Dr. Michael HendrY

Dr. Michael Hendry is the Director of CaRRL and holds the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Railway Engineering. His team of experts from the University of Alberta work directly with geotechnical engineers from CN, CP, National Research Council Canada and Transport Canada, encouraging the transfer and implementation of technology into industrial practice. 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

Dr. Renato Macciotta is the Associate Director of CaRRL and assists with coordinating CaRRL research activities. His areas of practice and research include risk engineering and safety assessments for natural and human-made slopes, mining structures, transport operations, dam structures and operations, ground hazards, and reclamation. His expertise also includes the geomechanical characterization of rock and soil masses, slope failure mechanisms and monitoring, rock fall detachment and trajectory analysis, and remote monitoring techniques. His work integrates technical skills with risk engineering principles for the design and operation of engineered systems and structures.

Dr. derek martin

Dr. Derek Martin is an internationally renowned expert in geotechnical engineering. He served as the inaugural CaRRL Program Director and concurrently held the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Railway Geomechanics and the Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures Tier One Industry Chair in Railway Geomechanics. His current research includes investigating ground hazards, risk and GIS technologies; repository geomechanics; and geoscience (stress and fracture flow).

Dr. mustafa gül

Dr. Mustafa Gül is an Associate 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. Parisa haji abdulrazagh

Dr. Parisa Haji Abdulrazagh is a Postdoctoral Fellow for CaRRL. Her research interests include field monitoring and developing autonomous techniques to evaluate track conditions using instrumentation on rail cars in revenue service.

Dr. ben jar

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. Lianne Lefsrud is an Assistant Professor, Engineering Safety and Risk Management at the University of Alberta. She uses mixed methods to study how institutional and new venture entrepreneurs use persuasive language and imagery to shape our conceptions of technology, the environment, and regulations. Specifically, her research examines methods of hazard identification and risk management, risk evaluation and social license to operate, and drivers of technology adoption in oil and gas, mining, pipelining, construction, agriculture, and railroading, among other industries.

Paul miller, msce

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.

Dr. Mahya roustaei

Dr. Mahya Roustaei is a Research Associate for CaRRL. Her work investigates the frost susceptibility of subgrade soil beneath railway tracks in different temperature boundary conditions.


Dr. Fereshteh Sattari is a Postdoctoral Fellow for CaRRL. Her work investigates risk tolerability for the transport of dangerous goods.


Thesis topic: Analysis of the Effect of a Railway Embankment Remediation with Wicking Geotextile on the Drainage and Soil Strength by Moisture Monitoring

Research interests: soil remediation, advanced soil mechanics, geosynthetic reinforced earth structures, advanced soil testing, unsaturated soil mechanics


Thesis topic: Examining human risks associated with the implementation of enhanced train control


Thesis topic: A quantitative evaluation of the impact of dynamic loads and railway track structure on rail breaks


Thesis topic: Analysis of leading and lagging safety indicators for rail transport of dangerous goods in Canada


Thesis topic: Practical tool for consequence assessment associated with the release of dangerous goods during rail transportation


Thesis topic: Ground hazards, exposure and stress testing of rail infrastructure


Thesis topic: Estimating the range of lateral and vertical forces at curved tracks under typical traffic condition


Thesis topic: Determination of the fracture toughness of high strength rail steels using modified critical strain model