Research

UBC Civil In The Media – Sensor warning system could predict B.C. mudslides, bridge collapse

Originally published in: North Shore News 5G Internet technology is powering a new generation of smart technologies collectively known as the ‘Internet of Things.’ After the worst flooding in B.C.’s modern history, could the new tech also save our homes and bridges? The next generation of wireless internet technology has led to some big promises — […]

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.

UBC Civil In The Media – B.C. Flooding and Landslides

UBC Civil faculty spoke to media to offer their analysis and expertise on the challenges ahead with infrastructure rebuilding.

BC Natural Disaster Technical Briefing – Webcast Recording

Watch a recording of the webcast featuring our faculty members sharing their observations on the impact of the recent BC natural disasters.

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 […]

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 […]

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. 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 […]

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 […]

PhD researcher receives Public Scholar Initiative fellowship and investigates impact of Georgia sedimentary basin

Preetish Kakoty (PhD, ’22) has been awarded the 2020-2021 UBC Public Scholar Initiative fellowship. He is one of two UBC Faculty of Applied Science students to receive the honour this year. The metro Vancouver region faces major seismic risk due to its close proximity to the Cascadia Subduction Zone. This risk is further elevated because of […]

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 […]

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. 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 […]

Dr. Tarek Sayed announced as Canada Research Chair in Transportation Safety and Advanced Mobility

On June 14, 2019, UBC Civil Engineering Professor Tarek Sayed, was announced as a new Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Transportation Safety and Advanced Mobility. Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced an investment of over $275 million for 346 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at 52 institutions across Canada for research […]

UBC Civil Engineering Alumnus Wesley Lin to Strengthen Disaster Resilience During Upcoming Trip to Nepal

The Nepal Safer Schools Project (NSSP) is a Department for International Development (DFID) funded project seeking to increase the safety of approximately 250 vulnerable schools in Nepal and build the resilience of pupils, staff and the wider community to disasters. It is a consortium of Crown Agents, Save the Children and Arup international and NSET is implementing […]

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 […]

UBC Professor Tarek Sayed’s Research on Distracted Pedestrian Cellphone Use in Crosswalks featured in The Globe and Mail

(Photo Credit: KEVIN VAN PAASSEN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL) On Tuesday, February 12, 2019, The Globe and Mail hosted their second annual Globe Drive Mobility Summit, a half-day conference focused on the technology, innovations and societal shifts giving rise to the transformation of urban transportation. One of the major topics for this year’s summit is how the growing trend of […]

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 […]

Professor Bernard Laval wins prestigious Killam Teaching Prize

Civil Engineering Professor Bernard Laval has been awarded a 2018 Killam Teaching Prize for the Faculty of Applied Science. Nominated by students, faculty and alumni, the Killam Teaching Prizes are the highest recognition of an exceptional teaching awarded to instructors by UBC. Dr. Laval’s commitment to graduate and undergraduate learning has been a positive impact on Civil […]

Professor Donald Mavinic interviewed by Star Vancouver about new approaches to Canadian wastewater management

UBC Civil Engineering Professor Emeritus Donald Mavinic spoke to the Star Vancouver about the need to update Canadian wastewater management standards. As the chair of a panel that spent six months reviewing water contaminants in Canadian cities, Mavinic discusses the need for treatment infrastructure to catch up with the new pollutants entering our water. The […]

Civil Research Associate Listed in CBC Environmentalist Roundup

Dr. Asha Srinivasan listed among powerhouse Canadian environmentalists like Naomi Klein and David Suzuki for her work in waste reduction To celebrate Earth Day, CBC released an article listing “13 Canadian environmentalists and innovators changing Earth for the better.” In addition to household names like David Suzuki and Naomi Klein, the list included a member […]

UBC-Based IC-IMPACTS Deepens Canada-India Ties with Water Research in Iconic Varanasi City

Clockwise left to right: Dr. Banthia meets with representatives from DBT and DST, the location of Varanasi on the Ganges river, the river rejuvination scoping workshop held in Varanasi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s riding). Organization led by UBC Civil Engineering Professor taps into National River Ganges Rejuvenation The Ganges River is a lifeline for over […]

Civil Engineering graduate students get ready to take clean drinking-water technology to San Francisco in competition for the Hult Prize

An interdisciplinary team of UBC students is ready to take their drinking water technology case one step closer to the $1 million Hult Prize. Rajat Jain, Jatin Maheshwary, and Karan Grover have joined forces to create a business case for the drinking water technology developed under the supervision of Civil Engineering professor Pierre Bérubé. Their entry […]

Receive missile text alert on your phone? Not yet in B.C.

Kent Johansen, a research associate with the earthquake engineering research facility, spoke to CBC about earthquake warning systems. He said traditional SMS text messaging wouldn’t reach everyone fast enough, and that we need dedicated earthquake warning devices. The story also appeared on Yahoo.

Civil spin-off company highlighted in Business in Vancouver magazine

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies has been recognized, along with four other APSC-affiliated companies, in a Business in Vancouver magazine feature called 50 BC Innovations to Watch.  Professor Don Mavinic invented the nutrient recovery technology that takes phosphorus, in the form of struvite, from wastwater treatment systems and turns it into a valuable, environmentally friendly fertilizer. This technology has […]

Civil researchers take new earthquake-resistant material outside the lab for a real world trial at Vancouver elementary school

A new earthquake resistant, fibre-reinforced composite material developed by Civil researchers has been taken out of the lab and into the real world for a trial application at a Vancouver elementary school. Older buildings in cities like Victoria, Vancouver, and Portland, especially unreinforced masonry buildings, are at risk for structural damage or collapse in a major earthquake event. […]

Civil undergraduate receives S-FRAME Prize

Civil undergraduate student Zhuo Nan Chen has been selected to receive the 2017 S-FRAME Software Inc. Prize in Structural Engineering, a $1,000 award offered to the student with the highest academic standing in CIVL 228 Introduction to Structural Engineering. The donor, S-FRAME Software Inc., is a company headquartered in Richmond, BC, that produces a suite […]

Civil researchers develop EDCC, a new material engineered to help vulnerable buildings stand up to earthquakes

A new seismic-resistant, fibre-reinforced concrete developed at the University of British Columbia will see its first real-life application this fall as part of the seismic retrofit of a Vancouver elementary school. The material is engineered at the molecular scale to be strong, malleable, and ductile, similar to steel—capable of dramatically enhancing the earthquake resistance of […]

Prof. Victor Lo’s research receives $300,000 boost from BC Innovation Council

A wastewater treatment research project led by Professor Emeritus Victor Lo has received a $300,000 Ignite Award from the BC Innovation Council, to support the continued efforts to bring Prof. Lo’s “sludge-busting” solution to market. The technology, which uses microwave radiation to pre-treat solid sewage, helps reduce the volume of biosolids resulting from the treatment […]

Media: Professor Bérubé’s low maintenance water filtration technology aims to clean Canada’s dirty water

Thursday, July 27, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor Pierre Bérubé spoke with Business News Network about his gravity- and bacteria-powered water filtration system. Watch Video

Media: Civil postdoc finds trees can make or break city weather

Thursday, July 27, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin Even a single urban tree can help moderate wind speeds and keep pedestrians comfortable as they walk down the street, according to a new University of British Columbia study that also found losing a single tree can increase wind pressure on nearby buildings and drive up heating […]

Civil Engineering spin-off company harvests wastewater systems for profit

Thursday, July 6, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin Journal of Commerce mentioned a wastewater system that was developed at UBC. Professor Don Mavinic’s research led to the spin-off company Ostara, which employs his nutrient recovery technology to extract valuable phosphorous and nitrogen from wastewater, creating a revenue stream for treatment plants while protecting waterways. The […]

Civil Engineering grad honoured by Environmental Managers Association of BC

Thursday, July 6, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin A UBC Civil Engineering graduate has received the Emerging Environmental Professional Award from the Environmental Managers Association of BC. Alice Kruchten, who accepted the award at a gala at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club earlier this month, was recognized for her “professional achievement, innovation, experience and leadership, […]