Professor Tony Yang receives $1 million NSERC Alliance Missions grant

Dr. Tony Yang, a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, and his team of researchers recently received a two-year, $1 million grant to lead the development and implementation of advanced structural and robotic technologies aimed at creating smarter and more resilient infrastructure.

The team received the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Alliance Missions Grant, which is aimed at “addressing critical science and technology challenges that can play a pivotal role in Canada’s economy.”

“This is a major funding opportunity for the Department,” said Yang. “My team and I are excited to work on this project to make future infrastructure smarter, more resilient and more sustainable.”

The technology that the team aim to develop will tackle multiple challenges faced by the global construction industry.

Currently, increase in demand for infrastructure to be built quickly, shortage of skilled workers, tightening climate regulations and rising material costs have come together to create a perfect storm.

Dr. Yang and his team will develop novel structural and robotic technologies to assemble high-performance buildings. Not only will these buildings reach new heights, they will also be constructed more efficiently, thereby reducing carbon emissions and addressing labour shortage concerns.

Led by Dr. Yang, the research team includes Dr. Zhengbo Zou (Assistant Professor, UBC Department of Civil Engineering), Dr. Cristiano Loss (Assistant Professor, UBC Department of Wood Science), and Dr. Dorian Tung (Manager of Timber Building Systems, FPInnovations).

Dr. Yang joined the Department of Civil Engineering in 2010 from the University of California, Berkeley.  He is regarded as one of the leading earthquake engineering experts in the world, having led the development of the fundamental underpinnings for performance-based earthquake engineering (PBEE) and its implementation in design codes worldwide.

Most recently, Dr. Yang was elected onto the Editorial Board for the Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering. With an impact score 11.775, the journal is ranked 1st in categories of Civil Engineering, Construction & Building Technology, and Transportation Science & Technology.

For more information about Dr. Yang and his work, please visit the website of UBC Smart Structures.