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WSP is future-focused at the IABSE Symposium


WSP is pleased to highlight several talented employees who participated in the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering’s 39th symposium.  Entitled Engineering the Future, the annual event took place September 13 to 23, 2017 in Vancouver. 

IABSE organizers invited experts from around the world to share their experience working on contemporary structures, their vision for the future, the latest technology, and best practices to support attendees as they plan for future projects that will help communities prosper. Panel discussions about innovation and what the future may hold for the profession were also led by international specialists.

Here is a quick summary of topics presented by WSP experts, as well as photos from their sessions.



Fatigue Damage Assessment of Stay Cables for Light Rail Transit Bridges

Presenter: Jianping Jiang, Vice-President, Bridges - Vancouver

Jianping Jiang delivered a presentation on the fatigue damage assessment of stay cables for light rail transit bridges. During his presentation, he discussed various field investigations performed on an in-service 616 m long LRT Bridge and the methodology used for damage assessment. He highlighted how important it is for transit authorities to have accurate data of the train passage volume, time record, and loading profile over the service life of the LRT Bridge as well as realistic projections for future transit ridership.


A Unique Approach to Rejuvenating a High Rise Building with Deteriorating Precast Cladding

Presenter: Mark Campbell, Senior Structural Engineer - Toronto

Mark Campbell, Senior Structural Engineer, spoke about how WSP designed a unique engineering solution to renew The Simpson Tower in Toronto. WSP tackled a very common issue for building owners: updating the façade of an aging tower while minimizing occupant disruption. 


Former Dominion Archives Building Seismic Upgrade Case Study 

Presenter: Julien Koop, Structural Engineer - Ottawa

Julien Koop spoke about how WSP performed the seismic upgrade of Ottawa’s Former Dominion Archives Building, a national historic site of Canada. The building officially re-opened its doors in May 2017 as the Global Centre for Pluralism, a not-for-profit, international organization dedicated to advancing respect for diversity worldwide.


The 5% Solution

Presenter: Julien Koop, Structural Engineer - Ottawa

Julien Koop also presented the “5% solution”. Reducing steel and concrete by 5% in a building can go a long way towards lowering CO2 emissions without impacting structural integrity. Julien’s fellow WSP colleagues, Ashok Malhotra, Dan Carson and Scott Funnell, developed this innovative concept.


Innovative Design and Construction of Special Guideway Structures for Vancouver’s New Evergreen Line SkyTrain Extension

Presenter: Sean O’Hagan, Engineer Bridges - Vancouver

Sean O’Hagan, delivered a presentation that he and fellow colleagues, Monica Burke and Jianping Jiang, wrote on seismic considerations for Vancouver’s New Evergreen Line SkyTrain extension. In this session, he highlighted innovative seismic design of the elevated guideway. The Evergreen Line project is the first known Canadian LRT project where the performance-based seismic design criteria were successfully implemented.

During a follow-up panel discussion, Sean and the other presenters discussed lessons learned when applying new performance-based seismic design criteria and what the opportunities are for future research and improvement.


Rosedale Overhead: Functional Upgrades, Structural Rehabilitation and Seismic Retrofit

Authors: Sean O’Hagan, Keith Holmes, Reza Saiedi - Vancouver

The WSP team answered questions about the Rosedale Overhead project as part of their poster presentation. The Rosedale Overhead No. 01414 is a two-lane seven-span railway overhead structure, located near Chilliwack, BC. Built in 1956, the bridge was functionally and seismically deficient with significant material deterioration. WSP tackled this by reconfiguring the overall structural system to provide integrated solutions that resolved multiple issues.

From left to right: Jianping Jiang, Atte Mikkonen, Reza Saiedi, Kitty Leung, Reda Aiouch, Sean O’Hagan, Jacek Doniec, and Gurpreet Sohal.


Atte Mikkonen, Project Manager from WSP Finland (right) and Keith Holmes, Manager at WSP Canada (left), exchanged national gifts.



This association was founded in Zurich in 1929 and has members in more than 100 countries. IABSE deals with all aspects of structural engineering: the science and art of planning, designing, constructing, operating, monitoring and inspecting, and more. The term “Structures” includes bridges, buildings and all types of civil engineering structures.