SIERA Group Webinars

Upcoming Seminars


Online Seminar with Dr. Farhad Pargar, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia

Hosted by SIERA: Sustainable Infrastructure Research Group

Friday, May 1, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. (PST)

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.







Past Seminars

APRIL 24, 2020

Online Seminar with 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.

APRIL 17, 2020

Online Seminar with 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).

UBC Engineers Steer Road-Building Breakthrough

Dr. Nemy Banthia featured in Business in Vancouver:



What began with a small stretch of road in the rural Indian village of Thondebhavi five years ago could soon become the next big thing in global road transportation infrastructure.

Read the full article here: 



Project-based Learning in Civil Engineering Materials

UBC graduate students and 4th-year undergrads having fun while learning about design, properties, and testing of concrete in the SIERA Materials Lab (CIVL422/CIVL598H).

SIERA Group Researchers Develop Earthquake-Resistant concrete

The 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 a seismically vulnerable structure when applied as a thin coating on the surfaces.

Researchers subjected the material, called eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite (EDCC), to earthquake simulation tests using intensities as high as the magnitude 9.0–9.1 earthquake that struck Tohoku, Japan in 2011. “We sprayed a number of walls with a 10 millimetre-thick layer of EDCC, which is sufficient to reinforce most interior walls against seismic shocks,” says Salman Soleimani-Dashtaki, a PhD candidate in the department of civil engineering at UBC. “Then we subjected them to Tohoku-level quakes and other types and intensities of earthquakes—and we couldn’t break them.”

EDCC has been added as an official retrofit option in B.C’s seismic retrofit program, and the team will be working with contractors in the next couple of months to upgrade Dr. Annie B. Jamieson Elementary School in Vancouver.

“This UBC-developed technology has far-reaching impact and could save the lives of not only British Columbians, but citizens throughout the world,” said Advanced Education, Skills and Training Minister Melanie Mark. “The earthquake-resistant concrete is a great example of how applied research at our public universities is developing the next generation of agents of change. The innovation and entrepreneurship being advanced at all of our post-secondary institutions is leading to cutting-edge technologies and helping to create a dynamic, modern B.C. economy that benefits all of us.”
EDCC combines cement with polymer-based fibres, flyash and other industrial additives, making it highly sustainable, according to UBC civil engineering professor Nemy Banthia, who supervised the work.

“By replacing nearly 70 per cent of cement with flyash, an industrial byproduct, we can reduce the amount of cement used,” said Banthia. “This is quite an urgent requirement as one tonne of cement production releases almost a tonne of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and the cement industry produces close to seven per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.”

The research was funded by the UBC-hosted Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence IC-IMPACTS, which promotes research collaboration between Canada and India. IC-IMPACTS will make EDCC available to retrofit a school in Roorkee in Uttarakhand, a highly seismic area in northern India.
“This technology is gaining significant attention in India and will provide our Canadian companies a strong competitive edge in the growing global infrastructure market,” added Banthia, who also serves as IC-IMPACTS scientific director.

Other EDCC applications include resilient homes for First Nations communities, pipelines, pavements, offshore platforms, blast-resistant structures, and industrial floors.


SIERA’s PhD Candidate Negar Roghanian selected for UBC Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

Negar Roghanian has been awarded the prestigious Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for her outstanding performance as a TA.

Read more

Enhanced concrete performance and waste reduction through scrap tire polymeric fibre reinforcement

SIERA’s research project on scrap tire polymeric fibres as concrete reinforcement in the news:


Xinhua Net: Vancouver researchers use tires to produce resilient concrete


Voice: Recycled tires create stronger concrete: ideal mix includes 0.35 per cent tire fibres
News 1130: Recycled tires creating stronger concrete at UBC
Business in Vancouver: UBC’s tire-fibre concrete could have big benefits for the environment


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