About Us

SIERA (Sustainable InfrastructurE ReseArch) Group within the Department of Civil Engineering studies all aspects of construction materials. The main focus lies on the improvement of sustainability, repair and condition assessment of concrete structures as well as engineering superior concrete mixes using alternative cementitious material. The internationally-recognized research generated by SIERA Group is led by Prof. Nemkumar (Nemy) Banthia who is one of Top 25 Most Cited in the field of Construction & Building Materials as per Platinum H-Index.

Student experience at the SIERA Group is enriched by a focus on multidisciplinary, hands-on approach to learning, delivered by world-class faculty and supportive academic advisors. SIERA Group researchers are experts in the field of composite materials such as concrete and mortar and in particular, the group is well known for its extensive research in the field of fiber reinforced concrete and shotcrete. We frequently partner with industry partners to find sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by the industry and society.

Our Activities:

  • Research and teaching activities
  • Student training
  • Community outreach
  • Industry and government projects
  • Supporting engineering students in extra-curricular activities: Concrete Toboggan

Scholarships, Awards, and Funding Opportunities:

The University of British Columbia offers and administers many programs that provide financial help to graduate students. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is responsible for merit-based graduate awards at the Vancouver campus of the University of British Columbia. Graduate Awards manages a number of award competitions each year and administers payment of both internally- and externally-funded awards.For more information, please visit UBC G+PS Scholarships page.

Graduate students in the Civil Engineering Department may also receive financial support from a variety of other sources, for more information, please visit the Civil Engineering Department’s Graduate Student Funding page.

Our Equipment:

Our facility is equipped with a wide variety of testing machines. The facility is primarily used for research related projects however, we it can also be rented. Furthermore, SIERA regularly performs various testing for its industry partners. Please feel free to contact us if you’re interested in renting any equipment or hiring SIERA to perform your material testing.

Microscopes: SEM Hitachi SU1510 and  Oxford X-Max EDX

NDT equipment: Potentiostat GAMRY Reference 600, Agilent 4263B LCR Meter 100 Hz to 100 kHz, Ground Penetrating Radar: GSSI StructureScan Standard 1.6 GHz, Impact Echo-Wave Speed System, Proceq Torrent Permeability Tester, 4-point Resistivity Meter & Canin Half-cell Corrosion Analysis Instrument, Proceq Tico Ultrasonic Testing Instrument, Proceq Pull-off Tester DY-216, Rapid Chloride Permeability Test, CL2000 Chloride Field Test System, Resonant Frequency Tester

Thermal equipment: Humboldt Freeze Thaw Cabinet, Infrared Camera FLIR E50bx, Infrared Thermometer, Type J Thermocouple Probes

Load test machines: Forney compression machine (FX600), Instron 8802, Impact machines

Fresh concrete mixers: 2L, 20L, 30L, 50L, 70L & 80L and Mortar Mixer

Other equipment: Grinder, Saw, Diamond Coring Rig Milwaukee Dymodrill 4099, X-Acto 15″ heavy duty paper trimmer, Vacuum Pump Robinair 15115 VacuMaster 1.5 CFM Single Stage Pump and other power tools

Current Courses (Web-Oriented):

CIVL 529 – Condition Assessment and Rehabilitation of Civil Infrastructure
Instructor: Dr. Nemkumar Banthia
Winter Term 1
Course description: Non-destructive testing, repair, rehabilitation, strengthening, high performance plain and fiber reinforced concrete, shotcrete, fibre reinforced polymer laminates, analysis, case studies.

CIVL 597 008 – Seminar
Instructor: Dr. Nemkumar Banthia
Winter Term 1
Course description: Presentations and discussions of current research topics in various disciplines of Civil Engineering.