Executive Committee

Aly Abdelaziz


Aly Abdelaziz gained professional experience working for more than eight years with Al Hai & Al Mukaddam for Geotechnical Works LLC, a geotechnical investigation and construction monitoring and material testing laboratory in Dubai. Aly returned to academia in 2016, joining Professor Grasselli’s Geomechanics Group. He is working to expand his knowledge and make connections between that knowledge and industry. His current research interests include model generation using spatial Voronoi tessellations and shape tolerances, mainly for UCS testing. In addition, he wishes that the professional knowledge is brought into the academic world to achieve balance between academic practice and industry standards. Aly is a running fanatic on the verge of running his first half marathon. He has also recently started baking as a new hobby.

Mei Li


Mei is currently a PhD student in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto, Canada. She received her MASc in 2016 and BASc in 2013 in Petroleum Engineering both at Southwest Petroleum University, China. She joined Professor Grasselli’s geomechanics group in 2019. Her research interests are hydraulic fracturing, numerical simulation, digital rock, and hydro-mechanical and chemical response of rock. She is currently working on mapping fractures.

Phyllis Shin-Yu Wu

Social Media/Outreach

Phyllis is working on her MASc. in Civil Engineering with Prof. Grasselli at the University of Toronto. She was born in Toronto and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. She received her B.S.E. in Civil Engineering at National Taiwan University (NTU), Taiwan in 2020, and was certificated in the completion of Wood Construction Curriculum. She worked as a research assistant on bone-inspired structure simulation, and was a teaching assistant for the Wooden Structure Design course in NTU. Phyllis is personally interested in environmental conservation and sustainability. She has made a short film relevant to this topic with stop-motion animation (video link, presented in Mandarin). Her current research focuses on rock mechanics and she is interested in applying machine learning methods to research.

Earl Magsipoc


Earl joined the Prof. Grasselli’s Geomechanics Group in 2017 after graduating from the University of Waterloo with a BASc in Civil Engineering. He completed his MASc with the group in 2019 and is currently working on his PhD. Earl’s research is focused on alternative interpretations of the surface roughness of rock. He is currently investigating the link between surface roughness and the fracture mechanisms as the surface is created.

Bezawit Haile

Events Coordinator

Bezawit received her BASc in Civil and Environmental Engineering, from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia in 2015 and her MASc in Civil Engineering at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea, under the structural analysis and materials research group in 2018. She has experiences working as an assistant lecturer, research associate, and junior design engineer at a highway engineering consultancy firm. Her research interest focuses on modeling the multiscale material properties of geotechnical and concrete materials using numerical modelling techniques such as micromechanical models, finite element (FEM), and finite discrete element (FDEM) modeling.

Faculty Advisor – Giovanni Grasselli