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Liam Butler

Assistant Professor, P.Eng


Civil Engineering


Dr. Butler is an assistant professor of structural and materials engineering at York University in the Lassonde School of Engineering. His research expertise focuses on developing, investigating and implementing sustainable and intelligent structures and material systems. He was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo for his research work involving recycling of old concrete structures into new concrete which combined materials characterization, structural component testing and statistical analysis. Following his PhD, he worked as a structural engineer at Read Jones Christoffersen Consulting Engineers on the design of a wide variety of complex structures and consulted on several challenging concrete materials-related projects. He is an active member of the American Concrete Institute's Technical Committee 555 on Concrete with Recycled Materials and is a registered professional engineer (P.Eng.) in the Province of Ontario, Canada.​ Following his consulting work, Dr. Butler was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Cambridge in the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC). As a researcher within the CSIC, he led research projects in the broad area of infrastructure sensing primarily related to bridges and prestressed concrete railway ties containing embedded fibre-optic sensor networks. In addition, he is interested in developing strengthening systems for concrete structures using textile reinforced cementitious matrix systems with embedded sensing capability. Dr. Butler has also been cross-appointed as a Group Leader at the Alan Turing Institute's program on Data-Centric Engineering. In this role, he has worked with data scientists and statisticians to explore how advanced data analytics combined with physics-based models can be used to better understand critical structures, next-generation materials and the long-term resiliency of our built environment. His research has involved numerous successful collaborations with industry and academic partners around the world including at the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, the University of Pretoria, Harbin Institute of Technology and Waseda University. He has taught and supervised students at the University of Waterloo and at the University of Cambridge.

Research Interests

  • Sustainable concrete materials
  • Advanced sensing implementation for structural monitoring
  • Performance assessment of railway infrastructure
  • Applications of data-driven and data-centric approaches to smart infrastructure
  • Long-term behavior of concrete structures

Selected Publications

  • Lin W, Butler LJ, Elshafie MZEB and Middleton CR (2019). Performance assessment of a newly constructed half-through railway bridge through integrated sensing. Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, 24(1):14 pgs.
  • Butler LJ, Lin W, Xu J, Gibbons N, Elshafie MZEB and Middleton CR (2018). Monitoring, modelling and assessment of a self-sensing railway bridge during construction. Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, 23(10):16 pgs.
  • Lau FD-H, Butler LJ, Adams NM, Elshafie MZEB and Girolami MA (2018). Real-time statistical modelling of data generated from self-sensing bridges. Journal of Smart Infrastructure and Construction, ICE. Themed Issue on Big Data Analysis. 171(1): 3 - 13.
  • Davila Delgado JM, Butler LJ, Brilakis I, Elshafie MZEB, Middleton CR. (2018). Structural performance monitoring using data-driven and dynamic BIM environments. ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering. 32(3): 1-17.
  • Butler LJ, Xu J*, Ping H*, Gibbons N, Dirar S, Middleton CR, Elshafie MZEB. (2018). Robust fibre-optic sensor arrays for monitoring early-age performance of mass-produced concrete railway sleepers. Journal of Structural Health Monitoring. 17(3): 635-653.
  • Butler LJ, Gibbons N, Ping H*, Elshafie MZEB, Middleton CR. (2016). Evaluating the early-age behaviour of full-scale prestressed concrete beams using distributed and discrete fibre optic sensors. Construction and Building Materials. 126: 894-912.
  • Butler LJ, West JS, Tighe SL. (2015). Bond of reinforcement in concrete incorporating recycled concrete aggregates. ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, Special Issue on Sustainable Building Structures. 141(3): 1-12.
  • Butler LJ, West JS, Tighe SL. (2013). Guidelines for the selection and use of coarse recycled concrete aggregates in structural concrete. Transportation Research Record. 2335: 3-12.
  • Butler LJ, West JS, and Tighe SL (2011). The effect of recycled concrete aggregate properties on the bond strength between RCA concrete and steel reinforcement. Cement and Concrete Research, 41(10): 1037 – 1049.