Researchers

Through the development of ground hazard risk mitigation methodologies and state-of-the-art analysis tools, CaRRL is instrumental to Canada becoming a global leader in railway safety. It facilitates innovation in the transport sector and creates opportunities for the development of skilled workers and experts for the railway industry. The following people are involved in CaRRL's research:

  Dr. Derek Martin (CaRRL Director) is an internationally renowned expert in geotechnical engineering and directs and coordinates CaRRL research activities. Dr. Martin and his team of experts from the University of Alberta work directly with geotechnical engineers from CN, CP, National Research Council Canada, Transport Canada and Transportation Technology Centre Inc., encouraging the transfer and implementation of technology into industrial practice. His current research includes investigating ground hazards, risk and GIS technologies; repository geomechanics; and geoscience (stress and fracture flow).
   
  Dr. Michael Hendry is the Associate Director of CaRRL and assists with coordinating CaRRL research activities. Dr. Hendry's research with the railway industry started in 2005 as a graduate student conducting research with Northern Ireland Railways on projects relating to slope stability and the cyclic loading of embankments over soft peat foundations. His current research is focused on the strength of soft foundation soils under heavy axle loading, the degradation of railway ballast and its effects on the integrity of the track structure, and the fundamental soil mechanics of peat and organic soils. He is a strong proponent of field based studies and has an interest in finding new means to measure soil behaviours in the field
   
  Dr. Renato Macciotta is a Research Associate for CaRRL. He obtained his BSc in Civil Engineering in 2003 from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, in Lima, Peru, and his PhD in Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Alberta. He was a geotechnical consultant for projects in Peru and Canada for four years prior to joining the University of Alberta. In his current research, Renato is working on quantitative risk assessments of natural and cut slopes, the influence of subjective probabilities on the uncertainties related to risk calculations, and the role of monitoring in managing risks inherent to low probability / high consequence events.
   
  Dr. Mustafa Gül is an Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta. Dr. Gül’s research interests mainly lie in the area of Civil Infrastructure Systems (CIS) for improving their performance by means of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM), which is a highly interdisciplinary research area integrating different cutting edge technologies. In Civil Engineering, SHM systems can be implemented to different CIS, such as highway and railway bridges, buildings, power plants and pipelines, to improve their safety and reliability as well as to optimize the management operations
   
  Dr. Ben Jar's research focus is in the area of materials evaluation. He designs test methods to assess effects of various parameters and processing conditions on material performance, especially when such information cannot be obtained from standard methods. The main objective of the testing is to identify criteria for deformation and failure, which are then implemented in computer models to evaluate their survivability in extreme environment. His current study is focused on deformation and fracture of polymers, fibre composites and rail steels. The research approach consists of experimental testing, computer simulation, and theoretical analysis, in order to explore the full range of material behaviour and to correlate the laboratory test results with the in-service performance.
   
  Dr. Michael Lipsett is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta and Ernest & Gertrude Poole Chair in Management for Engineers. Prior to 2006, Dr. Lipsett held various technical and leadership roles with Syncrude Canada Ltd. in operations and in research for 12 years, and he was a research engineer with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. Dr. Lipsett studied robotics at Kyoto University in Japan, and holds a PhD from Queen’s University. His research interests are the systems reliability and sustainability, including advanced inspection and diagnostic methods for vehicles & process equipment and new technologies for bitumen production processes and tailings. He has had research collaborations with the NRC, Canadian Space Agencv, MacDonald Dettwiler, Freeport McMoRan, and other companies on systems reliability and mining automation. Dr. Lipsett has served on a number of national research committees and on boards of two not-for-profit technology organizations. Mike Lipsett is a registered professional engineer in Alberta
   
  Dr. Zhijun (Tony) Qiu's transportation research complements CaRRL's research objectives in terms of operation and control, deploying and operating next-generation advanced traffic management systems, optimized control strategies to avoid or mitigate congestion, enhancing efficiency and improving safety
   
  Paul Miller, is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta and CaRRL’s Railroader in Residence. His principal focus is to help CaRRL students and staff understand the business of railroading and to provide them with an industrial context for their technical studies and research. Prior to joining CaRRL, Mr. Miller was employed by CN for 34 years, from which he retired as Vice President, Safety, Sustainability, and Network Transportation in 2011. He holds a BScE (Civil) and an MScE in Transportation Planning and Engineering, both from the University of New Brunswick.