Project Leaders

Marolo Alfaro, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Marolo Alfaro is professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba. He is a civil engineer specializing in geotechnical engineering. He has consulting and research experience in Asia and Canada on areas of geosynthetics for civil engineering applications, ground improvement techniques, hydroelectric earth dams, highway and railway embankments on soft foundations, stabilization of natural and engineered slopes, northern infrastructure impacted by climate change, and cold regions engineering.

Dr. Alfaro has published over 70 papers in technical journals and in conference proceedings. He co-authored two book chapters. One on ‘Seismic Aspects of Geosynthetic-Reinforced Soil Walls and Slopes’ in Geosynthetic Engineering Handbook published by the Institution of Civil Engineers Publishing in England. The other is on ‘Natural Processes and Strength Degradation’ in Instabilities and Degradation of Geomaterials published by Springer-Verdag Berlin Heidelberg, Germany. He is a co-author of the book ‘Improvement Techniques of Soft Ground in Subsiding and Lowland Environment’ published by Balkema Publishers, Netherlands. In 2007, he received recognition as runner-up for a ‘Best Paper’ published in Geosynthetics International Journal. His paper in the Canadian Geotechnical Journal has received the ‘2014 Editor’s Choice Award’.

Marolo is a member of several national and international professional societies. He served as Vice-President for Canada of the North American Geosynthetics Society, as Executive Board Member of the Canadian Geotechnical Society, and as Canadian representative to the Technical Committee on Ground Improvement of the International Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.



Youngjin Cha, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Dr. Cha is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at University of Manitoba ( Previously, he served as Postdoctoral Associate positions in the department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and City College of New York. He received his Ph.D. in structural engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas in 2008. His main scientific research interests are categorized as self-monitoring, healing, and controlling Multi-Functional Sustainable Structural Systems (MFSSS). Consequently, the following are possible areas of research:

•Structural health monitoring and damage detection for sustainable civil structures
•Machine learning algorithms
•3-D printer and autonomous flying of unmanned aerial vehicles
•Motion sensing for use with Wi-Fi sensing and camera (computer vision) based on signal and image processing
•Nonlinear system identification based on Bayesian recursive estimation
•Optimal sensor distribution of wireless sensors for structural health monitoring
•Self-monitoring, self-healing, and self-controlling structural units for sustainable infrastructures
•Nano-material based sensor development
•Passive, active, semi-active, and hybrid control for sustainable high-rise building and bridges subjected to multi-hazardous loads to improve resiliency and reliability
•Effective performance-based design for multi-hazards (i.e., wind, seismic, blast, and impact) of high-rise buildings and bridges
•Large-scale real-time hybrid testing of civil structures for natural or man-made hazards
•Structural dynamics and nonlinear model, and seismic design and analysis
•Real-time sensor fault detection and diagnosis methods



Aftab A. Mufti, C.M. Ph.D., P.Eng.

Dr. Aftab A. Mufti is an Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and Scientific Director of SIMTReC (Structural Innovation & Monitoring Technologies Resource Centre). He is also the former Scientific Director and President of the Innovative Structures with Intelligent Sensing Canada Research Network, a Network of Centres of Excellence. His research interests include FRPs, FOSs, FEM, bridge engineering, Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). At the University of Manitoba he introduced new research area of Civionics Engineering to monitor deteriorating infrastructure. He has authored or co-authored 5 books, plus provided chapters for 2 others, edited 9 books, and written more than 350 technical publications. Dr. Mufti is the recipient of 24 awards. He is the holder of several patents on the steel-free bridge deck concept, of which he is the principal developer. He has been involved in the writing of bridge design codes since 1992, and was the Chair of the Technical Sub-Committee on the Fibre Reinforced Structures of the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code, published in 2006. He is a fellow of 9 societies. On November 2013 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) and on July 1, 2010 he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada, highest civilian honour bestowed on Canadian citizens, for his contribution to and leadership in the field of civil engineering, notably for researching the use of advanced composite materials and fibre optic sensors in the construction and monitoring of bridges and other infrastructures.




Dagmar Svecova, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Dr. Svecova, P.Eng. is a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba. She holds a Ph.D. degree and an M.Sc. degree from Carleton University, Ottawa and Bachelor’s degree from Slovak Technical University in Bratislava. Dr. Svecova is a Director of ISIS Canada Resource Centre, a member of several professional societies including the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (CSCE). She is the Chair of the Manitoba section of CSCE, and she served for several years as Chair of the Publications and Communication Committee of CSCE.

Research interests of Dr. Svecova are in the general field of structural engineering, specifically in reinforced and prestressed concrete structures, as well as timber structures reinforced or strengthened with FRP. She is investigating the serviceability of FRP-reinforced and prestressed concrete. She is also pursuing half-scale and full-scale testing of FRP-strengthened timber bridge stringers.



Douglas Thomson, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Dr. Douglas Thomson is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Manitoba. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University (1986). He has held positions as Chief Technology officer (97-2000, MFI Technologies), Assoc. Dean (99-2004), Professor and Director of the ISIS Canada support centre. He has over 100 Refereed Journal Articles over 150 Conference Papers/Presentations, 7 patents. He has been 2006-2010 ISHMII council (Council overseeing ISHMII, which is the only international society devoted to the structural health monitoring of civil infrastructure) 2003-2009 Member of the ISIS Canada (NCE) Research Management Committee – ISIS Canada is a research network dedicated to finding solutions to Canada’s civil infrastructure problems, Director 2003-2004 for the Composite Innovation Center (Non Profit Corp. set up to assist local industry with composite material related research). His work was the basis for a new product, introduced by SUSS Microtech (Munich), for use in testing next-generation microelectronic devices (IBM, AMD) with nominal 65nm features (Test and Measurement World 2005). Served as the Chief Technology Officer and member of the board of directors for a Silicon Valley startup (MFI Technology). Recently developed wireless sensor technology, two patents on this technology have been granted and a license has been granted to a Canadian company, which has manufactured over 4000 of these sensors for use the rail industry.



Nan Wu, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Dr. Nan Wu obtained his B.Eng and M.Sc from the Northeastern University in 2005 and 2008, respectively, and received his PhD degree in May 2012 from the University of Manitoba. Currently, Dr. Wu is working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering – University of Manitoba with teaching and research interests in the fields of Mechanical Vibration, Smart Materials and Structures, and their application to Structural Health Monitoring, Structural Enhancement and Energy Harvesting.