Dr. Butler is an assistant professor of structural and materials engineering at York University in the Lassonde School of Engineering. His research expertise focuses on developing, investigating and implementing sustainable and intelligent structures and material systems.   He was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo for his research work involving recycling of old concrete structures into new concrete which combined materials characterization, structural component testing and statistical analysis.  Following his PhD, he worked as a structural engineer at Read Jones Christoffersen Consulting Engineers on the design of a wide variety of complex structures and consulted on several challenging concrete materials-related projects. He is an active member of the American Concrete Institute’s Technical Committee 555 on Concrete with Recycled Materials and is a registered professional engineer (P.Eng.) in the Province of Ontario, Canada.​ Following his consulting work, Dr. Butler was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Cambridge in the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC).  As a researcher within the CSIC, he led research projects in the broad area of infrastructure sensing primarily related to bridges and prestressed concrete railway ties containing embedded fibre-optic sensor networks.  In addition, he is interested in developing strengthening systems for concrete structures using textile reinforced cementitious matrix systems with embedded sensing capability.  Dr. Butler has also been cross-appointed as a Group Leader at the Alan Turing Institute’s program on Data-Centric Engineering.  In this role, he has worked with data scientists and statisticians to explore how advanced data analytics combined with physics-based models can be used to better understand critical structures, next-generation materials and the long-term resiliency of our built environment. His research has involved numerous successful collaborations with industry and academic partners around the world including at the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, the University of Pretoria, Harbin Institute of Technology and Waseda University.  He has taught and supervised students at the University of Waterloo and at the University of Cambridge.


Post-Doctoral Research in Smart Infrastructure, University of Cambridge (Cambridge, United Kingdom)

PhD in Civil Engineering, University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Canada)

BASc (Hons) in Civil Engineering, University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Canada)

Areas of Expertise/Interest
  • Advanced sensing techniques for structural monitoring and evaluation
  • Sustainable concrete materials
  • Data-centric engineering in smart infrastructure
  • Multi-functional civil engineering materials
  • Long-term behavior of pre-tensioned concrete structures
  • Monitoring and assessment of railway systems
Recent Publications
  • Xu J, Butler LJ and Elshafie MZEB (2019). Experimental and numerical investigation of the performance of self-sensing concrete sleepers. Structural Health Monitoring. Accepted for publication.
  • Lin W, Butler LJ, Xu J, Gibbons N, Elshafie MZEB, and Middleton CR (2019). Performance assessment of a newly constructed skewed half-through railway bridge through integrated sensing. Journal of Bridge Engineering 24(1).
  • Butler LJ, Xu J, Lin W, Gibbons N, Elshafie MZEB, and Middleton CR (2018). Monitoring, modelling and assessment of self-sensing railway bridges during construction.  Journal of Bridge Engineering 23(10).
  • Lau FD-H, Adams NM, Girolami MA, Butler LJ, Elshafie MZEB (2018). The role of statistics in data-centric engineering. Statistics and Probability Letters, Special Issue on the Role of Statistics in the Era of Big Data 136: 58 – 62.
  • Lau FD-H, Butler LJ, Adams NM, Elshafie MZEB and Girolami MA (2018). Real-time statistical modelling of data generated from self-sensing bridges.  Journal of Smart Infrastructure and Construction. Themed Issue on Big Data Analysis, 171(1): 3 – 13.
  • Davila Delgado JM, Butler LJ, Brilakis I, Elshafie MZEB, and Middleton CR (2018). Structural performance monitoring using data-driven and dynamic BIM environments.  Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering 32(3).
  • Butler LJ, Xu J, Ping H, Gibbons N, Dirar S, Middleton CR, and Elshafie MZEB (2018). Robust fibre-optic sensor arrays for monitoring early-age performance of mass-produced concrete railway sleepers. Structural Health Monitoring 17(3): 635 – 653.
  • Butler LJ, Gibbons N, Ping H, Elshafie MZEB, and Middleton CR (2016). Evaluating the early-age behaviour of full-scale prestressed concrete beams using distributed and discrete fibre optic sensors. Construction and Building Materials, 126: 894 – 912.
  • Butler LJ, West JS, and Tighe SL (2015). Bond of reinforcement in concrete incorporating recycled concrete aggregates. Journal of Structural Engineering, Special Issue on Sustainable Building Structures, 141(3): 1 – 12.
Research Opportunities

Dr. Butler is currently seeking talented MASc and PhD students with strong backgrounds in concrete materials, concrete structures and in structural monitoring.

Please note that Dr. Butler is only able to review prospective graduate student qualifications after they have made their official online applications through York University. Following the review process only short-listed candidates will be invited to interview.

Please visit for more information on the application process.