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News Archives

Appointments and Awards

Dr. Lloyd McGinnis, CEO of ISIS Canada, has been appointed to the Canadian Construction Innovation Council. This is an important linkage for ISIS because of the Council's emphasis on awarding 25 percent of new contraction contracts on a life cycle costing basis and encouragement to construction companies to embrace the new technologies affecting the sector.

René Roy, Université de Sherbrooke, has been elected by his fellow research students to serve as the ISIS Canada Student's Committee President for 2005-06.

The Technology Transfer and Commercialization Committee welcomes its newest member, Dennis Sargent.  Mr. Sargent is with Sargent and Associates Engineering Ltd. in Victoria, British Columbia.  Mr. Sargent is looking forward to providing input and, more importantly, gaining experience and utilizing the technologies in this increasingly important field of engineering.

ISIS Canada Research Network is pleased to announce the appointment of Walter Saltzberg as International Liaison Officer. Mr. Saltzberg is the former head of the bridge design office for Manitoba Transportation and will continue to serve ISIS Canada as a technical advisor. In his new capacity, he will take on the additional responsibility to liaise with foreign colleagues regarding technology transfer and to assist Canadians to export products created through the ISIS research program. This appointment reflects the increasing global outreach of ISIS headquarters and the effort being made to facilitate the export of Canadian technology.

Dr. Nemkumar Banthia has been appointed Director of Theme 2, Materials Science and Innovative Structures, by the Board of Directors on the recommendation of the RMC. This appointment will provide Dr. Aftab Mufti, former Director of Theme 2, more time to objectively oversee the entire research program.

Dr. Aftab Mufti has been appointed President of the International Society for Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructures (ISHMII), a non-profit organization of leading structural health monitoring institutions. The goal of the association is to enhance the connectivity and information exchange between participating institutions and to increase the awareness for structural health monitoring disciplines and tools among end users. For more information visit www.ishmii.org.

Dr. Aftab Mufti has been made a Founding Fellow of the International Institute for FRP in Construction (IIFC). The aim of the Institute is to advance the understanding and the application of fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites in the civil infrastructure, in the service of the engineering profession and society. For more information visit http://www.iifc-hq.org/.

Dr. Aftab Mufti, President of ISIS Canada, has received the extraordinary honour of being granted the Mirko-Ros Award from EMPA, which is the world-renowned Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research.  The Mirko-Ros Award was presented to Dr. Mufti for his outstanding life's work in research and education. Dr. Mufti is the recipient of many awards.  In 2001, he was honoured by Dalhousie University for his outstanding contribution to education, research and industry.  This year he received the 2005 Merit Award from the Council of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of Manitoba, recognizing outstanding achievement, including direct advancement of the engineering profession.

Mr. Donald Whitmore, Chair of ISIS Canada, is a recipient of the 2005 Distinguished Service Award from the University of Manitoba.  This award is the highest honour bestowed upon an individual by the University of Manitoba's Board of Governors, and is awarded on the basis of distinguished contributions to the province.  Mr. Whitmore is an exemplary leader of the Canadian engineering, construction and business communities and an outstanding volunteer and Chair of ISIS Canada.

Dr. Aftab Mufti, President of the ISIS Canada Research Network (ISIS) and Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba, was conferred the 2005 Merit award from the Council of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of Manitoba (APEGM) during a reception to celebrate National Engineering Week 2005. The APEGM Merit award recognizes outstanding achievement, including direct advancement of the engineering or geoscience professions in Manitoba by an individual member during his or her career, and National Engineering Week was established to celebrate Canada’s engineering talent nationwide.

"I feel very honoured to be recognized by my peers in this way. I feel this is a reflection of the research that I have been engaged in with ISIS Canada and the University of Manitoba and the work that has been done to ensure a broader understanding within the community and among peer groups of the research that we have been doing, the success of our technology transfer commercialization initiatives and the training of highly qualified personnel," said Dr. Mufti.

Recipients of the APEGM Merit Award are selected based on criteria that includes their contribution to Engineering through teaching, research and technical presentations; the magnitude of works successfully completed; innovative application in the practice of engineering; providing professional and public service in Canadian society through participation in professional organizations, service in community and charitable organizations; and the enhancement of the quality of life and social environment through engineering, geoscience and other works.

Dr. Nemkumar Banthia was given the Innovation and Science Council of British Columbia's "Solutions Through Research Award" for his research into spraying FRPs onto structure surfaces for strengthening purposes.

Dr. Lloyd McGinnis, Chief Executive Officer of ISIS Canada, has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada. In addition to being the founding Chair of ISIS Canada, Dr. McGinnis also founded the following organizations: Winnipeg Business Development Corporation; Canada/Asian Business Council (for Pacific Rim countries trade initiatives); and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (a Winnipeg-based research centre, with a global mandate for environmental issues).  He was also a founding Member of Winnipeg’s “CentreVenture” development initiative. For further information on his numerous honours and awards, please see his biography.

Dr. Xiaoyi Bao was awarded the University of Ottawa Faculty of Science Research of the Year Award for 2004.

Dr. Amir Fam, ISIS Project Leader, is one of the 2004 recipients of the Queen's University Chancellor’s Research Awards. Dr. Fam's research focuses on structural applications using fibre-reinforced polymers. He is currently working with concrete-filled fibre composite tubes. Durable in corrosive environments, these structures may be used in bridge columns, hydro poles, light poles and highway traffic signs. Established in 1998, and mainly funded by the School of Graduate Studies and Research, the Chancellor’s Research Awards are the largest single awards made by Queen’s to its researchers. The awards recognize the work of full-time faculty members in any discipline who have been appointed to their first full-time position within eight years of application.

Dr. Pierre Choquet, a member of the ISIS Canada Technology Transfer and Commercialization Committee (TTCC), has been appointed as Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for Geomation, Inc., a Denver, Colorado-based manufacturer of data acquisition systems for geotechnical and structural monitoring sensors. Dr. Choquet was formerly Vice-President Corporate Development for Roctest Limited of Saint-Lambert, Quebec.

Dr. Xiaoyi Bao was awarded the University of Ottawa Inventor of the Year Award in recognition of the considerable additional work associated with disclosing inventions.

The Technology Transfer and Commercialization Committee welcomes its newest member, Darrell Evans.  Mr. Evans is Manager, Design & Bridge Maintenance with the Prince Edward Island Department of Transportation and Public Works.  He is currently a member of the Transportation Association of Canada, the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, the Canadian Standards Association, and the Atlantic Chapter of the American Concrete Institute.  Mr. Evans is looking forward to providing input and, more importantly, gaining experience and utilizing the technologies in this increasingly important field of engineering.

Nathalie Roy, Université de Sherbrooke, has been elected by her fellow research students to serve as the ISIS Canada Student's Committee Chair for 2004-2005.

Dr. Khaled Soudki, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Waterloo, has been awarded a Canada Research Chair in Innovative Structural Rehabilitation.

Dr. Nemkumar Banthia, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia, has been appointed as Distinguished University Scholar, the only one in his faculty to receive such an honour.  He has also received an Innovation and Science Council of British Columbia award for excellence in science and technology.

Dr. Pierre Labossière, Associate Vice-Rector, Research at the Université de Sherbrooke, was honoured by the Research Management Committee with a Certificate of Appreciation for his continuing outstanding contribution to the ISIS Network.

Dr. Amir Fam, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, Queen's University, has been awarded a Canada Research Chair in Innovative and Retrofitted Structures.

Dr. Aftab Mufti, President of ISIS Canada, has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the International Journal "Advances in Structural Engineering" and the NDE Executive Committee of SPIE.  He has also been appointed to the NRC's Institute for Research in Construction (IRC) Advisory Board and is the Chair of the Fibre Reinforced Structures Technical Subcommittee for the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code (CHBDC).

Fellows of ACI International were granted at the spring convention in Vancouver to two ISIS Canada Project Leaders, Dr. Nemkumar Banthia, University of British Columbia, and Dr. Patrick Paultre, Université de Sherbrooke.

 

November 2005 Issue of "The Monitor" Newsletter Now Available

The International Society for Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructures (ISHMII) has released the November 2005 issue of its official newsletter, "The Monitor".  This organization, of which Dr. Aftab Mufti is President, aims to advance the understanding and application of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) in civil engineering infrastructure, and ISIS is providing considerable assistance to this important initiative. 

Download The Monitor (PDF)

Visit ISHMII web site

 

Updated CHBDC Available for Public Comment

Under the chairmanship of Dr. Aftab Mufti, the Technical Subcommittee on Section 16 recommended an updated version for the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code to the CSA-Technical Committee which unanimously approved a new code for Section 16.  Accordingly, the Canadian Standards Association has issued the updated code for public comment.  Final approval is anticipated in the fall of 2005.

ISIS Canada spearheaded the update of Section 16 to include the use of ISIS technologies in the design of civil engineering structures.

This is the only code in the world that permits the use of Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRPs) for strengthening and reinforcement on both new and rehabilitated bridges and structures made of concrete or wood.  This new code will not only have an impact on the design of civil structures in Canada, but will also influence the updating of similar codes worldwide.

 

ISIS Canada Sharing its Technology with DOTs of New York and New Jersey

The Departments of Transportation of New York and New Jersey invited Dr. Aftab Mufti, President, and Dr. Kenneth Neale, Vice-President of ISIS Canada, to outline the latest developments of ISIS technologies for application on civil structures.  Included in the presentation was the recent finding of ISIS research that GFRPs are not adversely affected by alkaline in concrete structures, contrary to common belief.

Both DOTs were very interested in the leading edge technology being developed by ISIS Canada and the state of the art consensus which led to the "ISIS Canada Winnipeg Principles" for the design of civil structures based on arching action.

Advances that ISIS is making in Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) for application in civil structures was also of considerable interest, particularly the recent detailed specifications on Civionics to facilitate the application of SHM on construction sites.

Dr. Neale highlighted the recent update of the Canada Highway Bridge Design Code to include ISIS technologies.  He also referenced the ISIS educational modules, available on the ISIS Canada website, and encouraged those present to use them as a training tool.

Doctor of Laws Degree Conferred Upon Dr. Leslie Jaeger

Dr. Leslie Gordon Jaeger, P.Eng., recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Dalhousie University, with his daughter, Brigadier General Hilary Jaeger, Surgeon General for Canada.

The degree of Doctor of Laws has been conferred upon Dr. Leslie Jaeger by Dalhousie University.  Dr. Jaeger holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Cambridge University and Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees from London University. Dr. Jaeger was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2002.  He holds Honorary Doctorates in Engineering from Carleton University, Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Technical University of Nova Scotia. Dr. Jaeger is one of the founders of ISIS Canada and played a key role in the formulation of the ISIS Canada Winnipeg Principles.

(Photo by Leigh Beauchamp Day)

 

Province of Manitoba Funds ISIS Research

The University of Manitoba and ISIS Canada Research Network have received a $600,000 grant from Manitoba Transportation and Government Services.

Dr. Aftab Mufti, president of ISIS Canada, says the grant is primarily to fund research into the use of innovative technologies and structural health monitoring for new construction and rehabilitation of existing structures.

The agreement is for $120,000 annually over a 5-year term to a maximum of $600,000. During this time, ISIS will research and evaluate long-term durability performance of composite timber stringers using glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) reinforcement in various structures.

One aspect of the research will be done in partnership with the Province of Manitoba, Wardrop Engineering and LaFarge Canada, which will assist in the design, fabrication and testing of ductal GFRP reinforced overhead sign structures. In addition, an automated on-site computer system capable of interpreting the large volumes of data generated from structural health monitoring will be developed.

Dr. Mufti explains: “As concrete structures deteriorate rapidly in our climate, ISIS Canada Research Network will continue research into the use of innovative materials and technologies to address these problems and extend service life. This will include a life-cycle cost analysis to demonstrate the proposed system economics.”

 

Inaugural Issue of ISHMII Newsletter

The International Society for Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructures (ISHMII) has issued the inaugural issue of its official newsletter, "The Monitor".  This organization, of which Dr. Aftab Mufti is President, aims to advance the understanding and application of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) in civil engineering infrastructure, and ISIS is providing considerable assistance to this important initiative. 

Click here to download The Monitor (PDF)

Click here to visit the ISHMII web site

 

Presentation to Parliamentarians by Dr. Aftab Mufti

On April 1, 2004, Dr. Aftab Mufti made an invited presentation to Canadian Members of Parliament during "Bacon and Eggheads", a series of breakfasts with Parliamentarians, scientists and engineers to "bridge the gap" between policy makers and experts in a variety of fields.  Dr. Mufti's topic was "Getting Bridges to Talk".  Stress, corrosion and fatigue may be killing Canada's infrastructure and pocketbooks, but civil engineers have started to listen (to the bridges, that is).  New electronic sensing technology is injecting a wealth of new information, new life and ideas into the design of urban structures and into the management and restoration of Canada's aging bridges and buildings.

Dr. Mufti was congratulated on his outstanding presentation, and considerable interest in ISIS technologies was shown by those in attendance.

 

International Journal Launched

An international journal entitled "Structure and Infrastructure Engineering: Maintenance, Management, Life-Cycle Design and Performance" will be launched in 2005. This publication is dedicated to recent advances in maintenance, management and life-cycle performance of a wide range of structures and infrastructures.  The aim of this journal is to present research and developments on the most advanced technologies for analyzing, predicting and optimizing infrastructure performance. The main gaps to be filled are those between researchers and practitioners in maintenance, management and life-cycle performance of infrastructure systems and those between professionals working on different types of infrastructures.

To this end, the journal will provide a forum for a broad blend of scientific, technical and practical papers. ISIS President Dr. Aftab Mufti is member of the Editorial Board of this publication.  For more information, visit http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/15732479.asp.

 

ISIS and IDERS Demonstrate New Intelligent Structural Health Monitoring Technology

On July 31, 2003, Dr. Aftab Mufti, President of ISIS Canada Research Network, and Mr. Bradley Brown, President of IDERS Inc., led a successful demonstration of the first-of-its-kind 5100A structural health monitoring system utilizing fibre Bragg grating (FBG) optical sensors. Interestingly, the trial was conducted at the Taylor Bridge in Headingley, a structure which when built in 1998 was named the ‘first smart bridge in Canada’.

The impetus for a new technology was born from requirements of ISIS Canada to read FBG sensors that were advanced, reliable and could be integrated in systems for structural health monitoring. While the technology is being demonstrated on a bridge, it has application in all manner of infrastructure and equipment, making aircraft, pipelines, towers, ships and buildings safer and more cost effective to construct, operate and maintain.

“Our requirements for this technology were demanding and complex. We were both surprised and encouraged to learn it could be developed in its entirety by a Canadian company here in Winnipeg,” explained Dr. Mufti. “The knowledge, skills and expertise to create this system were readily available in Winnipeg, Canada.”

This novel technology was conceived through collaboration between ISIS Canada and IDERS and has since been developed and manufactured right here in Manitoba by IDERS.

Shortly after completion of this trial, ISIS will deploy these systems manufactured by IDERS to research structures across Canada, including the Confederation Bridge, the Gentilly I Nuclear Reactor Containment Structure, as well as in Manitoba on numerous structures including the Golden Boy and new Provencher pedestrian bridge.

“We will officially debut the system this fall at a conference at Stanford in California, to an audience comprised of aircraft, automobile and naval vessel design and construction firms,” said Mr. Brown. “Given the response and indications thus far, we anticipate making great strides with this technology in a number of key markets with requirements for structural health monitoring.”

See photo-journal

Université de Sherbrooke Pedestrian Bridge Officially Opens

Holding ribbon: ISIS-Sherbrooke students Nathalie Roy and Éric St-Georges; Claude Lupien, Chair of Civil Engineering; Sylvie Boucher, representing NCE; Kenneth W. Neale, Vice-President of ISIS Canada and professor of civil engineering, Université de Sherbrooke; Richard J. Marceau, Dean of Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke; Aftab A. Mufti, President of ISIS Canada; Leslie G. Jaeger, member of the ISIS Research Management Committee; Pierre Labossière, Associate Vice-Rector for Research and professor of civil engineering, Université de Sherbrooke

On Thursday, July 17, 2003, the student-designed pedestrian bridge at the Université de Sherbrooke Faculty of Engineering will officially open. The ceremony will take place from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., and ISIS Canada will be recognized for its contribution to this innovative structure. The bridge design was the winning entry from a team of Queen's University students in the 2002 ISIS Canada Student Design Competition. The design was finalized in collaboration with Mr. Gaétan Couture, an engineering consultant with Teknika in Sherbrooke, and Dr. Gamil Tadros, Technical Applications Consultant for ISIS Canada.

When Dr. Pierre Labossière, Associate Vice-Rector, Research at the Université de Sherbrooke initiated this design competition, he had three goals in mind. One was to enhance the educational experience of ISIS Canada students.  The second was to provide a real pedestrian bridge to design, and the third was to have a unique and practical design featured on the Sherbrooke campus. Five teams of graduate students involved in ISIS Canada and representing five universities rose to the occasion.  Students from Queen's University who won the competition and participated in the detailed design and construction of this pedestrian bridge are Luke Bisby, Raafat El-Hacha, John Ford, Dorian Tung, and Brea Williams.

The final design is not only a unique and attractive covered structure that utilizes advanced composite materials, but it is also a smart bridge by virtue of the structural health monitoring components that have been installed under the supervision of Dr. Pierre Rochette, research engineer with the ISIS Sherbrooke team.  The monitoring process will contribute even further to the development of highly qualified personnel within the ISIS Network - and beyond.

 

Demonstration of New Field Monitoring Unit

On Friday, May 30, 2003 the first demonstration of a fibre Bragg grating (FBG) sensor interrogation unit being jointly developed by ISIS and IDERS Engineering Inc. took place at the Taylor Bridge in Headingley, Manitoba. The large crowd in attendance included representatives from IDERS, Earth Tech Canada Inc., the Province of Manitoba, the University of Manitoba (Drs. Aftab Mufti and Douglas Thomson), Dalhousie University (Dr. John Newhook) and the University of Alberta (Dr. Roger Cheng). The demonstration was carried out using a three axle truck with a total weight of 85,000 lbs. (11,000, 37,000 and 37,000 lbs.). The truck made multiple passes over the bridge at 40 km/h and at a crawl of 5 km/h. Two midspan FBG sensors were used for the demonstration in combination with several metal foil strain gauges for validation.

One of these sensors was originally installed in 1996 and one was bonded onto the outside of the beam for this demonstration. The interrogation unit sampled the sensors at 100 samples per second and had a resolution limited by noise of approximately 1 microstrain. Readings taken from the metal foil strain gauges and a National Instruments system validated the readings taken by the fibre Bragg interrogation unit, including the ability to resolve strain from two of the axels at 40 km/h. Overall, ISIS representatives were very pleased with the results of the demonstration and look forward to receiving delivery of the units.

 

ISIS Presentations at Middle East Symposium

ISIS Canada co-sponsored the Third Middle East Symposium on Structure Composites for Infrastructure Applications held in Aswan, Egypt from December 17 to 20, 2002.

Presenters of ISIS technologies:

Dr. Aftab Mufti, ISIS Canada President, University of Manitoba
Dr. Kenneth Neale, ISIS Canada Vice-President, Université de Sherbrooke
Dr. Brahim Benmokrane, Université de Sherbrooke
Dr. J.J. Roger Cheng, University of Alberta
Dr Alaa Elwi, University of Alberta
Dr. Khaled Soudki, University of Waterloo
Dr. Gamil Tadros, Technical Applications Consultant, ISIS Canada

 

SITEF2002 - Toulouse, France

Dr. Pierre Labossière, Université de Sherbrooke, represented ISIS Canada at SITEF, France's annual Science, Technology and Innovation Conference held in Toulouse, France from October 23 to 26, 2002.  SITEF is a major conference with attendance of 60,000. The Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCEs) were invited to participate in the first general meeting of the French Research and Innovation Networks held in conjunction with SITEF. This proved to be a unique opportunity to establish contacts with researchers, government and industry representatives from France and other European countries.