Structural & Earthquake Engineering

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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: Prof. Tannert on the benefits of building towers with wood, like UBC’s new 18-storey Brock Commons

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Professor Thomas Tannert is quoted in The Province, discussing the benefits of using wood in the construction of towers, like UBC’s new 18-storey Brock Commons student residence building.

Civil in the news: Expansion of earthquake detection systems in schools

Monday, June 27, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin CKNW reported on the upcoming expansion of school earthquake detection systems, and quoted Carlos Ventura, the head of UBC’s Earthquake Engineering Research Facility.

Civil in the news: Prof. Carlos Ventura on the risk of liquefaction at new St. Paul’s Hospital site

Thursday, March 10, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin On The Coast highlighted concerns that the new site for St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver could liquefy during an earthquake. Carlos Ventura, director of UBC’s earthquake engineering research facility, told CBC that while the concern is real, technology and engineering have improved in the past few decades and […]

Civil in the news: EERF experts discussion of recent Metro Vancouver earthquake widely covered

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 | By Lindsay Cashin Still image above shows data transmitted by the system’s seismometers during the M4.8 earthquake. Watch the entire event unfold. Civil engineering experts provided expert commentary in various media outlets on the magnitude 4.3 earthquake that shook Metro Vancouver late on Dec. 29. Kent Johansen, a researcher working with […]

Earthquake Day

Thursday, October 29, 2015 | By Lindsay Cashin UBC partnered with the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) and the City of Vancouver to bring Earthquake Day to downtown Vancouver on October 15. Held as part of the University’s Centennial celebrations, Earthquake Day was conceived as a free public event to coincide with ShakeOut BC Day, with […]

Q&A with Prof. Ventura: preparing for an earthquake in BC

Thursday, October 15, 2015 | By Lindsay Cashin October 15 is officially ShakeOut BC Day, and more than 750,000 British Columbians are expected to participate in this year’s drill. In this Q&A, UBC earthquake safety expert Carlos Ventura talks about the nature of earthquakes and what’s being done to ensure that the buildings where we […]

Civil in the news: Dr. Robert Sexsmith comments on Dewdney bridge closure

Thursday, September 24, 2015 | By Lindsay Cashin Dr. Robert Sexsmith, Civil professor emeritus, spoke with the Vancouver Sun about the conditions that led to the recent Dewdney Slough Bridge closure. Read the full story.

Civil in the news: Dr. Carlos Ventura discusses the need for crucial seismic upgrades at local high risk schools

Thursday, August 27, 2015 | By Lindsay Cashin Dr. Carlos Ventura, Civil professor and director of UBC’s Earthquake Engineering Research Facility, spoke with CTV News Vancouver about the need for crucial seismic upgrades at B.C. schools. Read the full story.

Civil Instructor Yahya Nazhat’s recent paper recognized as Key Scientific Article contributing to excellence in engineering research

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 | By Lindsay Cashin Dr. Yahya Nazhat’s recent peer-reviewed paper entitled The kinematics of granular soils subjected to rapid impact loading has been recognized by Advances in Engineering as a Key Scientific Article contributing to excellence in engineering, scientific, and industrial research. Advances in Engineering strives to alert the scientific and industrial community to “innovative papers […]

Watch the recent magnitude 4.8 Tofino quake unfold on BC’s Earthquake Early Warning System, developed by Dr. Carlos Ventura and team

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 | By Lindsay Cashin Watch the Earthquake Early Warning System at work! This video, narrated by Civil Engineering Research Associate Dr. Kent Johansen, shows how a recent magnitude 4.8 Tofino earthquake propagated through the area from Powell River to Chilliwack. Developed under the lead of Dr. Carlos Ventura, the Earthquake Early […]

Professor Carlos Ventura’s Innovate 2014 Presentation Video Now Online

Last fall, Civil professor Carlos Ventura delivered a dynamic presentation on earthquake engineering at Innovate 2014, the APSC’s first annual showcase of some of the most advanced research coming out of the Faculty. All the presentations are now available online – click to view! 

The EERF welcomes BC’s Minister of Education

Pictured L-R: Civil Professor and Director of the EERF Dr. Carlos Ventura; Ann English, P.Eng., CEO and Registrar, APEGBC; Hon. Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education; Charlene Fassbender. Photo Credit: Wendy D Photography The Department of Civil Engineering was pleased to welcome Education Minister Peter Fassbender to the Earthquake Engineering Research Facility on Friday. During his visit, […]

Civil in the news: Dr. Carlos Ventura “on alert for the Big One”

UBC’s Carlos Ventura (Civil Engineering) is part of a team that is developing a new earthquake early-warning system. Photo: Paul Joseph. Click here for a five minute segment on the earthquake early-warning system from CBC News. Placing earthquake sensors in 50 schools is step one of a UBC engineer’s vision for a life-saving warning network. Ten, […]

Civil in the news: Dr. Carlos Ventura provides expert commentary on recent California earthquake

Dr. Carlos Ventura, Civil professor and director of UBC’s Earthquake Engineering Research Facility, provided local media with commentary on a recent strong earthquake in California, and how a similar earthquake would affect BC. Click here to view the on-air interview.

Faculty Seminar Series: Dr. Carlos Ventura gives overview of seismic risk in BC

Images courtesy of Carlos Ventura. At centre: BC Smart Infrastructure Monitoring System Shake Map, showing infrastructure currently being monitored. At right: Engineers inspect field vibration testing equipment at Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing. Dr. Carlos Ventura, Civil Engineering Professor and Director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Facility (EERF), presented the faculty seminar “The Art and Science […]

Civil Engineering unveils new Structural Teaching Lab

The Department of Civil Engineering welcomed industry partners to campus on April 24th, 2013, to mark the grand opening of the new Structural Engineering Teaching Laboratory in the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Building. Those present witnessed a demonstration of the lab’s new Reconfigurable Structure Testing Frame and Small Scale Shaking Table Facility. The new testing […]

Christchurch Earthquake: One Year Later

TUESDAY, February 14, 20121:00pm – 2:30pmKAISER 2020/2030 “Christchurch Earthquake: One Year Later”By Dr. Ken Elwood, P.Eng.Associate Professor, University of British Columbia AbstractAt 12:51pm on February 22, 2011, Dr. Ken Elwood was about to sit down for a seminar on Seismic Assessment of Existing Masonry Buildings in Christchurch, New Zealand, when a Mw 6.3 earthquake violently […]

The Art and Science of Engineering Modeling

TUESDAY, March 27, 20121:00pm – 3:00pmKAISER 2020/2030 “The Art and Science of Engineering Modeling”By Dr. Terje HaukaasAssociate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering AbstractThe ultimate goal in engineering is to make decisions about the suitability of candidate designs and actions. To make such decisions, engineers utilize models of various forms and complexity. This presentation aims at […]

ShakeOut BC Earthquake Symposium

Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2011Time: 3:40 – 6:00 p.m.Location: Centre for Integrated Research on Sustainability (CIRS), Room 1250 – 2260 West Mall (map) Don’t miss this earthquake symposium with an expert panel, which was organized by Dr. Carlos Ventura, Director of Earthquake Engineering Research Facility. The symposium will include a shake table demonstration, five presenters […]

Free Public Seminar: Christchurch Earthquake and Lessons for BC

UBC Department of Civil Engineering presents: Free Public Seminar:Christchurch Earthquake and Lessons for BC Tuesday, May 31, 2011 Refreshments 6:00 pm, Presentation 6:30-8:00 pmRoom C300, UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver Seating is limited. Pre-registration is recommended at www.seabc.ca/Christchurch Abstract: UBC Seismic expert Dr. Ken Elwood was in Christchurch New Zealand when the M 6.3 […]