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Lucia Tirca, PhD

Associate Professor, Building, Civil, and Environmental Engineering

Lucia Tirca, PhD
Office: S-EV 6211  
Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex,
1515 St. Catherine W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 7924

Dr. Lucia Tirca joined the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering as an Assistant Professor in 2008. After she was awarded the Ph.D. degree in Civil (Structural) Engineering from Technical University of Civil Engineering, Bucharest, Romania (2001), she was a postdoctoral fellow at École Polytechnique de Montréal (2002-2003). During her engineering career, Dr. Tirca received a number of prestigious awards. As a researcher she was awarded the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) pre-doctoral Fellowship (2000) held at Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan and European Tempus Fellowship (1998, 1997, and 1996) held at Royal Technical University, Stockholm, Sweden, University of Barcelona, Spain, and University Federico II, Naples, Italy. As a designer she was rewarded with the “Mention Honorifique CANAM” (2007).  Her research interests include seismic retrofit and rehabilitation of existing steel structures, design of steel structures with different dissipation devices, structural dynamics and earthquake engineering. Dr. Tirca has several years of practical experience in structural engineering in Canada and Europe.

She is a member of Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. Dr. Tirca has authored/ coauthored several articles in technical journals and conferences proceedings, as well as a number of book chapters and technical reports. Her teaching, research and design philosophy is based on the belief that “Structural engineering is the art of using materials to build real structures, to withstand forces so that our responsibility with respect to public safety is satisfied.” (quoted from an unknown source)

Currently, opportunities exist for PhD students.


  • Design Buildings to Withstand Seismic Forces
  • Design Steel Structures with Different Dissipation Devices
  • Innovative Structural Steel Systems
  • Seismic Retrofit and Rehabilitation of Existing Steel Structures
  • Resilience Based Design

Teaching activities

  • CIVI 454  -  Design of Steel Structures
  • CIVI 6031 - Seismic Assessment and Retrofit of Steel Buildings
  • CIVI 691C - Advanced Steel Structures Design
  • BLDG 490 - Capstone Design Project
  • BCEE 342 - Structural Analysis I

Graduate students - current

  • Laura Manolache, PhD, Self centering systems for braced frame buildings, Supervisor Dr. L. Tirca.
  • Rodrigo Freira De Macedo, PhD, Resilience of transmission lines subjected to multi-hazards, Supervisor Dr. L. Tirca.
  • Hasan Ayouby, Analyzing, modeling and design of existing stone masonry buildings in Montreal, Supervisors Drs. L Tirca and A. Bagchi
  • Liang Chen, PhD, Modular braced frame structures with vertical links, Supervisors Drs. R. Tremblay (Ecole Polytechnique) and L Tirca.
  • Aid Jnaid, PhD, Resilience of multi-storey braced frame buildings with outrigger trusses, Supervisors Drs. L. Tirca and A. Bagchi.
  • Masaaki Ohira, MASc, Resilience base design of CBF hospital buildings with innovative brace connection details,Supervisor Dr. L. Tirca.
  • YudongWang, MASc, Dual structural system for earthquake resistant steel buildings, Supervisor Dr. L. Tirca
  • Thai Son Nguyen, MASc, Wind-induced shears and torsions for low-rise and medium-rise buildings using code provisions and experimental results,Supervisors Drs. L. Tirca and T. Stathopoulos

Graduate students - completed

  • Rodrigo Freire De Macedo, MASc., August 2016: Seismic response of transmission line Guyed Towers without and with the interaction of tower conductor coupling, Supervisor L. Tirca
  • Ovidiu Serban, MASc., April 2015: Improving the earthquake resilience of existing multi-storey concentrically braced frames office buildings in moderate to high seismic zones, Supervisor L. Tirca
  • Ming Zheng Wang, MASc., Sept. 2014: Seismic fragility assessment of pre- and post-retrofit 1980s Concentrically braced frame office buildings in moderate seismic zones, Supervisor Dr. L. Tirca.
  • Nicolae Danila, MASc., Dec. 2013: Numerical modelling and design of low-rise concentrically  braced frames  with double-pin dissipative connections, Supervisor Dr. L. Tirca.
  • Yan Jiang, MASc., May 2013: Numerical and experimental seismic assessment and retrofit of steel tension-only double angle braced frames designed before the implementation of detailing provisions for ductile seismic response, Supervisors Drs. R. Tremblay and L. Tirca.
  • Cristina Caprarelli, MASc., Sept. 2012: Modelling and design of CBFs equipped with single-pin dissipative connections, Supervisor Dr. L Tirca.
  • Zhi Chen, MASc., April 2012: Seismic response of high-rise zipper braced frame structures with outrigger trusses, Supervisor Dr. LTirca.
  • Juan-David Morales, MASc, Nov. 2011: Numerical simulations of steel frames equipped with friction-damped diagonal-bracing devices, Supervisor Dr. L. Tirca.
  • Liang Chen, MASc, April 2011: Innovative bracing system for earthquake resistant CBFs structures, Supervisor  Dr. L. Tirca.
  • Hany Seif ElDin, MASc, April 2010: Rehabilitation of deteriorated steel bridge girders in flexure using CFRP composite, Supervisors Drs. K. Galal and L. Tirca.


Jo  Journal Papers

  • Bosco, M. and Tirca, L., 2017. “Numerical simulation of steel I-shaped beams using a fiber-based damage accumulation model”.  J of Constructional Steel Research, 133 (2017) pp 241-255.
  • Lin, L., Hanna, A., Sinha, A., Tirca, L., 2017. “High-rise building subjected to excessive  settlement of its foundation: a case study”. Int. J. of Structural Integrity 8(2) April 2017. 
  • Tirca, L., Serban, O., Lin, L., Wang, M. Z., Lin, N., 2016. “Improving the seismic resilience of existing braced frames office buildings” in Special Issue: Resilience-based analysis and design of structures and infrastructures.  J. of Structural Engineering (ASCE), Vol. 142, No. 8, Paper C4015003, 2016, (IF 1.182).
  • Tirca, L., Chen, L., Tremblay, R.,2015. “Assessing collapse safety of CBF buildings subjected to crustal and subduction earthquakes”. Journal of Constructional Steel Research, Vol. 115, pp 47-61, 2015.
  • Lin, L., Hanna, A., Sinha, A.,  Tirca, L., 2015. “Structural response to differential settlement of its foundations”. J. of Civil Engineering Research. 5(3), pp 59-66.
  • Tirca, L. and Chen, L., 2014. Numerical simulation of inelastic cyclic response of HSS braces upon fracture". Int. J. of Advanced Steel Construction, Vol. 10, No. 4, pp. 442-462.
  • Tirca, L., Danila, N., Caprarelli, C., 2014. "Numerical modelling of dissipative pin devices for brace-column connections". Journal of  Constructional Steel Research, Vol. 94 (2014), pp. 137-149  (IF 1.717).
  • Tremblay, R., Chen, L. and Tirca, L., 2014. "Enhancing the seismic performance of multi-storey buildings with a Modular Tied Braced Frame system with added energy dissipating devices”. International Journal of High-Rise Buildings, Vol. 3, No.1, pp. 21-33.
  • Chen, L. and Tirca, L., 2013.Simulating the seismic response of concentrically braced frames using physical theory brace models". J. of Civil Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 2A, pp. 69-81.
  • Tirca, L. and Chen, L., 2012. “The influence of lateral load patterns on the seismic design of Zipper Braced Frames”, Engineering Structures Journal, Vol. 40, pp. 536-555 (IF 2.295). 
  • Galal, K., Seif El Din, H. and Tirca, L., 2012. “Flexural performance of steel girders retrofitted using CFRP materials”, J. of Composites for Construction, Vol. 16, No. 3, ASCE, (IF 1.268).
  • Tirca, L., Foti, D., Diaferio, M., 2003. “Response of middle-rise steel frames with and without passive dampers to near-field ground motion”  Engineering Structures Journal, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp 169-179, (IF 2.295).
      Book Chapters
  • Tirca, L., 2015. "Friction dampers for seismic protections of steel buildings subjected to earthquakes - Emphasis on structural design” in the Section Structural Engineering; Seismic Design with High Performance Systems of Encyclopedia of Earthquake Engineering, Editors: Michael Beer, Edoardo Patelli, Ioannis Kougloumtzoglu, Ivan Siu-Kui Au, Section editor, Dimitrios Lignos, 13 pp.
  • Gioncu V., Mateescu, G., Tirca, L., Anastasiadis, A., 2000. “Influence of the type of seismic ground motions” in volume ’’Moment resistant connections of steel building frames in seismic areas’’ Edited F.M. Mazzolani, E & FN Spon, London, pp. 57-92, ISBN 0-415-23577-4.
  • Gioncu, V., Gaivoronschi, V., Andreescu, I., Tirca, L., 1998. “A light weight structures for a market roof in Timisoara” in New technologies and structures in civil engineering – Case studies on Remarkable Constructions, Edited by D. Dubina, I. Vayas, V. Ungureanu, 1998, ISBN 973 9400-40-X, pp. 31-43;
  • Tirca, L., Gioncu, V.,  Mazzolani, F.M., 1997. “The 5-storeys steel moment resisting frame” in the volume Design of structures in seismic zones. Eurocode 8 - Worked examples, Edited by: D. Lungu, F.M. Mazzolani & S. Savidis, 1997, ISBN 9630483866, pp. 230-281.
  • Tirca, L., 1997. “Some Principles of regular lattice plates design” Ed. Polytechnic University Timisoara, 80 pages.

      Refereed Conference Papers

  • Jnaid, A., Tirca, L., Bagchi, A., 2017. "The impact of long duration earthquake on the response of multi-storey concentrically braced frame buildings." 16 World Conf. on Earthquake Eng., Santiago, Chile, Jan., 2017.
  • Bosco, M., Tirca, L., 2017. "Fragility of low-rise moment resisting steel frame buildings subjected to crustal and subduction earthquakes." 16 World Conf. on Earthquake Eng., Santiago, Chile, Jan., 2017.
  • Tirca, L., Bosco,  M., Lin, N., Lin, L. 2016. “Modelling strategy for the seismic response of a moment resisting steel frame building”. Proceeding of the Int. Colloquium on Stability and Ductility of Steel Structures (SDSS), May 30-June 01/2016, Timisoara, Romania, pp. 819-826.
  • Tirca, L., Ohira, M., Serban, O.,2016. “Nonlinear response of a CBF hospital building with and without friction damper devices”. Proceeding of the Int. Colloquium on Stability and Ductility of Steel Structures (SDSS), May 30- June 01/2016, Timisoara, Romania, pp. 827-834.
  • Tirca, L., Serban, O., Wang, M.Z., 2015. “Fragility and seismic behaviour of pre- and post-retrofit concentrically braced frames.” Proceedings of the 8th Int. Conf. on the Behaviour of Steel Structures in Seismic Areas (STESSA), Shanghai, China, July 01-03, 2015.
  • Tirca, L. and Ohira, M., 2014.  “Improved seismic response of braced frames; Use of advanced connections detailing”, EuroSteel Conference, Naples, Italy, Sept. 10-12, Paper #690, pp. 6.  
  • Tirca, L., Serban, O., Wang, M.Z., 2014. “Seismic vulnerability of existing steel braced frames; Applications for moderate seismic zones”. EuroSteel Conference, Naples, Italy,Sept. 10-12, Paper #672, pp. 6.
  • Lin, L., Sinha, A.,Tirca, L., Hanna, A., 2014. “Stresses induced in concrete frame structure due to differential settlement of its foundation”.  The 4th International Structural Specialty Conference, CSCE, Halifax, Paper #111, pp. 9.
  • Tirca, L., Serban, O., Wang, M.Z., DiModica, D., 2013. "Incremental dynamic analysis of existing steel braced frame buildings in moderate seismic zones". Paper #794, Structures Congress, ASCE, Pittsburgh, PA, May 2-4, pp 12.
  • Tirca, L. and Zhu, Z., 2013. "Automated measurement of the deformation of damaged CBF structures with images". Paper #DIS-036, The 3rd Specialty Conference on Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, CSCE Conference, Montreal, May 31- June 1, pp. 8.
  • Jnaid, A., Tirca, L., Bagchi, A., 2013."The effect of subduction and crustal ground motions on the behaviour of low-rise CBF building in Victoria BC". Paper #DIS-034. The 3rd Specialty Conference on Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, CSCE Conference, Montreal, May 31- June 1, pp. 10.
  • Zhu, Z. and Tirca, L., 2013. "Automated measuring and tracking the deformations of concentrically braced frames". The 30th Int. Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction and Mining, ISARC, Montreal, 11-15 August, pp. 7.
  • Morales Ramirez, J.D. and Tirca, L. 2012: Numerical Simulation and Design of Friction-Damped Steel Frame Structures, 15World Conf. Earthquake Eng.
  • Chen, L., Tremblay, R. and Tirca, L., 2012.” Seismic performance of modular braced frames for multi-storey building applications”, 15 World Conf. on Earthquake Eng.
  • Jiang, Y., Tremblay, R., Tirca, L., 2012. “Seismic assessment of deficient steel braced frames with built-up back-to-back double angle sections using OpenSees modeling”, 15 World Conf. on Earthquake Eng.
  • Tirca, L., Caprarelli, C., Danila, N. and Calado, L., 2012. “Modelling and design of dissipative connections for brace-to-column joints”, Int. Conference on Connections VI, Timisoara, Romania.
  • Tremblay, R., Jiang, Y., Leclerc, M. and Tirca, L., 2012. “Seismic assessment of steel braced frames using advanced hybrid simulation techniques”, 3rd Int. Structural Conf. Edmonton.
  • Tirca, L., Caprarelli, C. and Danila, N., 2012: “Seismic Simulation and Design of Low-Rise CBF Buildings with and without Dissipative Connections using OpenSees”, Proc. of the 7th Int. Conf. on: Behaviour of Steel Structures in Seismic Areas, Santiago, Chile, pp 365-371.
  • Jiang, Y., Balazadeh-Minouei, Y., Tremblay, R., Koboevic, S. and Tirca, L., 2012. “Seismic assessment of existing steel braced frames designed according to the 1980 Canadian code provisions”, Proc. of the 7th Int. Conf. on: Behaviour of Steel Structures in Seismic Areas Santiago, Chile, pp 531 - 537.
  • Tirca, L., Caprarelli, C. and Danila, N., 2011. “Behaviour of a low-rise concentrically braced frame buildings with and without pin dissipative connections”, CSCE - 2nd Int. Engineering Mechanics and Materials Specialty Conference, Ottawa, June 14-17, (Paper no. E-02).
  • Tirca, L., Chen, Z. and Chen, L., 2011. “The influence of higher mode effects on the seismic response of zipper frame structures”, the 6th European Conf. on Steel and Composite Structures, EuroSteel,  Budapest, Aug. 31-Sept.2, pp 897-902.
  • Tremblay, R., St-Onge E., Rogers, C., Morrison, T., Legeron, F., Desjardin, E., Tirca, L., Gray, M., Christopoulos, C., and Packer, J., 2011. “Overview of ductile seismic brace fuse systems in Canada”, the 6th European Conf on Steel and Composite Structures, EuroSteel, Budapest, Aug.31-Sept. 2, pp 939-944.
  • Tirca, L., Morales Ramirez, J.D., Guo, G.L. and Chen, L., 2010. “Optimal design of friction dampers for multi-storey buildings”, the 9th US National and the 10th Canadian Conference on Earthquake Eng., Toronto, (Paper 805).
  • Seif El Din, H., Galal, K. and Tirca, L., 2010. “Applications of CFRP in retrofitting existing steel girders in flexural behavior”, Proc. of the 8th International Conference on Short and Medium Span Bridges.
  • Tirca, L. and Tremblay, R., 2009. “Incremental dynamic analysis of multi-storey concentrically braced steel frames”, Proc. of the 6th Int. Conf. on: Behaviour of Steel Structures in Seismic Areas, Philadelphia, PA, eds. F. Mazzolani, J. Ricles, R. Sause, Balkema, pp.359-366.
  • Tirca, L., 2009. “A simple approach for the seismic retrofit of buildings with staggered friction Dampers”, Proc. of the First Int. Conf. on: Protection of Historical Buildings, Rome, Italy, ed.  F.M. Mazzolani, Balkema, pp. 761-768.
  • Tirca, L., Lorenzo, S., Estok, J., Pall, T., 2007. “Seismic retrofit of a 10-storey Condominium Building with Pall friction dampers”, in proceedings of The 9th Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Ottawa, Canada, June 2007, Paper No. 1016.
  • Tirca, L. and  Tremblay, R., 2004. “Influence of building height and ground motion type on the seismic behaviour of zipper concentrically braced steel frames” in proceedings of The 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Vancouver, Canada, August 2004, Paper No. 2894.
  • Tremblay, R. and Tirca, L., 2003. “Seismic performance of multi-storey zipper steel braced frames for mitigation of soft-storey response” in proceedings of The 4th International Conference Behaviour of Steel Structures in Seismic Areas, STESSA’2003, Naples, Italy, edited by F. M. Mazzolani.
  • Tremblay, R., Tirca, L., 2003. “Flexural demand on partially-encased composite columns in multi-storey concentrically steel braced frames” in proceedings of The 4th International Conference Behaviour of Steel Structures in Seismic Areas, STESSA’2003, Naples, Italy, edited by F. M. Mazzolani.  
  • Tirca, L., 2001. “Response of Steel MRFs Structures to Near-Field Ground Motions” in proceedings of The 1st International Conference on Steel & Composite Structures, Korea, June 2001, Edited by Chang-Koon Choi & Hyo-Gyoung Kwak,Vol II, pp 1629-1637, ed.Techno-Press, ISBN 89-89693-02-0 94530.
  • Tirca, L., 2000. “Behaviour of Steel MRFs subjected to pulse seismic input” in proceedings of The 9th International Conference on Metal Structures, Timisoara, 2000, Edited by M. Ivan, ISBN 973-8109-17-5, pp 494-501.
  • Tirca, L., 2000. “Behaviour of MRFs subjected to near-field earthquakes” in proceedings of The 3rd International Conference Behaviour of Steel Structures in Seismic Areas, STESSA ’2000, Montreal, edited by F.M. Mazzolani, R. Tremblay,  pp 635-643.
  • Tirca, L., Gioncu, V., 1999. “Ductility demands for MRFs and LL-EBFs for different earthquake types” in proceedings of The 6th Int. Colloquium on Stability & Ductility of Steel Structures, Timisoara 1999, edited by D. Dubina, M. Ivanyi, pp.429-438.
  • Tirca, L., Gioncu, V., 1998. “The effects of horizontal and vertical ground motion near and far field regions” in proceedings of The 2nd  Int. Ph.D. Symposium, Budapest, 1998.
  • Gioncu, V., Tirca, L., 1998. “Structural morphology of hybrid tensioned membranes” in proceedings of The Int. Colloquium - Structural morphology – towards the new millennium’’, Nottingham, 1997, pp 324-332.
  • Gioncu, V., Tirca, L., 1997. “Morphology, modelling, and design philosophy of braced steel frames” in proceedings of The Int. Colloquium - Structural morphology – towards the new millennium, Nottingham, 1997,  pp. 308-315.
  • Gioncu, V., Tirca, L., 1997. “Comparison between experimental and calculation results in rotation capacity of steel beams” in proceedings of Colloque scientifique EC’ 97-Comparison entre les resultats Experimentaux et les resultats de Calcul dans le domaine du Genie Civil, Strasbourg, 1997, Vol.2.
  • Tirca, L., Gioncu, V., Mazzolani, F.M., 1997. “Influence of design criteria for multi-storey steel MR frames” in proceedings of The Second International Conference Behaviour of Steel Structures in Seismic Areas, STESSA’97, Kyoto, 1997, edited by F.M. Mazzolani and H. Akiyama,  pp. 266-277. 

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