We currently have speakers lined up for two seminar series:
SIERA Group Seminars – Safe & Sustainable Infrastructure – Wednesdays at 5:30 PM PST
WESTalks Seminar Series – Integrated Water Management – Thursdays at 9:00 AM PST
Dr. Biranchi Panda is an Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, India. Before joining IIT, Dr. Panda was a Research Associate in Singapore centre for 3D printing (SC3DP) and obtained his Ph.D. in “3D concrete printing” from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.
Dr. Panda’s research focuses on sustainable multifunctional composites and lies at the intersection of advanced manufacturing, materials science, and multi-scale, multi physics modelling. Examples of his current projects include additively manufactured smart composites, digital construction and ceramic additive manufacturing.
9:00 AM PST on ZOOM
Dr. Bernhard Truffer is head of the environmental social science research department at the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) in Switzerland and a professor at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. His expertise is on sustainability transitions in infrastructure sectors such as urban water management, electricity or transport. In particular, he focuses on the geographical conditions of these transitions in specific regions and countries but also at the global scale.
9:00 AM PST on ZOOM
Onita D. Basu, PhD., P.Eng. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carleton University (Ottawa, Ontario). Dr. Basu obtained her Bachelors’ (Chemical Engineering) and Masters’ degrees (Civil/Environmental Engineering) at the University of British Columbia and her PhD at the University of Waterloo (Civil/Environmental Engineering). She specializes in process optimization of sustainable technologies with a particular focus in water treatment. Her water treatment work encompasses many aspects of filtration technology, from home-use pot filters, to industrial-scale biofilters and membrane technology. Her work on the ground in Tanzania has enhanced her personal awareness that technology alone is not the sole solution for uptake of clean water in many communities, and the need to incorporate social inquiry within technical research. She is also interested in the field of upcycling waste organics in the circular economy. Dr. Basu is a recipient of a 2019 Carleton Research Achievement Award and a 2020 Ottawa Chapter Professional Engineers Civics Award. She considers herself to be an “Average Jane” professor who never quite strikes the right work-life balance, either “working well” or “living well”, but just apparently never at the same time!
9:00 AM PST on ZOOM
Dr. Daniel McCurry is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California. Dr. McCurry completed his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a Chemistry minor at Stanford in 2016. Prior to Stanford, he earned an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Yale and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and worked in the USEPA Office of Research and Development. He received the Rose Hills Foundation Research Fellowship in 2019 and NSF CAREER Award in 2020. Dr. McCurry’s research focuses on protecting public health by improving the long-term safety of engineered water sources. He applies the tools of environmental organic chemistry and analytical chemistry to water quality challenges related to chemical and ultraviolet disinfection of wastewater and drinking water, with a particular emphasis on identifying formation mechanisms and precursors of disinfection byproducts to facilitate their prevention.
5:30 PM PST on ZOOM
9:00 AM PST on ZOOM
Bill Mitch is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. He has studied disinfection byproduct formation mechanisms over the past 20 years, with a particular focus on nitrosamines. His research has evaluated techniques to minimize the formation of disinfection byproducts. He obtained a BA in Archaeology from Harvard University and MS and PhD degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He received the 2004 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors and Parsons Engineering, and a NSF Career Award in 2007. He served as the Chair of the 2017 Disinfection Byproducts Gordon Conference. He served on a NWRI expert panel evaluating mixing of potable reuse discharges into the reservoir feeding the Las Virgenes-Triunfo drinking water plant. He holds a PE license in California.
Past seminar recordings may be available on our YouTube Page.
Dr. Bao Lu received his Ph.D. from Hunan University (HNU), China, specializing in microstructure of CO2 cured cement paste and its properties by further water curing. After his Ph.D., he is now working in Yancheng Institute of Technology. He is working on CO2 curing for lower calcium cement and industrial waste.
Dr. Boya Xiong will join the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering at University of Minnesota as an assistant professor in August 2020. Dr. Xiong’s research focuses at the interface of polymer science, environmental chemistry, and membrane material science, to i) elucidate the fundamental mechanisms of polymer degradation (e.g., micro/nanoplastic generation) that dictates the environmental fate and shapes sustainable design and management of future polymer chemicals and materials; ii) develop novel nature-inspired membrane material architecture to enable efficient separation and mitigate pathogenic contamination and fouling in engineered systems. Xiong brings broad experience in polymer degradation science, organic fingerprinting analysis, membrane-based brine treatment, bio-based chemical separation, and sustainable drinking water treatment. Xiong earned a Ph.D. in Environmental engineering at Pennsylvania State University where she also obtained her M.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Xiong earned a B.S. in Biotechnology from East China University of Science and Technology, when she researched marine microbiology at Flinders University of South Australia. Prior to her appointment, Xiong is working as a postdoctoral associate on multiple sustainable materials and water quality related projects with interdisciplinary efforts at MIT.
Dr. Shunquan Zhang is now a postdoctoral fellow in Southeast University, China. He received his Ph.D in Materials Science and Engineering from the same university. He is now focusing on the preparation of embedded piezoelectric ultrasonic transducer and its application in civil engineering. His research interests include online monitoring of setting and hardening process of cementitious materials and damage behavior of concrete and reinforced concrete by using embedded ultrasonic transducers.
Elizabeth Tilley is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Health at the University of Malawi, the Polytechnic in Blantyre, Malawi, and an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria. As an engineer and an economist, she is interested in the technological, social, and financial drivers for sustainable urban services in low-income settings. She got her M.ASc. from the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Don Mavinic and Dr. Jim Atwater and further went on to get her PhD from ETH Zurich (Eawag) With a background in both environmental engineering and development economics, she uses a variety of methods to identify and test acceptable, affordable, sustainable options for improving sanitation infrastructure, use and maintenance. She has worked with service providers, local municipalities, universities, donors and NGOs across several countries including: Canada*, Switzerland*, Mexico*, Nepal, South Africa*, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua (*indicates long-term stays)
Dr. Pampa Dey joined the Department of Civil and Water Engineering at the Laval University, Canada in 2018 as an Assistant Professor. Currently, she also holds the Chair in Educational Leadership on Sustainable Design of Aluminum Structures and she is affiliated to the REGAL- aluminum research centre. She has received her Master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (India), followed by her doctoral degree from the University of Waterloo (Canada). Through her research program, she aims at developing novel design and maintenance solutions for sustainable lightweight structures. Her research interests revolve around lightweight structures, human-induced vibrations, bridge design, reliability analysis, and condition monitoring of structures.
Prof. Emile Cornelissen is a Senior Scientific Researcher at KWR Water Research Institute in the Netherlands and part-time Professor at the Particle and Interfacial Technology Group at the University of Ghent in Belgium (since 2017). He works also as a Visiting Scientist at the Singapore Membrane Technology Centre (SMTC) at the NTU in Singapore (since 2014).
He obtained his Chemical Engineering MSc (1992) and PhD degree (1997) at the University of Twente (the Netherlands). His research topics include membrane fouling and cleaning, rejection of emerging contaminants by pressure and osmotic driven membranes and developing innovative membrane based concepts1.
He published more than 100 papers in well-respected scientific journals (h-factor of 32), co-filed 5 patents and written three book chapters. He received several innovation awards in the field of water treatment and membrane filtration.
Dr. Rachel Scholes will join the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia as an assistant professor of Environmental Engineering in July 2021. Dr. Scholes brings experience in environmental chemistry, engineering, and safer chemical alternatives in order to address contaminants of concern for human and environmental health. Her research focuses on optimizing trace contaminant removal in engineered and nature-based water treatment systems, and on identifying alternatives to harmful chemicals. Dr. Scholes earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University. She has been recognized with fellowships from the Fulbright Association, the National Science Foundation, and UC Berkeley’s Graduate Division. Prior to her appointment at UBC, she is conducting safer chemicals research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bioproducts Research Unit.
Menachem Elimelech is the Roberto Goizueta Professor at the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Yale University. His research focuses on membrane-based technologies at the water-energy nexus, materials for next-generation desalination and water purification membranes, and environmental applications of nanomaterials. Professor Elimelech was the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his research contributions. Notable among these awards are the 2005 Clarke Prize for excellence in water research; election to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2006; Eni Prize for ‘Protection of the Environment’ in 2015; and election to the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2017. Professor Elimelech is also a Highly Cited Researcher in two categories (Chemistry and Environment/Ecology). Professor Elimelech has advised 41 PhD students and 36 postdoctoral researchers, many of whom hold leading positions in academia and industry. In recognition of his excellence in teaching and mentoring, he received the W.M. Keck Foundation Engineering Teaching Excellence Award in 1994, the Yale University Graduate Mentoring Award in 2004, and the Yale University Postdoctoral Mentoring Prize in 2012.
Dr. Rishi Gupta is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Victoria. He received both a masters and a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of British Columbia. His current research is focused on studying the early-age behavior of cement-based composites containing SCMs and fibers. His areas of interest include development of sustainable construction technologies, masonry structures, hybrid absorbable landscapes, structural health monitoring, and non-destructive testing. He has more than 15 years of combined academic and industry experience. His industry experience includes working as the Director of Research of Octaform Systems Inc in Vancouver. Dr. Gupta is a Fellow of Engineers Canada and the past chair of the EGBC’s Burnaby/New West branch. He is the past Chair of the international affairs committee of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering (CSCE). He is a long standing member of the American Concrete Institute and is also a voting member of several subcommittees of ASTM C 09.
SEC Keynote during the Annual Research Conference
Dr. Paul Westerhoff is a Regents Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University and the Fulton Chair of Environmental Engineering. He joined ASU in 1995 and after serving as the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Chair he was the Founding Director for the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. Since then he has served as an Associate Dean of Research in Engineering, ASU Vice Provost for Academic Programming, and Vice Dean for Research and Innovation in Engineering.
Dr. Jianhui Liu received his Ph.D. from Hunan University (HNU), China, specializing in internal curing of ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) by using superabsorbent polymer and lightweight sand and the shrinkage control of UHPC. After his Ph.D., he is now working as a Postdoctoral Fellow at HNU. He is working on strengthening treatment of recycled aggregate by CO2 curing, CO2 curing for industrial waste: such as steel slag products, and internal curing of UHPC.
Dr. McKie is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Drinking Water Research Group at the University of Toronto. He completed his PhD and MASc at the University of Toronto focussing on biological drinking water treatment. His research has demonstrated the ability for biofiltration to reduce the formation of DBPs including THMs, HAAs, HANs, NDMA and MX, as well as provide removal of pharmaceuticals and artificial sweeteners. Ultimately, this work lead to the identification of relationships that combine process operation with biological parameters to estimate water quality. He is actively involved in AWWA and IOA committees and is hoping to pursue a career in academia.
Dr. Zijian Jia is a postdoctoral fellow at the Southeast University, China. He received his Ph.D in Materials Science and Engineering from the same university. He is now focusing on the leaching behavior of different cementitious system at micro-nano scale. His research interests include micromechanical properties of cementitious material, microstructure evolution of cementitious material at high temperature and leaching behavior of cementitious material.
Dr. Patrick Mirindi is a medical doctor, trained in Public health with expertise in Epidemiology. He has specialized in the Control of Diseases and Environmental Health and actively works with the Ebola Outbreak and COVID-19 Response Team within the Health Information and Risk Assessment Regional Office at the WHO. He has also worked on several humanitarian responses in preparedness/response/assessment of health disasters in Haiti and DR Congo with International Organizations such as Kohler, R2HC, Johns Hopkins and Tufts University.
Dr. Gül is an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta (UofA). Before joining the UofA in 2011, he was a postdoctoral research at the University of Central Florida, where he also obtained a PhD degree in Civil Engineering in 2009 and an MSc degree in Electrical Engineering in 2011. Dr. Gül’s recent research efforts mainly focus on developing Crowdsensing-based Infrastructure Monitoring (CbIM) technologies and improving the performance of Civil Infrastructure Systems (CIS) for creating a smart,
sustainable, and resilient cities and infrastructure systems. He has been also conducting research on energy-efficient buildings and renewable energy systems for creating smart, sustainable, and energy-efficient communities. Dr. Gül serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Civil Structural Health Monitoring (Springer) and serves as the Chair of the Structural Identification of Constructed Systems Technical Committee of the
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Structural Engineering Institute.
5:00 PM PST on ZOOM
Dr. Qiannan Wang is now a lecturer in Zhejiang University of Science &
Technology. She received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Southeast University. During her Ph.D., she was a visiting student at UBC for 2 years. Currently, she is working on the durability of fibre-reinforced cementitious composites (FRCC). Her research interests include chloride and water transport properties of FRCC, development and optimization of hydraulic lime, and preservation of heritage buildings and sites.
9:00 AM PST on ZOOM
Prof Templeton is a chartered civil engineer and Professor of Public Health Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London, UK. His research focuses on effective water supply and sanitation interventions in low-income countries, and to-date he has collaborated on studies with partners in countries including Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, Benin, Sierra Leone, Nepal and India. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and he has served on expert advisory panels for a number of organizations including the World Health Organization and the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health. He is also the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department.
Dr. Christoph Lüthi is an urban infrastructure planner with over 20 years of experience in planning and design of basic infrastructure in middle and low-income countries. He has a Master’s Degree in Urban Development Planning from the University College of London (UCL), and a PhD in Urban Planning & Engineering from the TU Berlin. He has conducted research on urban planning and infrastructure issues in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, India, Vietnam and Nepal. In 2005 he joined Sandec as Leader of the Strategic Environmental Sanitation Planning Group. At Sandec he works on state-of-the-art planning tools and frameworks. Since 2015 he heads the research department for Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development (Sandec) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Research and Technology (Eawag)
Dr. Ning Li is now a postdoctoral fellow in Hunan University, China. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the same university. Currently, he is working on composition design and performance optimization of geopolymer-based oil well cement. His research interests include industrial wastes utilization and management, alkali-activated/geopolymer cements and concretes, rheology of Portland and low-carbon cements and concretes, and concrete durability assessment and improvement
Online Seminar with Nader Aly, PhD, EIT
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Buildings, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Concordia University, Montreal, Québec, Canada
Dr. Nader Aly has obtained his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He received his M.Sc. and B.Sc. from the American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE. His doctoral research involved largescale experimental testing and numerical simulations of reinforced concrete masonry shear walls. His research interests include reinforced concrete and masonry structures, innovative structural systems, earthquake engineering, and structural dynamics. Prior to his doctoral studies he had over five years of experience in the analysis and design of reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete structures according to the American, Canadian, and British Codes and Standards. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering at Concordia University
Online Seminar with Dr. Zhang Dong, Research Fellow, Nanyang Technological University
Dr. Zhang Dong received his Ph.D. from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, specializing in spalling resistance of fibre embedded ultra-high-performance concrete at elevated temperature with emphasis on the mechanism of spalling prevention with different fibres. After his Ph.D., he is now working as a Research Fellow at NTU. He is working on repair system of corroded concrete and spalling-free self-compacting concrete and structural light-weight concrete. His research interest spans fire resistance of concrete, corrosion of concrete and fire engineering.
Online Seminar with Saikat Bagchi, Doctoral Student, Department of Civil Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
Saikat is a Civil/Structural Engineer with 5+ years of experience in Structural design consultancy for the Power and Steel Plants. He has completed his bachelor’s degree from Jalpaiguri Govt. Engineering College (2009), and his master’s degree (MS) at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras was focused on computational engineering seismology. Presently Saikat is pursuing his doctoral research in the area of energy-based design of structures against dynamic loading, at the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering of Concordia University, under the supervision of Prof. Ashutosh Bagchi. Before joining Concordia, Saikat worked at Siemens Ltd. as a Senior Executive (2015 – 2017). In Siemens, he served the Civil Engineering design team as the acting team leader for the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) project Olkiluoto 3, the largest NPP on earth. Saikat has also worked in M. N. Dastur & Co.P) Ltd. as a structural design engineer for some of the major Steel Plants of India and Libya.
Online Seminar with Mohammed Farooq, PhD Candidate, SIERA: Sustainable Infrastructure Research Group, Civil Engineering Department, UBC
Mohammed Farooq is a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia. He received his MASc from the same university and his BE in Civil
Engineering from BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore, India. His research interests include fiber-reinforced polymers, fiber-reinforced concrete, geopolymers, smart materials, sensors and structural health monitoring.
Online Seminar with Xue Ouyang, PhD Candidate, School of Civil Engineering, Hunan University
Xue Ouyang is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the College of Civil Engineering, Hunan University under the supervision of
Prof. Caijun Shi. Her research has focused on the research of mechanical properties and constitutive relationship of ultrahigh performance concrete
Online seminar with Dr. Ehsan Haghighat, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia, Research Affiliate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Ehsan Haghighat is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the UBC Civil Engineering Department. Before joining UBC, he was a Postdoctoral Associate with the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of MIT where he studied Induced Seismicity problem due to CO2
sequestration and oil and gas injection and production, Stochastic Modelling and Machine Learning of engineering systems. He received his Ph.D. from McMaster University specializing in constitutive modelling of geomaterials with emphasis on modelling plastic deformation and damage, and numerical methods including FEM, XFEM, and Meshfree. After his Ph.D., he worked at Forming Technologies Inc, Burlington ON, as a mechanics developer and project leader, where he developed Implicit FEM solver for the Sheet Metal Forming process through Mechanics of Shell and Contact with large deformation considerations. His research interest spans the mechanics of solids and fluids, multi-phase flow in porous media, and numerical methods. At UBC, he is working on stochastic modelling of engineering systems with an emphasis on uncertainty quantification and machine learning.
Online Seminar with Sailong Hou, PhD Student, School of Civil Engineering, Hunan University
Sailong Hou is a Ph.D. student in the material engineering group, civil engineering department, Hunan University. He is working on quantitative evaluation of self-healing of ultrahigh performance concrete (UHPC)
Huang Li, PhD candidate, School of Civil Engineering, Hunan University
Huang is a PhD Candidate at the school of civil engineering at
the Hunan University. Huang’s research areas include:
Dr. Farhad Pargar, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia
Dr. Farhad Pargar is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Materials Engineering group, Civil Engineering Department, University of British Columbia. He completed his PhD study in Microlab, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands). He obtained his MSc degree in Civil Engineering and worked in Construction Materials Institute at the University of Tehran (Iran). Over the past 15 years, he explored different aspects of concrete durability in severe environment and performed multidisciplinary research in the fields of alternative cementitious materials and their composites, materials science, corrosion and electrochemistry.
Dr. Aamer Bhutta, Research Associate, The University of British Columbia
Aamer Bhutta is a Research Associate at the University of British Columbia. He has received a PhD in Civil Engineering from Nihon University, Tokyo. His research interests include concrete-polymer composites, geopolymers, durability of concrete, fiber-reinforced concrete, and recycling.
Shubham Jain, PhD Student, the University of British Columbia
Shubham Jain, is a 4th year Ph.D. student in the Materials/Civil Engineering Department at UBC under the supervision of Prof. Tom Troczynski and Prof. Nemy Banthia. He completed his B.Tech and M.Tech in Ceramics Engineering from IIT (BHU), Varanasi (2010-2015). Shubham is the recipient of SERB-UBC scholarship award (2016-2020) and John S. Nadeau memorial scholarship award (2018).
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