Dr. Voula (S. J.) Pantazopoulou, ACI Fellow, is Professor and former Chair of Civil Engineering, Lassonde Faculty, York University. She holds an Undergraduate Degree in Civil Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, and MSc and PhD Degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.  She specializes in Reinforced Concrete Structures, Performance-based Earthquake Engineering, Structural Retrofit, and novel structural materials (such as CNTs in concrete, FRPs, UHPC, and structural biomaterials). Recent work deals with the development of sustainable geopolymer concrete, forensics of bridges damaged by Alkali-Aggregate Reactivity, Strain-hardening fibre-reinforced cementitious materials, whereas a significant part of her past activity was dedicated to Seismic Assessment and Retrofit of Reinforced Concrete Buildings and Bridges, evaluation and repair of corrosion-induced deterioration of structures, and the use of emerging materials in structural retrofit.

She has served as faculty in several Universities having obtained an international expertise through training and the various posts she has taken up during her academic career. She begun her academic career at the University of Toronto, as Assistant Professor in 1988, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1992; in 1997 she was appointed Associate Professor at Democritus University of Thrace, in Greece, where she was promoted to Full Professor in 2001; she took the position on Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Cyprus in 2011, where she was appointed Department Chair in 2013-2015.  Since 2016 she has returned to Canada as Professor in the Lassonde School of Engineering, York University, in Toronto.  She has 35 years of experience in funded research and has supervised 19 PhD students (4 ongoing) and over 50 Master of Science (Thesis) students. The research thus conducted has yielded more than 120 Journal papers with over 5500 citations to her work (she belongs within the top 1.2% of most highly cited researchers in the field). She has co-organized several International Conference Sessions on Seismic Assessment and Retrofit of RC and Masonry Structures and has co-edited a dedicated volume by Springer on Seismic Assessment of Heritage Unreinforced Masonry Constructions.  She serves the profession through participation as a member in several Technical Committees by the ACI, ASCE, FIB, and CSCE, as well as a panel member of several National and International Panels reviewing proposals and academic university programs. She has also served in the Committee developing KADET on behalf of OASP in Greece, and is currently member of the Canadian Standards’ Association Bridge Design Committee Specializing in the use of Ultra High Performance Fiber Reinforced Concrete in Bridge Construction.  She is also Member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society for Earthquake Engineering and the International Association of Earthquake Engineering.


Dr. Pantazopoulou has been selected as a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada for 2019, is a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute, and has received a meritorious award from ASCE (Moisseiff award for “notable contributions to the science and art of Civil Engineering”).

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Novel Materials and Technologies in Seismic Retrofit of Existing Reinforced Concrete Structures

The presentation will review the background of the introduction of new technologies and materials in the seismic retrofit of structures.  Emphasis is placed in the transition towards the new generation of tension-hardening ultra high-performance cementitious materials,  (UHPFRC) and the prospects and opportunities that these materials provide for seismic design and seismic retrofitting solutions.  These materials are used already in bridge construction and bridge rehabilitation, as well as in 3D printing technologies.  Apart from very high compressive and tensile strengths (>120MPa and >6 MPa respectively), their particular, very useful characteristic is the extended tensile deformation capacity, the tension hardening characteristic property after cracking and their exceptional durability.  These qualities bypass some of the weaknesses of the existing methods and render the tension hardening materials ideal solutions for application in structures subjected to significant seismic demands. After reviewing the state of the art and experimental evidence regarding the performance of retrofitted components using novel tension hardening materials under reversed cyclic loading, the presentation is focused in the formulation of performance criteria and their integration in the framework of seismic design of structural retrofits using these technologies.  The same principles are extended to cover recently developed strategies for seismic retrofitting of corrosion damaged components.  A review of the experimental evidence is relied upon for the development of performance-based criteria and their implementation in the context of seismic design and assessment procedures for seismically deficient, corrosion-affected structures.