carry out an accurate disaster simulation. Due to the size of the study area and the amount of time and resources available, Risk Assessment for buildings and lifeline networks on campus was deemed to be the most appropriate method of determining the probable seismic damage. The methodology developed was then used to identify interdependencies among critical infrastructures. The “studied space” was disassembled representing the critical infrastructures, each containing both the buildings and lifeline systems. Risks are estimated separately and interdependencies are assessed by superimposing the layers, one by one.


Example of Interdependency among critical infrastructure on the UBC campus (water system and buildings) Assuming an earthquake in the region will produce shaking on campus corresponding to Mercalli intensity IX, we apply our damage estimation methodology to estimate the building damage. Figure 1 shows the estimated levels of damage for buildings within a sector of campus. The majority of buildings will be non-functional (orange and red = moderate to heavy damage). Non-structural components and damage to building contents will also affect the overall functionality of buildings. A separate damage assessment to the water supply on campus is conducted. The estimated damage to the water pipelines is also shown in Figure 1. Overlaying both damage assessments does not show the hidden consequences of the interdependencies of these two critical infrastructure systems. We apply the methodology to estimate interdependencies between the two infrastructures, shown in Figure 2, the trunk line providing water to the water station has an accumulated loss of 8%, but the water station is non-functional due to the extended damage to its structural and non-structural components. When the entire campus is considered, it can be determined that UBC will suffer significant water shortages and remain non-functional until water service is restored. In this simple example, only two infrastructures are considered. When the methodology is applied to all the infrastructures on campus, a clear “picture� of the situation immediately following an earthquake can be developed. I2Sim can then be used to evaluate other scenarios and the possible ways to restore all functions on campus. A better understanding of critical interdependencies among core infrastructures is one of the most important requirements to mitigate the impact of extreme events and improve survivability. The extent of the damage resulting from a catastrophe must and can be minimized by the implementation of better preparedness organization and action plans among the National Critical Infrastructures operators at federal, provincial and regional levels. The UBC-JIIRP has contributed to the development of novel strategies of effective collaboration among public and the private sectors before and during the emergency period.

Fig. 1: Estimated damage to buildings within a sector of campus (orange and red = moderate to heavy damage)

Fig. 2: I2Sim Interdependency Damage Assessment

Bio: Carlos Ventura is a Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Facility at the University of British Columbia. Acknowledgements: The UBC-JIIRP project includes twelve UBC and SFU researchers in multidisciplinary areas. UBC faculty and graduate students from Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Geography, the Sauder School of Business and the Centre for Teaching and Academic Growth have all made contributions to this unique research project. Civil Engineering is well represented in this project and has provided seminal information to develop the earthquake damage scenarios and interdependencies between infrastructures. Graduate students Hugon Juarez and Kate Thibert are Civil Engineering students who have made significant contributions to this project.



Message from the Dean Since my term as Dean of Applied Science began last fall, I have consistently been impressed by the Department of Civil Engineering. From research to teaching, to service within the Faculty and across the university, Civil Engineering is a department of dedicated people who care about their students, their research, the campus community and society at large. Faculty, staff and students have recently shared their knowledge with the public during Engineering Open House and UBC’s Celebrate Research Week. The department’s engagement with and support of community service learning projects is truly a source of pride for all of Applied Science. And your efforts are reflected in the many awards for teaching and research excellence received by faculty members. As an electrical engineer who loves her own discipline, I have always held civil engineering in the highest of regard. Not only is it at the foundation of engineering, it has also been the source of the one contribution in human history that has saved and continues to save the most lives to date: clean water!

Giving back to Civil

The Civil Design Studio provides work spaces for students’ study and design projects.

The Department of Civil Engineering works hard to create programs of education and research that ably prepare our students for their careers as civil engineers and at the same time support our industries and our profession. As part of this goal, we continually strive to ensure that students and faculty have the resources they need to pursue their learning and research. One of our most successful ventures was the creation, three years ago, of the Civil Design Studio — a project that could not have happened without the direct financial support from industry partners. The studio provides a platform for industry and alumni to interact directly with our students

With the responsibility to “build” our society on your shoulders, it is no surprise that you care—as students, alumni and faculty—and it shows. As I gradually get to know the professors, students and staff in Civil Engineering, I really look forward to meeting more alumni to discuss how Applied Science and the department can continue to make a world of difference in our communities at large.

Tyseer Aboulnasr, Ph.D., O.ONT., P.Eng Dean, UBC Faculty of Applied Science

Bio: Tyseer Aboulnasr is currently Dean of The Faculty of Applied Science and Professor of Electrical Engineering at The University of British Columbia. As Dean, she leads the Faculty of Applied Science, bringing together 11 engineering programs along with three schools: Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Nursing and the School of Engineering at the Okanagan campus. Together with more than 400 faculty and staff, she oversees the education of more than 4,000 undergraduate and 1,400 graduate and professional students.

through guest lecturing, attending events or through the Designer-in-Residence program. This facility, run and used almost exclusively by students, provides work spaces for communal study and design projects, and is in use every day of the term — even on Sunday mornings, it can be hard to find a seat! Improvements to our programs such as this are often a result of the generous contributions from our industry partners and you, our alumni. Each time you contribute to Civil Engineering in UBC’s Annual Campaign, it provides us with the opportunity to support research initiatives or provide students with field trips, projects, and study spaces that ensure their education is as broad and encompassing as it can be. Civil Engineering would like to thank all our alumni and friends who contribute to our success — your contributions make a huge difference in the lives of our faculty and students, and in turn allow us to make a real contribution to our chosen field. Thank you very much! If you would like any information on making a contribution to Civil Engineering, please contact Emma Starritt, Major Gift Officer, at 604-822-6197 or 6



about Structural Engineering When I was in the third year of my undergraduate studies at UBC, I met a structural engineer who had practiced for over 20 years. He told me, “if you are passionate about structural engineering, learn it well, you can apply your skills and knowledge anywhere in the world”. Now after almost 30 years of practicing structural engineering, I can certainly confirm that what he said to me has been very true.

I will definitely offer the same advice to young undergraduate students. The fundamentals that we learned from the UBC undergraduate program allow for the potential of a broadly applied and rewarding structural engineering career. It starts with a relentless attitude in one’s pursuit of knowledge. To this extent, one’s course mark should be secondary to the actual knowledge gained from each course. It is important to understand the principle behind what is taught by professors and not to apply formulae without due consideration. In practice, I have often told young engineers, “If you understand structural fundamentals well, you will be able to apply building codes in an effective manner to help solve your design problems”. In practice, the challenge of a good structural engineering design also involves understanding the building owner’s objectives and construction methods and costs, an appreciation of architectural design issues, such as life and fire safety requirements, and geotechnical engineering problems. Although these are not structural engineering problems per se, the issues of construction, geotechnical, and architectural constraints must be properly understood by the structural engineer in order to produce the most effective structural solution that meets the building owner’s overall needs. This is taking problem solving to a most rewarding level. The potential geographically diverse application of this overall problem solving knowledge cannot be understated. Although building codes may vary between countries, structural engineering principles do not. In other countries, the challenge of producing a good structural engineering solution would be to apply sound engineering principles with consideration for specific local and cultural constraints. Since receiving my B.A.Sc. in 1980 and M.Eng. in 1984 from UBC, I have applied the engineering principles I learned to a large variety of building types—tall, slender, short, large,


small, unusually shaped and floating structures, and in a variety of materials such as reinforced concrete, steel, wood, masonry, aluminum, cables, plastic and glass fibre, etc.—in the greater Vancouver area. More importantly, I have been able to apply the knowledge that originated from my education from UBC to other John Pao, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., S.E. regions of the world. We are currently designing three tall blast hardened air traffic control towers for the Federal Aviation Administration in the western United States. We have seismically strengthened buildings damaged by the Nisqually earthquake in Seattle. We have taken our brand of problem solving techniques to southern California and designed a large number of buildings including parking structures, museums, medical and office buildings. In China, we introduced load bearing steel studs building technology to the city of Dalian and showed them how to design, manufacture and build large residential projects. In India, we have worked on hotels and housing projects using light gauge steel. In Taiwan, we introduced Canadian concrete formwork technology to its central region and showed them how to build concrete structures rapidly. In summary, this is my advice to every student aspiring to have a rewarding structural engineering career: “if you are passionate about structural engineering, live it and breathe it all the time, your career will follow you wherever you go”. Bio: Mr. John Pao is president of Bogdonov Pao Associates Ltd. and chief engineer and designer of many buildings in Greater Vancouver and worldwide. He received his B.A.Sc. in 1980 and M.Eng. in 1984 from UBC and is currently very active in his profession. Mr. Pao is a driving force behind several initiatives to enhance the structural engineering profession in British Columbia. In 2005, Mr. Pao co-authored a textbook on reinforced concrete design that is widely adopted by professors and lecturers at Universities and Colleges across Canada.

Canadacontinued Linefrom page 1 sections are located near the termini and at the junction between the airport and Richmond lines. The bridge over the North Arm of the Fraser River (pictured on the cover) has a 180 meter main span and is the first Extradosed Cable Stayed Bridge built in North America. Since it is located on the flight path to YVR, the towers had to be shorter than normal which led to a relatively flat cable angle. The structure was built using the balanced cantilever method as was the Middle Arm Bridge. Between 63rd Avenue and 2nd Avenue in Vancouver the cut and cover technique was employed to build the tunnel (pictured below). In this method a trench was excavated from the surface using backhoes. The sides of the excavation were supported using soil anchors and shotcrete. The cast-in-place concrete tunnels were then constructed, backfill was placed over the top and the road surface reinstated. The tunnels were of both side-by-side and stacked configurations depending on the space available for construction. A Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) was used to tunnel under False Creek in Vancouver. Twin bored tunnels were constructed between 2nd Avenue in the south and Granville and Pender Streets in the north. The tunnels are lined with precast concrete segments. The Canada Line is a traditional metro transit system with a fully segregated alignment. The vehicles are powered via pick up shoes from a power rail alongside the running rails.

Above: A special Truss is used to lift precast segments into place along the elevated portion of the Canada Line. Below: Cut-and-cover tunnel lined with shotcrete runs under Cambie Street on the way to Richmond and YVR.

Alignment Map of the Canada Line, travels from Downtown Vancouver to Brighouse, near Richmond Centre, and Vancouver Airport (YVR)

The system operates with fully automated trains on three minute headways to provide frequent service and meet capacity requirements. SNC-Lavalin Inc. is delivering the contract through a series of design-build joint ventures formed by its affiliate SNCLavalin Constructors (Pacific) Inc. (SLCP), certain design and supply subcontracts and conventional design-bid-build subcontracts as follows. •A Joint Venture (RSL JV) was formed by SLCP and Rizzani de Eccher of Italy to design/build the elevated guideway and the North and Middle Arm Bridges over the Fraser River (Buckland and Taylor designed the North Arm Bridge). •The twin bored tunnels underneath downtown Vancouver were designed and built by a Joint Venture (SSJV) formed by SLCP and SELI an Italian Contractor. • SLCP acted as Construction Managers for the cut and cover section; Cambie Street Constructors were the contractor. SLI provided the design. •Trackwork and some of the E&M systems were installed by RSL JV. SLI provided the design. • E&M systems, stations and other fixed support facilities such as the Operations and Maintenance Centre (OMC) were generally delivered using design-bid-build subcontracts. •The vehicles, automatic train control system and communications system were delivered through three design/supply subcontracts awarded to specialist suppliers. SLI is the systems integrator. The Canada Line project is thus far on track to meet transportation needs for the 2010 Olympic Games. Bio: Roger Woodhead, Ph.D., P.Eng. is the Technical Director of the Canada Line Project. He is founder and principal of Woodhead Consulting Inc. and an Adjunct Professor at UBC Civil Engineering.


A student’s


co-op experience at SNC Lavalin by Chris Bazett

covers and signage connections. I also acted as a mentor for the junior students in the structural group. The highlight of the term was following the detailed steps of the design process— all the way from conceptualization to review to drawing issue — to create something that will contribute to a high-profile engineering project. The culture at SNC is very relaxed and flexible; my manager checked on me every once in a while, but the responsibility to take the initiative, ask questions, and remain diligent was mine. The co-op experience I had at SNL helped instill a confidence in me to use the knowledge I’ve acquired and resources that surround me to best solve problems.

As a recent graduate of Engineering Co-op, there is probably no better time to reflect on my professional experiences. Since many of the most exciting opportunities came as I honed my skills in later work terms, I will focus on my experience at SNC Lavalin, an international engineering and construction firm associated with many large-scale projects around the world, including the Canada Line here in Vancouver. Working at a new company involves building trust and proving yourself early on, and the best way to do this is to perform ordinary tasks exceptionally well. In the first two months at SNC, I was responsible for reviewing the elevated guideway shop drawings to ensure they complied with our design drawings. I gained valuable experience in understanding the interplay of different disciplines and the importance of effective communication. As my managers gained confidence in me, shop drawing review was replaced by programming in Excel, designing a sanitary tank for an Athabasca Oil Sands project, and cost-estimating for a Northern Port and Road project. I was also paired with EIT’s and senior personnel on several Canada Line site visits. This past summer with the company was much different than the previous one. In the first week, I was already applying the technical knowledge I had gained at university and later came to experience ‘real design work’ by managing small structural projects for the Canada Line, including concrete walkways, platforms, machinery

Bio: Chris Bazett is a graduate of the UBC Civil Engineering program. He is currently working with the department on Curriculum Redevelopment.

Summer 2007, view near Bridgeport Station of the elevated guideway branching to the airport (top two) and to Richmond (bottom right).

First Tongji University & UBC Earthquake Engineering Symposium On October 12, 2008, 16 delegates from Vancouver — 10 graduate students and four faculty members from UBC and two practicing engineers — arrived in Beijing, China to give presentations at the 14th World Conference in Earthquake Engineering. The conference provided an international forum to present current research being conducted at UBC. After the end of the conference, the UBC team travelled from Beijing to Shanghai to visit one of the top engineering universities in China, the Tongji University, to collaborate on the First Tongji & UBC Earthquake Engineering Symposium. The symposium provided an opportunity for researchers and practicing engineers to exchange their extensive knowledge, ideas and culture. The symposium permitted a successful means of technical and social exchange and established the interest of professors for future joint research efforts. The symposium included technical visits to the Shanghai World Financial Center, the world’s tallest building, and the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, a 35.6 kilometer bridge with a cable-stayed bridge portion that connects the municipalities of Shanghai and Ningbo in Zhejiang province. 9

The UBC delegation included Professors Dharma Wijewickreme, Perry Adebar, Carlos Ventura and Ken Elwood, UBC technical staff, Felix Yao, Max Nazar, UBC graduate students Juan Carlos Carvajal, Bishnu Pandey, Otton Lara, Mehrtash Motamedi, Soheil Yavari, Hugon Juarez, Jose Centeno, Freddy Pina and Katherine Thibert and Practicing Engineers from Vancouver, Sharlie Huffmann and John Pao.

The UBC earthquake engineering group has invited a Tongji delegation, consisting of students and faculty members to visit UBC. The Second Tongji & UBC Earthquake Engineering Symposium will take place on July 21, 2009 in Vancouver.


Meet the faces of Civil Engineering at UBC

Greg Johnson, P.Eng. Instructor

Andrew Wood, Ph.D., P.Eng. Adjunct Professor

This past January Greg Johnson was appointed to the position of Instructor, a position shared jointly between the School of Architecture and the Department of Civil Engineering. He will be familiar to some in the department through his 2002-2006 teaching of CIVL/WOOD 478 —Building Science & Enclosure Design, an elective course initially developed as a response to the widespread building envelope failures in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Greg received a B.A.Sc. from UBC in Mechanical Engineering (1974), then pursued studies in the field

of architecture, obtaining a B.Arch. (1977) followed by an M.Sc.A. (1980) from the Université de Montréal. His thesis research, supported by a Natural Science & Engineering Council Postgraduate Research Scholarship, involved studies in the field of wind engineering and snow drifting in built environments. Since returning to Vancouver in 1981, Greg became registered with the AIBC and APEGBC, and has practised architecture since, with a strong technical focus on issues of energy conservation, building envelope performance and sustainability. While a principal in his own firm, he

began teaching on a parttime basis at UBC in 2002. With this cross-disciplinary background, Greg’s teaching strengths lie in bringing these two disciplines closer together and developing a better appreciation of what each has to offer. This coincides with a trend in practice — integrated design — which encourages a greater integration of the many consultants contributing to a building project throughout all phases of design. As a complementary and supportive activity to his teaching, Greg hopes to be able to maintain a minor involvement in his architectural practice.

Andrew Wood, Ph.D., P.Eng., recently appointed as Adjunct Professor, holds B.A.Sc. (1987), M.Eng. (1999), and Ph.D. (2007) degrees in Civil Engineering from UBC. Working for over 18 years in public works, he is currently the Municipal Engineer for Maple Ridge, and his research area focuses on public works engineering, management, operations and policy, civil infrastructure planning and asset management. He currently teaches a graduate course on managing civil infrastructure. After completing his undergraduate degree, Andrew practiced in consult-

ing with regional and local governments before completing his master’s degree with Professors Denis Russell and Barbara Lence. While working with municipalities, Andrew identified the need for practical approaches to improve municipal asset analysis and management practices, and focused his doctoral research on how managers can collect, assess and utilize water main break data to improve asset management practices. He has published and presented on a number of topics including asset management practices for water and road systems, public sector business planning, improving flood

risk management using task forces and reducing project tendering risks. His paper, co-authored with Professor Lence, titled “Assessment of Water Main Break Data for Asset Management”, was awarded the 2007 American Water Works Association, Best Distribution and Plant Operations Division paper. Andrew is currently a Director of the Public Works Association of British Columbia and Chair of the Association’s Technical Committee. He is also a member of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers Hydro-technical Council and the Transportation Association of Canada’s Small Municipalities Task Force.


Ye Zhou, Ph.D., P.Eng., is a practicing structural engineer long associated with UBC Civil Engineering. In January 2009, he joined the department as a Sessional Lecturer, teaching CIVL 331—Steel and Timber Design. Ye began studying engineering at the South China University of Technology, and continued his undergraduate studies at UBC Civil Engineering in 1992. He received his M.A.Sc. in 1998 and, under the supervision of Professor Siegfried Stiemer and Adjunct Professor, David Halliday, earned his Ph.D. in 2003.

During his Master’s research, Ye started working at Dynamic Structures, Ltd., a company providing large movable structures to a variety of industries including astronomy and entertainment rides. Working with Professors Stiemer and Halliday (who is also vice president of the company), Ye introduced techniques of artificial intelligence to help tackle problems of welding distortion and metal fatigue. He continued his Ph.D. research developing a solver using numerical qualitative reasoning methods, leading to a set of algorithms capable of depicting engineering

uncertainties, complexity and nonlinearity in design space. After completing his doctoral degree, Ye continued at Dynamic Structures. One of his latest projects was the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, a first-of-its-kind radio telescope for Princeton University, which must be fabricated and aligned to 15 microns and a few arcseconds while in motion. Equipped with the best UBC education, Ye expanded his knowledge beyond typical structural engineering into astronomy, precision fabrications and motion controls. Working in the thin air at 5100 m above sea level, he

Juan Carlos Carvajal received his B.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering at the Industrial University of Santander (UIS) in Bucaramanga, Columbia in 1996. He received his M.Sc. in Mechanics of Soils from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 2000. He also worked as a research assistant from 1971 to 2001 at the Institute of Engineering in projects related to liquefaction, dynamic response of pile groups, and evaluation of dynamic prop-

erties of soil deposits using downhole records. After his research work at UNAM, he worked as a project manager, and later as a consultant on projects related to design and construction of deep foundations, excavations, ground water control, and foundation retrofit in difficult subsoil conditions at a local company in Mexico City. Juan Carlos is currently doing his Ph.D. in Earthquake Engineering under the supervision of Professor Ventura at UBC.

His thesis is focused on seismic response of bridges with integral deckabutments, which includes calibration of finite element models using experimental tests and dynamic soilstructure interaction. His research includes static and dynamic slope stability analysis, site response analysis for retrofitting of schools in B.C., soil/structure interaction of underground structures in liquefiable soil deposits, geophysical exploration using micro-tremor

Retirement@civil At the end of May 2008, the Department of Civil Engineering offered its best wishes to Doug Smith, our long-time staff colleague, upon his retirement. Doug worked for 14 years as an

engineering technician in the department’s machine shop. During this time, he established himself as a major resource for the Materials Lab and the Structures Lab, among other areas of responsibility.

Doug also became widely known in the department for his succinct, yet insightful mastery of the email message. Since he retired, reading email has been much less interesting. We wish Doug all the best.

Ye Zhou, Ph.D., P.Eng., Sessional Lecturer

eventually took his conceptual design to create a fully functional scientific instrument, which turned out to be the highest ground-based telescope in the world.

Juan Carlos Carvajal Ph.D. Candidate

measurements, field testing of bridges, and damage detection of structures using ambient vibration tests.

Doug Smith, Machine Shop Technician



Congratulations on a year of success Professor Nemy Banthia joined the Editorial Boards of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), Journal of Testing and Evaluation (JOTE), Bentham Science— Open Materials Science Journal, and the Indian Concrete Journal. Professor Banthia was also appointed to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. Professors Nemy Banthia and Pierre Bérubé each received one of one-hundred 2008 Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). DAS represents a new component of the Discovery Grants program which aims at providing resources to accelerate progress, and maximize the impact of outstanding research. Professor Pierre Bérubé was awarded a Strategic Network Grant that focuses on providing safe drinking water for small and rural communities. The project, led by Professor Madjid Mohseni, from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering involves a team of researchers from Brock University, Ecole Polytechnique, Simon Fraser University, University of Calgary and the University of Victoria. The Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) honoured Civil Engineering Professor Emeritus Peter Byrne with the Julian C. Smith Medal in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the development of Canada. Peter received his medal at the EIC annual awards gala in Ottawa on March 7, 2009.

Professor Ken Elwood and co-authors received the Outstanding Paper for 2007 award from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute for their paper entitled, “Update to ASCE/SEI 41 Concrete Provisions,”: Earthquake Spectra, v.23, No.3, August 2007, pp.493-523. The UBC Civil Engineering team including Professors Ken Elwood, Terje Haukaas, Perry Adebar, Carlos Ventura and Liam Finn were awarded a Strategic Network Grant (SNG) on “Reducing Urban Seismic Risk”, a project investigating rehabilitating existing buildings and bridges, led by Denis Mitchell of McGill University, and involving a team of 26 researchers from across Canada. UBC, the west node of the network, has the largest number of researchers. Professor Jonathan Fannin held a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship from the UK Royal Academy of Engineering at Imperial College London, in June and July 2008, where he conducted forensic research on the micro-mechanical structure of soils from Canadian dams. Professor Fannin received the APEGBC 2008 Award for Teaching at the President’s Awards Gala, held at the Grand Okanagan Resort in Kelowna on October 17, 2008.

Professor Ken Hall was honoured for Significant Achievement in Aquatic Conservation on October 8, 2008 at the 14th Annual Murray A. Newman Awards for Excellence in Aquatic Science and Conservation at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Professor Reza Vaziri was appointed Head of the Department of Civil Engineering as of July 1, 2008. Professor Vaziri was appointed as a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Impact Engineering.

Professor Greg Lawrence’s Tier 1 Canada Research Chair for Environmental Fluid Mechanics was renewed for the next seven years.

The Civil Club has announced that its choices for top undergraduate professors for 2008-2009 were Professor Reza Vaziri for 2nd year, Professors Rob Millar and Violeta Martin for 3rd year and Professor Don Mavinic for 4th year. Professors Barbara Lence and Sheryl Staub-French were noted for their Exceptional Commitment to Students.

Professor Loretta Li has been awarded a UBC Killam Faculty Research Fellowship to assist her in undertaking the research project proposed in her study leave application during the academic year of 2009/2010. Professor Alan Russell, and co-authors were awarded the 2007 Stephen G. Revay Award by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) for their paper entitled, “Project Innovation—a function of procurement mode?”, Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (CJCE), v.33, No.12, pp.1519-1537. Professor Tarek Sayed was appointed Co-Editor of the Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (CJCE) since January 1, 2009. Professor Sheryl Staub-French was appointed the Marshall Bauder Chair in Engineering Economics in June 2008. The Chair is intended to enhance education in engineering economics within the Faculty of Applied Science, which may occur through the BASc programs, the Master of Engineering, and possibly Continuing Education activities.

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. Reza Vaziri Editor Department Head Ms. Clare Quirk Manager Administration Mr. Brandon Laviolette Production Assistant Ms. ErinRose Handy Communications Officer, Dean’s Office For further information please contact us at: The Department of Civil Engineering 2002—6250 Applied Science Lane Or online at


civil@UBC 2009