Carlos Molina Hutt
Department of Civil Engineering
What is your educational and professional background?
I am a structural engineer with a focus on seismic design. Structural engineering is a branch of civil engineering that aims to understand the stability, strength and stiffness of the built environment. Within structural engineering, I focus on understanding the response of buildings during earthquakes and ways to improve their seismic resilience. Prior to joining UBC, I was a structural engineer at a design firm called Arup, where I had the opportunity to work on exciting projects such as a recently completed 60-story building in the heart of Mexico City called Torre Reforma.
What are your research/teaching interests and current projects?
I am currently working on an interesting project for the City of San Francisco, California. We’re trying to evaluate the impact that the seismic performance of tall buildings will have on the recovery of the city after a major earthquake. The project has led to the development of a formal inventory of existing tall buildings in the city, the evaluation of costs and benefits of higher seismic performance goals for new tall building construction, and a series of seismic policy recommendations for consideration by city officials. The project has caught the attention of the media and led to a couple of interesting New York Times articles:
How do you hope your work will impact society/students?
Earthquake engineering is a young field and there are huge opportunities for improvement. With every earthquake, we learn something new. Through my research, I hope to enhance the resilience of Canada’s built environment by improving our understanding of the seismic risks posed by existing buildings and infrastructure. Through my teaching, I hope to enthuse students about this multidisciplinary field of study so they can trigger positive change during and after their time at UBC.
What is your favourite leisure activity?
My favourite leisure activity is practicing yoga. I try to find time for it at least once a week. I follow a yoga practice called “The Rocket.” It is super fun and dynamic and involves lots of arm balances.
What are you passionate about outside work?
Outside of work, I am passionate about my blue heeler puppy. Her name is Whisky and she keeps me very active. No need for an alarm clock with a blue heeler pup at home.