Research

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: 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 […]

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

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, […]

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 […]

Professors Don Mavinic and Victor Lo tap into significant new funding to scale up research

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin Two key research initiatives helmed by members of the environmental engineering group at UBC Civil Engineering are set to receive an unprecedented amount of funding to scale up their investigations at three facilities, with the aim of eventually implementing their new technology as a package to improve […]

Pipeline Integrity Institute (PII) undertakes new research with government and industry support

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin The Pipeline Integrity Institute (PII), co-directed by Civil professor Dharma Wijewickreme, is maintaining research momentum with a fresh injection of funding to further knowledge and seek new developments in soil-pipe interaction, corrosion, and pipeline materials.  The main goals of the PII are to contribute to the pipeline […]

Professor Perry Adebar named Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor Perry Adebar has been named a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. Election to the CAE, one of the highest professional honours accorded an engineer, is based on a nominee’s “distinguished achievements and career-long service to the engineering profession.” Fellows are nominated and elected by […]

When the rubber hits the road: recycled tires create stronger concrete

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin UBC engineers have developed a more resilient type of concrete using recycled tires that could be used for concrete structures like buildings, roads, dams and bridges while reducing landfill waste. The researchers experimented with different proportions of recycled tire fibres and other materials used in concrete—cement, sand […]

EERF earthquake simulation highlights need for upgrades to older buildings

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin The Vancouver Sun covered a recent simulation in the EERF, that was designed to show how a retrofitted school building would perform in a 9.0 subduction earthquake. The simulation highlighted the need for the retrofitting and upgrading of older buildings. Read the full story here.

UBC Civil Engineering team wins 2017 BCWWA student competition for wastewater treatment design

Friday, May 19, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin A group of third and fourth year UBC Civil Engineering students, competing as team UBSeaTec, placed first at the 2017 BC Water & Waste Association (BCWWA) Student Design Competition. This year’s competition challenged students to create a feasibility design for a wastewater treatment upgrade to the Tsawout […]

Civil PhD student awarded major international scholarship for drinking water research

Friday, May 5, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin The American Water Works Association has awarded Civil PhD candidate Shona Robinson the 2017 Dave Caldwell Scholarship for her research in the drinking water field. Shona is part of a research group investigating membrane filtration, a popular technology for drinking water treatment. Porous membranes effectively filter out microorganisms and […]

Prof. Bérubé’s low-maintenance water filtration to help remote communities

Monday, May 1, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin The Hindustan Times featured Civil professor Pierre Bérubé’s invention that uses bacteria and gravity to turn non-potable water into drinking water. Prof. Bérubé said the filtration system was developed specifically for small and remote communities.

Discussing water treatment system

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin Radio Canada interviewed Pierre Bérubé, a UBC civil engineering professor and project lead on an invention that uses bacteria and gravity to turn non-potable water into drinking water. Prof. Bérubé said membranes in the system latch on to particles like dirt, bacteria and viruses.

How clean water in remote communities could be cheap and easy

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin CTV reported on UBC Civil Engineering researchers who have created a system that uses bacteria and gravity to turn grey water into drinking water. Professor Pierre Bérubé, who led the project, said the technology removes the need for chemicals and complex mechanical systems that make water treatment systems […]

Prof. Bérubé’s water treatment system uses bacteria to purify water

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin A UBC Civil Engineering-developed system that uses bacteria to turn non-potable water into drinking water will be tested next week in West Vancouver prior to being installed in remote communities in Canada and beyond. The system consists of tanks of fibre membranes that catch and hold contaminants—dirt, […]

“Does Vancouver Need to Save Water?” Adjunct Prof. Troy Vassos talks with CKNW on the benefits of reclaiming wastewater

Thursday, March 30, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin Adjunct professor Troy Vassos spoke with the Jon McComb Show on World Water Day about the benefits of recycling wastewater for non-potable use in buildings and facilities around the world. Listen to the segment here: https://omny.fm/shows/the-jon-mccomb-show/does-vancouver-need-to-save-wa…

Profs. Bérubé, Banthia’s IC-IMPACTS work featured in “Troubled Waters” series

Friday, March 24, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin The work being done by Professors Pierre Bérubé, Nemy Banthia, and other researchers with IC-IMPACTS is highlighted in “Troubled Waters,” a new five-part series in The Province. The series follows researchers to sites in India and Northern BC, where issues of drinking water contamination are gravely impacting local communities. […]

Professor Zanotti talks sustainable concrete

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor Cristina Zanotti spoke with Science for the People about building better, more sustainable modern concrete structures for their recent podcast on the topic of concrete. Listen now (Prof. Zanotti’s segment starts at 30:00).

City of Vancouver engineers traffic-safety solutions

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin Business in Vancouver mentioned work by Professor Tarek Sayed in a story about traffic safety solutions in Vancouver. Prof. Sayek conducted video analytics to determine the traffic-flow problem on Burrard Bridge.

Victoria report details potential devastation of ‘Big One’

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor Carlos Ventura spoke to CBC after a report in Victoria showed the potential consequences of a big earthquake. Prof. Ventura said the report aims to identify areas in the city where the risk of damage from an earthquake could be significant in order to develop policies […]

Victoria buildings at risk of earthquake destruction: Study

Monday, February 20, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin MSN published a Vancouver Sun story quoting Carlos Ventura, civil engineering professor and the director of UBC’s earthquake engineering research facility, after a study in Victoria found that almost 4,000 buildings in that city are at risk of complete damage from a major earthquake. Prof. Ventura said all communities in […]

Prof. Sayed’s traffic safety analysis tool helps cities striving for “Vision Zero”

Friday, February 3, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor Tarek Sayed discussed his computer vision and automated safety analysis system for traffic safety with Next City. The system is being used in cities all over the world to help strive for the elimination of traffic-related deaths (a plan referred to in some countries as Vision Zero).

CSCE Student Chapter sees real-world cement manufacturing process on Richmond plant tour

Monday, January 23, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin Earlier this month, the UBC CSCE Student Chapter visited the Lafarge Cement Plant in Richmond, BC to learn more about the cement manufacturing process. The Richmond Cement Plant is one of the two cement plants that exist in BC and is one of the six cement plants […]

CBC Radio features self-healing road technology

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin CBC’s Quirks and Quarks featured self-repairing technology for roads developed by Professor Nemy Banthia. The new type of concrete has a hydrophilic nano-coating, which helps fills in cracks, and tiny fibres to prevent cracks from growing.

Prof. Banthia’s self-repairing road one of “the genius 15”

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor Nemy Banthia was featured in the Deccan Chronicle for his work on a self-healing road. The new type of road is thinner, cheaper, and replaces about 60 per cent of cement with fly-ash, and is one of 15 innovations to be recognized by the Deccan Chronicle […]

15 years later U.S. feds still fail to address deadly problem

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Forbes quoted Professor Emeritus Frank Navin in a story about seat-back failures in cars. “There is no reason on God’s green earth that we cannot design against that sort of thing. I personally feel the North American [auto] industry has been somewhat negligent,” Navin said in an […]

Discussing the horrific train crash in India

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor Nemy Banthia spoke to CTV National News for a story on the track issues that may have contributed to a train crash in India. “These flaws can actually create very rapid fracture in these tracks, and this can happen particularly on curved tracks which is really […]

$4M in funding announced for IC-IMPACTS projects

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin The Vancouver Sun reported on a research-development initiative between India’s Department of Science and Technology, India’s biotechnology department and IC-IMPACTS that will provide $4 million for 10 new projects. IC-IMPACTS is headed by Professor Nemy Banthia.  The projects will include energy management systems and portable disease-detection devices.

CSCE Student Chapter gets an inside look at structural timber engineering facility

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin The UBC CSCE Student Chapter recently organized a tour to the office of StructureCraft, a construction company that engineers and builds with timber, in Delta, BC. The visit included a presentation as well as tour of StructureCraft’s in-house fabrication shop. Justin Brown, a past member of the […]

Tankers could pose risk to Ironworkers’ bridge

Friday, November 18, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Metro News mentioned Ricardo Foschi, Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering, in a story about the possible dangers of more oil tankers in the Burrard Inlet. Foschi and other academics believe increasing the traffic through the Second Narrows could also increase the chances of an accident.

New Zealand quake reminder of BC’s emergency preparedness needs

Thursday, November 17, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Pique Magazine quoted Professor Carlos Ventura after a devastating earthquake in New Zealand served as a reminder for emergency preparedness in B.C. In a 2015 report, officials said approximately 10,000 people in the Lower Mainland could die if a shallow earthquake struck directly underneath Vancouver. “This is […]

Civil Engineering prof paves way for nano-fibre roads that repair themselves

Thursday, November 17, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Metro News reported on a self-repairing road project in rural India spearheaded by Professor Nemy Banthia. Prof. Banthia explained the intricacies of coated nano-fibres in the road. “This coating creates a higher humidity environment,” Banthia said. “Cement hydrates when the humidity goes up, so if a crack […]

Seismic rift divides BC governments

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor Carlos Ventura, Director of the EERF, was included in an earthquake preparedness article in The Province. In a video, he explained the benefits of the UBC lab that simulates the impact of earthquakes on buildings. “We want to see what level of damage this structure will […]

BC earthquake threatens Vancouver buildings

Monday, October 31, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin The Province highlighted the earthquake risk of many older Vancouver buildings. Carlos Ventura, the director of UBC’s earthquake engineering reserch facility, was interviewed for the story. The entire community needs to make a commitment to implementing seismic upgrades of at-risk buildings, Ventura said. He added that unreinforced […]

B.C. government should invest more in earthquake warning system

Friday, October 21, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Metro News interviewed Kent Johansen, an engineer with the Earthquake Engineering Research Facility, about a better solution to earthquake preparedness. The provincial government uses ocean sensors but Johansen said he has built warning sensors that can be buried under schools and would only cost about $1,000 each. “The […]

Discussing earthquakes in BC

Monday, October 17, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor Perry Adebar, Professor Carlos Ventura, and Kent Johansen from the EERF spoke to CBC Radio’s Fault Lines podcast about the issues surrounding earthquakes in B.C. Prof. Adebar noted that certain structures would be of more concern in a large quake. “Generally speaking the average Vancouver house will do […]

B.C. not using earthquake warning technology

Friday, October 14, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Kent Johansen, an engineer with UBC’s Earthquake Engineering Research Facility, was quoted in a CBC story on earthquake warning technology. UBC researchers have developed a warning system used in B.C. Catholic schools and a few public schools, and Johansen says the system needs to be more widely implemented. “It […]

New smart road technology making an impact in Thondebavi

Friday, October 14, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor Nemy Banthia’s work to bring a new self-repairing road to the village of Thondebavi was featured in the Hindustan Times and the Times of India. Prof. Banthia’s team selected Thondebavi as the site of a project to demonstrate the new smart road technology that could help […]

Pipeline Integrity Institute celebrates program milestone

Monday, October 3, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Pipeline Integrity Institute (PII) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is pleased to announce that its inaugural cohort of students has completed its three undergraduate pipeline engineering specialization courses. “It is a great pleasure to see the group of students completing the inaugural offering of these […]

UBC Expert Spotlight: Prof. Nemy Banthia, on new smart road technology connecting rural communities

Thursday, September 29, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin A rural village in India has a better connection to the world, thanks to an innovative UBC-developed road design that resists heavy rains, intense heat and poor drainage, according to professor Nemy Banthia, who led the project. Read a Q&A with Prof. Banthia, discussing the project. Watch: […]

Prof. Adebar on the use of wood in tall buildings, like Brock Commons

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor and Head Perry Adebar spoke with the Ubyssey about the use of wood in hybrid, mass timber structures like the new Brock Commons Tall Wood student residence building. “I’d love to see timber used more, but I’d hate to see it done for political reasons — […]

Prof. Adebar speaks with Roundhouse Radio about vulnerability of some new condo buildings in Vancouver

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor and Head of Civil Engineering Perry Adebar spoke to Roundhouse Radio about how new condos may be uninhabitable after a major earthquake. “The most serious threat after a significant earthquake is that a large part of our city won’t be habitable,” said Prof. Adebar, noting that […]

Civil in the news: Prof. Adebar on the risks of irregularly designed condo buildings

Friday, August 12, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor Perry Adebar spoke with The Globe and Mail about the risks of irregularly designed condo buildings when it comes to earthquakes: “The more exciting and interesting your building is, the more likely you won’t be able to use it after a significant earthquake.”

Civil in the news: Speed limit increases should be reversed, says Prof. Sayed in Vancouver Sun op-ed

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor Tarek Sayed and five other UBC professors wrote an op-ed for the Vancouver Sun about the need to reverse speed limit increases in BC.

Professor Don Mavinic named WEF Fellow

Thursday, July 21, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor Don Mavinic has been named a Fellow of the Water Environment Federation (WEF). WEF is a technical and educational organization dedicated to improving the quality of water, boasting a membership of 33,000 water professionals and 75 affiliated Member Associations around the world (including the BC Water […]