Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering (PhD)

Overview

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the natural and built environment. It is a very broad field made up of several sub-disciplines such as environmental engineering, construction engineering, geotechnical engineering, hydrotechnical engineering, materials engineering, structural engineering, and transportation engineering. Many of the sub-disciplines of civil engineering are themselves very broad and are made up of further distinguishable sub-disciplines. For example, hydrotechnical engineering includes water resources engineering, offshore engineering and coastal engineering.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Engineering
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Civil Engineering
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Applied Science

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Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Research Information

Research Focus

Civil Engineering Materials, Environmental Engineering (Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Geo-Environmental, Pollution Control & Wastewater Management), Geotechnical Engineering, Hydrotechnical Engineering, Project & Construction Management, Structural Enginering (Earthquake Engineering), Transportation Engineering

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

100
22
25
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

GRE required?

Required by all applicants

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
02 July 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 January 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 February 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 February 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 January 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 February 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 February 2020

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Career Outcomes

96 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; for 12 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 83 graduates:


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
University of British Columbia (5)
British Columbia Institute of Technology (3)
University of Lethbridge
American University of Sharjah
University Centre in Svalbard
Cairo University
University of Chile
King Mongkut's University of Technology
Carleton University
University of Toronto
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
BC Hydro (5)
Golder Associates (3)
City of Vancouver (2)
Klohn Crippen Berger (2)
Tetra Tech EBA (2)
General Electric
AECOM
Sightline Engineering Ltd.
Glotman Simpson
Ecofish Research
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Senior Geotechnical Engineer (6)
President (3)
Senior Project Engineer (2)
Engineer (2)
Structural Engineer (2)
Geotechnical Engineer (2)
Principal Consultant (2)
Principal (2)
Associate (2)
Founder, CEO
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Career Options

Many graduates from the Civil Engineering program at UBC use the knowledge and experience they gain from the broad academic program as a stepping stone to non-engineering careers, such as in business and management, or go on to other academic disciplines such as architecture or medicine.

Graduates from the Civil Engineering program at UBC who go on to practice as professional engineers are employed by small and large consulting engineering companies – some providing more specialized services and others more comprehensive services; engineering companies that provide large-scale infrastructure projects; crown corporations such as BC Hydro; and various levels of government – municipal, provincial and federal governments, and government branches and agencies

Alumni on Success

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,665.26$2,925.58
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$4,995.78$8,776.74
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$930.14 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications1151721366576
Offers1313181715
New registrations91116118
Total enrolment6976755962

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 94.59% based on 37 students admitted between 2005 - 2008. Based on 29 graduations between 2014 - 2017 the minimum time to completion is 4.00 years and the maximum time is 8.66 years with an average of 6.06 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 March 2019]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 23 September 2018].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Friday, 6 September 2019 - 12:30pm - Room 200

Brook Raymond Robazza
Experimental and Numerical Investigations of Ductile Slender Reinforced Masonry Shear Walls Subjected to In-Plane Seismic Loads

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Adebar, Perry Erwin (Concrete structures, seismic design, high-rise buildings, shear design, evaluation and repair of structures)
  • Banthia, Nemkumar (Materials engineering, concrete, advanced composite materials, shotcrete, fibre reinforcement, rebound mechanics, kinamatic studies, optimization, supplementary cementing materials in concrete)
  • Berube, Pierre (Water treatment, trace organic contaminants, membrane and advanced oxidation technologies., Drinking water treatment, filtration/membrane processes for water and wastewater treatment, distribution system water quality, advanced oxidation, wastewater reuse)
  • Bigazzi, Alexander York (Transportation Systems, active transportation, bicycles, air quality, motor vehicle emissions, travel behaviour)
  • Fannin, R Jonathan (Shear wave velocity for the detection of fines loss in soils, internal erosion in earth dams, seepage-induced instability in gap-graded soils, grain shape and the strength of sands, filtration compatibility of woven and nonwoven geotextiles, pullout resistance of geogrids in static and dynamic loading, debris flow travel distance on steep mountainous terrain, slope stability in engineering practice)
  • Haukaas, Terje (Risk, structures, structural safety, seismic, earthquake, probability, computer analysis, Structures, Probabilistic mechanics, structural reliability and optimization, timber engineering, earthquake engineering, decision making, risk, advanced structural analysis, finite elements, response sensitivity analysis, software development)
  • Howie, John (Field and laboratory characterization of soils for geotechnical engineering design, ground improvement, foundation engineering)
  • Isaacson, Michael D (Coastal and offshore hydrodynamics, with a particular emphasis on ocean waves and their effects on structures.)
  • Jelovica, Jasmin (Stress Analysis, Production and Process Optimization, Metals and Alloys, Solid Mechanics, Finite element analysis, Structural optimization, Welding and joining of metals, Sandwich structures, Ultimate, fatigue and impact strength)
  • Laval, Bernard (physical limnology fluid mechanics environmental fluid mechanics underwater robotics, Field and 3D numerical modeling techniques to describe the spatial and temporal variations of physical processes and their impacts on transport in lakes and coastal waters)
  • Lawrence, Gregory (Environmental fluid mechanics, hydraulics, hydrodynamic stability and mixing, physical limnology, water quality management)
  • Lee, Jongho (Membranes, Water/Wastewater Treatment, Desalination, Resource Harvesting, Nanoporous Media, Electrokinetics )
  • Lence, Barbara Jean (Hydrotechnical, Optimizing design and operational strategies of water resources projects, reliable withdrawal-treatment strategies for contaminated groundwater supply systems, asset management strategies for mid-sized water utilities with limited break data, water distribution system operational procedures to meet hydraulic and water quality objectives)
  • Li, Loretta (Contaminated site investigation and management, environmental monitoring, risk and impact assessment, soil-contaminant interactions, mobility and migration of contaminants, remediation technology, mine tailings waste disposal and treatment processes)
  • Molina Hutt, Carlos (Earthquake engineering, performance-based seismic design, seismic resilience, risk analysis, high-rise buildings, innovative structural systems)
  • Sayed, Tarek (transportation engineering, Transportation, Full Bayes safety models, Automated safety analysis using computer vision techniques, Safety evaluations, Traffic conflicts techniques, Pedestrian modeling, and ITS)
  • Shawwash, Ziad K (Modeling and optimization of large-scale civil engineering systems; planning, design and operation of hydroelectric generating facilities; use of decision, policy and risk analysis techniques in water resource planning and management; use of artificial intelligence systems in water resource and hydroelectric systems.)
  • Staub-French, Sheryl (Virtual Design and Construction (VDC), Building Information Modeling (BIM), collaboration and integrated project delivery, design and construction coordination, 4D (3D + time) visualization, interactive workspaces)
  • Swei, Omar (Asset Management, Life Cycle Modeling, Optimization Methods, Real Options, Reinforcement Learning, Risk Analysis, Sequential Decision-Making, Stochastic Modeling, Sustainable Infrastructure Management, Time-Series Methods, Uncertainty Estimation and Propagation)
  • Taiebat, Mahdi (static and dynamic soil-structure interaction, Theoretical and computational geomechanics, constitutive modeling of engineering materials, geotechnical earthquake engineering, static and dynamic soil-structure-interaction)
  • Vaziri, Reza (Finite element analysis, Mechanics of composite materials, Constitutive modeling of engineering materials, Plasticity, Damage mechanics, Process modeling of composite structures, Analysis of impact and blast loading of metallic and composite structures)
  • Ventura, Carlos Estuardo (Earthquake engineering, structural dynamics, full scale vibration testing, shake table testing Seismic risk evaluation and hazard management studies Investigation of earthquake effects on man-made structures)
  • Weijs, Steven (Water, Hydrological Cycle and Reservoirs, Drinking Water, Fresh Water, Information, Hydroelectricity, Ice and Snow, Hydrological Prediction, hydrology, water resources management, information theory, uncertainty, experimental hydrology, sensors, mountain hydrology, droughts, floods, control of water systems)
  • Wijewickreme, Dharmapriya (Geotechnical, pipeline geotechnical engineering)
  • Yang, Tsung-Yuan (Seismic behavior and design of steel, concrete and composite structures, seismic behavior and design of tall buildings, develop performance-based evaluation methodology and code design procedures for new and existing structures, using innovative structural component and systems to improve structural performance, including the use of innovative active, semi-active and passive energy dissipation systems, develop accurate and cost effective experimental methods to analyze structural response under extreme loading conditions.)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Sepideh Ashtari
    "Dr. Ashtari evaluated the performance-based seismic design provisions of the 2014 Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code for reinforced concrete bridges. She identified, for the first time, the challenges of implementing the provisions in practice and addressed them with regards to design framework, performance criteria, analysis, and performance verification." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Marcia Fromberg
    "Phosphorus is recovered from wastewater as a compound called struvite. Dr. Fromberg studied how struvite pellets form and how to maximize pellet-formation in UBC's previously pioneered, phosphorus-recovery technology. Maximizing yield increases the value of the technology, and results in greater recovery of this valuable and dwindling resource." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Seyed Abdolnaser Moosavian
    "Water distribution networks are one of the most important elements in urban infrastructure systems and require huge investment for construction. Dr. Moosavian studied several optimization methods and applied multi-objective models for a reliable design of pipe networks. This work will contribute to more efficient evaluation and optimal design of water systems." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Pascale Corine Rouse
    "Geosynthetics are synthetic sheets that can be used to reinforce soil to improve the stability of earth retaining walls. Dr. Rouse proposed a numerical model that helps to have a better understanding of the factors that influence the soil-geosynthetic interaction for design purposes." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Sarmad Mehrbod
    "Dr. Mehrbod studied how teams work together using state of the art 3D and 4D-modelling technologies during building design. He formalized the coordination processes, identified bottlenecks, and proposed novel design considerations. His results have practical implications for the construction industry, and the software development community." (November 2018)
 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
02 July 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
31 January 2020
International Applicant Deadline
31 January 2020
 

Supervisor Search

 

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