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Liam Butler

Associate Professor, P.Eng


Civil Engineering


Dr. Butler is an Associate Professor of structural and materials engineering at York University in the Lassonde School of Engineering. His research expertise focuses on developing, investigating and implementing climate resilient 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 in Toronto at 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.

Dr. Butler's research team, The Sustainable Concrete Structures Group, has recently established the Climate-Data-Driven Design (CD3) Facility for Built Infrastructure for studying the impact of our varying climate on engineered and natural materials and structures. His research involves numerous collaborations with industry and academic partners around the world including at the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, the University of Pretoria, and Queen's University.

Research Interests

  • Low carbon concrete structures
  • Climate-data-driven infrastructure design
  • Self-healing, ultra high-performance and 3D-printed concrete materials
  • Advanced sensing implementation for structural monitoring
  • Digital twins applications in structural engineering

Selected Publications

  • Santorsola J and Butler LJ (2023). Material behaviour and flexural performance of low carbon concrete beams containing very high quantities of recycled and secondary materials. Construction and Building Materials, Vol. 407,
  • Febrianto E, Butler LJ, Girolami MJ, and Cirak F (2022). Digital twinning of self-sensing structures using the statistical finite element method. Data-Centric Engineering. Cambridge University Press, Vol. 3, E31. doi:10.1017/dce.2022.28.
  • Shaikh A & Butler LJ (2022). Self-Sensing Fabric Reinforced Cementitious Matrix Systems for Combined Strengthening and Monitoring of Concrete Structures. Construction and Building Materials, 331. DOI:
  • Sun F, Hoult N, Butler LJ and Zhang M (2021). Distributed monitoring of rail lateral buckling under axial loading. Journal of Civil Structural Health Monitoring, 12: 757 - 774.  DOI:
  • Olcun S, Santorsola J, and Butler LJ (2021).  Design and trade-off optimization for reduction of carbon emissions in concrete structures using recycled materials. fib Symposium Proceedings, Lisbon, Portugal., 14 – 16, June 2021.
  • Santorsola J and Butler LJ (2021). Experimental assessment of low carbon concrete Produced using coarse and fine recycled concrete aggregates and high-volume supplementary cementitious materials. fib Symposium 2021 Proceedings, Lisbon, Portugal., 14 – 16, June 2021.
  • 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.
  • Ye C, Butler LJ, Calka B, Iangurazov, Lu Q, Gregory A, Girolami M and Middleton CR (2019). A digital twin of bridges for structural health monitoring. 12th International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring Proceedings, Stanford, United States, September 10 – 12, 2019.
  • 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.

Teaching Activities

CIVL2220 Mechanics of Materials

CIVL3230 Introduction to Structural Design

CIVL4002 Reinforced Concrete Design

CIVL6420 Advanced Prestressed Concrete

CIVL6400 Civil Infrastructure Sensing and Monitoring



Graduate Student Recruitment

Prof. Butler's research group currently has openings for two prospective graduate researchers (1 MASc and 1 PhD) on a project related to 3D-printed low carbon concrete structures. All eligible applicants are encouraged to apply by the July 2nd, 2024 deadline.

Further details are available at: