Faculty News

Professor Dharma Wijewickreme honoured by the Engineering Institute of Canada

Professor Dharma Wijewickreme has been awarded the prestigious 2022 John B. Stirling Medal by the Engineering Institute of Canada.

Two UBC Civil Engineering community members honoured with Dean’s Service Award

Dr. Michael Isaacson and Scott Jackson honoured by the Faculty of Applied Science with the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Service.

UBC Steel Bridge wins first place at Canadian National Steel Bridge Competition

The UBC Steel Bridge design team, comprised of 50 UBC Civil Engineering undergraduate and Master’s students, recently won first place at the 2021 Canadian National Steel Bridge Competition. While the team had consistently placed in the top three in previous years, this was their first time winning the top prize. Supervised by faculty members Drs. Noboru Yonemitsu and Carlos Molina Hutt, the […]

Assistant Professor Ryan Ziels develops new method for near-perfect accuracy in portable DNA sequencing

Researchers can now eliminate almost all errors produced by a widely used portable DNA sequencer, thanks to a new method developed by UBC Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Dr. Ryan Ziels. This advancement will potentially enable scientists out in the field or in smaller labs to study microorganisms, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus, much more accurately […]

U-WatR initiative led by Dr. Pierre Bérubé receives $1.6 million in CFI funding

The Used-Water to Resources (U-WatR) initiative, led by Civil Engineering professor Pierre Bérubé, has been awarded $1.6 million through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s 2020 Innovation Fund competition. The competition, which funds up to 40 per cent of a project’s eligible infrastructure costs, aims to “enhance and optimize the capacity of institutions and research communities […]

Dr. Jongho Lee receives NFRF grant to develop artificial trees for extreme weather-resilient cities

UBC Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Jongho Lee has received the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) grant to develop a tri-layer film that mimics natural trees’ water management function – a technology that will help build extreme weather-resilient cities. A naturally effective dewatering instrument, a tree transpires 97% of the water absorbed by its roots […]

Dr. Sara Beck brings global collaboration to UBC Civil Engineering

The Department of Civil Engineering adds to our roster of world-class researchers and educators and welcomes Assistant Professor Sara Beck to the Environmental Engineering research group. Dr. Beck joins the Department after completing post-docs at the University of Colorado and Eawag, the Swiss Federal institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, opportunities that followed a Fulbright at the […]

Dr. Tamara Etmannski receives Killam Teaching Prize

Assistant Professor of Teaching Dr. Tamara Etmannski has been recognized with the 2020/2021 Killam Teaching Prize. This award is nominated by students, colleagues, and alumni and recognizes exceptional contributions through teaching. In addition to serving as a faculty member in the Department of Civil Engineering, Dr. Etmannski holds several academic leadership roles in the Faculty of Applied […]

U-WatR initiative led by Dr. Pierre Bérubé receives $4 million in CFI funding

Update on June 24, 2021: Total amount for U-WatR CFI Innovation Fund has been awarded at $4M, which consists of funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation, BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF), and various sources.  The Used-Water to Resources (U-WatR) initiative, led by Civil Engineering professor Pierre Bérubé, has been awarded $1.6 million through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s […]

UBC Civil Engineering welcomes new faculty members Amy Kim and Zhengbo Zou

The Department of Civil Engineering is pleased to extend a warm welcome to two new faculty members: Dr. Amy Kim joins the Department as an Associate Professor in the Transportation Engineering specialization. Dr. Kim’s research centres on modeling various aspects of multimodal transportation systems, and how this can help support strategic planning efforts and policy decisions. […]

Assistant Professor Jongho Lee sole Canadian elected to Journal of Membrane Science editorial board

Assistant Professor Jongho Lee has been selected to join the Journal of Membrane Science Early Career Editorial Board (ECEB). Among hundreds of candidates from across the globe, Dr. Lee was chosen as one of three from North America and the only scholar from Canada. The Journal of Membrane Science is the preeminent journal in the field of membrane […]

UBC Civil Engineering professor brings innovative teaching

The Department of Civil Engineering is pleased to welcome Dr. Tamara Etmannski as Assistant Professor of Teaching within the environmental engineering specialization. As the Academic Director of the Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) degree programs and Co-Director of the Joint UBC/UNBC Environmental Engineering undergraduate degree, Dr. Etmannski is a familiar name in the Faculty of Applied Science and has come […]

Fourth-year student Jezarah Ebel earns rare honour as double recipient of Pipeline Engineering awards

Jezarah Ebel was always destined for a bright future in engineering. After excelling in math and physics in high school, choosing to study Civil Engineering at UBC was a no-brainer. Driven by a newfound interest in project management, she decided to further specialize in pipeline engineering. This year, Jezarah is one of three students (along with […]

In Memoriam: Dr. William Kaye (Bill) Oldham

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. William Kaye Oldham (Bill to his friends and colleagues.) Bill died peacefully on Tuesday, Oct. 6th at his home in Merville, B.C.—just a few miles from where he was born. Born in Cumberland on Vancouver Island, BC on May 27, 1936, Bill graduated […]

Professors Loretta Li and Tony Yang receive province’s top awards for engineers

We are excited to announce that two faculty members in our Department received the 2020 President’s Awards from Engineers and Geoscientists BC. The awards are the province’s top awards for professional engineers and geoscientists and recognize those with outstanding achievement in professional, technical, and community contributions. Professor Loretta Li received the R.A. McLachlan Memorial Award, while […]

Six years after Mount Polley mine disaster, new study reveals ongoing problems

Six years ago – on August 4, 2014 – the Mount Polley mine spill released 24 million cubic metres of waste. The spill flowed into Hazeltine Creek, Quesnel Lake, and other waterways in the Likely, B.C. area and is by far the largest mine waste spill in Canadian history. In the years that followed, tests […]

Pamela Wolf hired as Assistant Professor of Teaching

We are pleased to announce that Pamela Wolf (previously Rogalski) has been hired as Assistant Professor of Teaching with the UBC Department of Civil Engineering. Pamela joined UBC School of Applied Science as a Faculty Lecturer in 2013 and has developed and delivered numerous technical communication courses to students in Civil Engineering, Material Engineering, and […]

UBC Civil Engineering professor Ryan Ziels to develop wastewater testing for COVID-19

Update: July 9, 2020, The team’s research, titled “ Expanding the wastewater-based epidemiology toolkit for monitoring COVID-19 community transmission in Canada,” has received the NSERC Alliance COVID-19 grant for one year. NSERC is providing up to $15 million in total support to stimulate collaborations between university academic researchers and the public and not-for-profit sectors, and industry […]

Dr. Nemy Banthia’s new pavement product set to revolutionize road construction

A Canadian-engineered pavement technology that has withstood five South Asian monsoon seasons with flying colours holds significant promises for revolutionizing road and building infrastructure in Canada and all over the world. Pioneered by the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence IC-IMPACTS , which is headed by UBC Department of Civil Engineering professor Dr. Nemy Banthia, this […]

Dr. Tarek Sayed gives expert opinion on crosswalk safety used in hidden safety report investigation

Back in 2016, the city conducted a pilot project at two crosswalks, which added side-mounted lights to existing overhead flashing lights. At the end of this study it was “found that driver compliance rates increased 100 percent when [vehicles were] sixty metres away from the crosswalk when the lower level lights were used with the […]

Dr. Jongho Lee featured in The Guardian for novel desalination process inspired by mangrove trees

Dr. Jongho Lee, an assistant professor in UBC’s Department of Civil Engineering, recently published his new study on a clean alternative to clearing up flood water in Science Advances Magazine. The researcher was inspired by how mangrove trees, which like other trees, employ a water transport system that can evaporate moisture from their leaves. This process […]

Dr. Donald Mavinic Appointed to the Order of Canada

Donald Mavinic, a professor emeritus in UBC’s Department of Civil Engineering and an internationally recognized expert in water treatment, has been appointed to the Order of Canada “[f]or his contributions to environmental engineering science and technology in Canada.” One of the country’s highest honours, the Order aims to recognize people “whose service shapes our society, […]

Dr. Carlos Molina Hutt Awarded The Shah Prize by the EERI

Congratulations to Dr. Carlos Molina Hutt, who has been awared the 2019 EERI Shah Family Innovation Prize by the Earthquake Engineering Research Insititute! The Shah Prize is awarded annually to young professionals and academics for creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit in the field of earthquake risk mitigation and management. In the press release by the EERI, they stated […]

Annual Undergraduate Student Orientation Welcomes New Civil Engineering Majors

On September 3rd, 2019, the Department welcomed new Civil Engineering majors with its annual undergraduate student orientation. The orientation consisted of a scavenger hunt and popsicle stick model bridge-building competition. This Fall, we welcome over 120 new majors into the Bachelors in Civil Engineering program. The new students started off their first day with an […]

UBC Civil Welcomes International Students for 2019 Vancouver Summer Program

During July 13- August 13, 2019, the Department of Civil Engineering hosted dozens of international undergraduate students for the annual Vancouver Summer Program. The Vancouver Summer Program (VSP) is a four-week academic program offered by various Faculties at the University of British Columbia, Canada for students from cooperating universities. The program provides the opportunity to take two […]

Civil Engineering Welcomes New Department Head & Associate Heads

On July 1st, 2019, the Department of Civil Engineering welcomed Dr. Bernard Laval as the new Department Head. Laval has demonstrated outstanding leadership and administrative skills since joining Department of Civil Engineering in 2002, serving as the Co-director of the UNBC/UBC Environmental Engineering Program and Associate Head of Undergraduate Students. He has also shown a strong commitment […]

IC-IMPACTS Signs Collaboration Agreement with the Chawathil First Nation Community

On Thursday, May 1, 2019 IC-IMPACTS was invited to the Chawathil First Nations community in Hope, B.C. on Thursday, May 2, 2019 for a groundbreaking ceremony to set up an infrastructure technology demonstration project. IC-IMPACTS advanced self-repairing pavement technology will soon be deployed and the community will see the installation of new pavements using fiber […]

2019 Civil Undergraduate Teaching Award Recipients

After a vote by the undergraduate student body, we are pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Civil Undergraduate Teaching Awards: Undergraduate Teaching Award Winner 2nd year Student Appreciation Award Dr. Gregory A. Lawrence 3rd year Student Appreciation Award Dr. Bernard Laval 4th year Student Appreciation Award Dr. Yahya Nazhat Exceptional Commitment to Students Pamela Rogalski, P.Eng  Each award […]

Celebrating the 3rd Annual UBC Design & Innovation Day

Celebrating its 3rd consecutive year, the UBC Design & Innovation Day on April 4th showcased UBC Engineering students’ capstone projects, design initiatives, and research activities throughout the academic term. Capstone design projects are a major component of the UBC Engineering curriculum where undergraduate students have the opportunity to design a product or service, and solve an open-ended problem within […]

Gender Gap Remains in BC’s Engineering Sector: Dr. Sheryl Staub-French Discusses the Challenges in Recruiting Female Engineering Students

Recent data from Statistics Canada indicates that despite the shortage in skilled engineers in British Columbia, the percentage of female students enrolled in post-secondary engineering programs (55.7%) continues to lag behind other programs such as health (72.7%) and law/social sciences (66.4%). In industry, women make up 12% of engineering jobs in BC and 20% of […]

Professor Nemkumar Banthia wins Distinguished Alumnus Award for excellence in technology & innovation

We are pleased to announce Dr. Nemkumar (Nemy) Banthia’s recent achievement in being honored with a Distinguished Alumnus Award 2018-19 for Technology Innovation Excellence (“TIE”). The award, presented by the Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (“VNIT”) and NVIT Nagpur Alumni Association, recognizes leaders contributing a minimum of 25 years of service in their designated professional field, change-makers who […]

Seismic risk study & resilience plan with UBC Professor Carlos Ventura

UBC takes great pride to ensure that all students, staff and faculty are safe and well-prepared in the event of an earthquake in British Columbia. One of the largest earthquakes to strike the coast of BC was on June 23, 1946 with a magnitude estimated at 7.3. More recently on October 27, 2012, a 7.7 […]

Professor Emeritus Liam Finn to be awarded George W. Housner Medal

Congratulations to Dr. Liam Finn, Professor Emeritus at UBC, who will be presented with the George W. Housner Medal in 2019! The award will be presented do Dr. Finn on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the EERI Honour Ceremony and Annual Business Meeting in Vancouver British Columbia.  The George W. Housner Medal of the Earthquake Engineering […]

Congratulations To Harald Schrempp On His Retirement

Congratulations to Harald Schrempp, Manager of Civil Labs & Workshops, who has retired from UBC Civil Engineering after 33 years with the department! Harald Schrempp joined the Department in September 1985 as an Engineering Technician 4. In July 1998, he was promoted to Workshop Supervisor (Eng. Technician 5), and in January 2014, he was promoted […]

Best Wishes to Professor Eric Hall On His Retirement

Congratulations to Professor Dr. Eric Hall, who has retired from UBC Civil Engineering after 26 years with the department! Dr. Hall obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Biochemistry from McMaster University in 1972 and 1974. He then pursued studies in the Water Research Group at McMaster, where he received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering […]

UBC Civil Professor Loretta Li Featured as Keynote Speaker at 2018 STEM Career Conference

On Sept. 16 2018, UBC Civil Professor Dr. Loretta Li was featured as one of the keynote speakers at this year’s STEM Career Conference, held at the Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel. The conference is an annual event for high school and university students who excel at or are interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and […]

2018 Civil Undergraduate Student Scavenger Hunt and Bridge Building Competition

On September 4th, 2018, the Department welcomed new Civil Engineering majors with its annual undergraduate student orientation. The orientation consisted of a scavenger hunt and popsicle stick model bridge-building competition, the latter being a new addition to the 2018 activities.  This Fall, we welcome 121 new majors into the Bachelors in Civil Engineering program. The […]

UBC Civil Engineering Hosts International Students for Vancouver Summer Program

On July 14- August 14, 2018, the Department of Civil Engineering hosted dozens of international undergraduate students for the annual Vancouver Summer Program. The Vancouver Summer Program (VSP) is a four-week academic program offered by various Faculties at the University of British Columbia, Canada for students from cooperating universities. The program provides the opportunity to take two […]

UBC Study Co-Authored By Professor Tarek Sayed Examines Distracted Pedestrian Cellphone Use in Crosswalks

(Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images) UBC Civil Engineering Professor Tarek Sayed‘s research on pedestrian cellphone use was featured this week in The New York Times and CBC News. In the UBC study, led by engineers, two cameras were mounted at pedestrian crossing intersections monitoring the movement of over 350 pedestrians over a two-day period.  Observations from the study found that over […]

IC-IMPACTS Conference connects Canada-India infrastructure, water and health research

IC-IMPACTS (the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability) marked the completion of its first five years by bringing together researchers to discuss their progress on infrastructure, water and health challenges. Special guests at the two-day research conference included India’s High Commissioner to Canada, His Excellency Vikas Swarup, and the Consul […]

UBC Team Takes Home Two Awards at 2018 EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition

Last week, nearly 350 students participated in the 15th Annual EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition (SDC) at the 11th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (11NCEE) and 2018 EERI Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. The Seismic Design Competition (SDC) includes over 30 teams from universities across the US and around the world. Each team designed a complex tall building model […]

Another Year of Success: UBC CSCE Wins National CSCE President’s Best Student Chapter Award

The UBC CSCE Student Chapter came first in a nation-wide selection of the best student chapters of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE), an organization that aims to unite civil engineering communities across Canada. Having won the same award in 2015, this is another year of great success for the Student Chapter. After thorough review and evaluation of […]

Civil Engineering’s Dr. Loretta Li Speaks at Young WISE Event

Growing up in a family of only daughters and attending an all-girls school run by nuns, Civil Engineering Professor Dr. Loretta Li never thought to differentiate activities between genders. A rarity in 1950s Hong Kong, her father emphasized the importance of education for girls, supporting his daughters’ academic aspirations despite bewilderment from extended family and friends. Professor […]