About Me



NAME: Attila Michael Zsaki

OCCUPATION: Professor, Photographer, Woodworker, Model Railroad Tycoon

FAVOURITE CAMERAS: Mamiya 645 DF+, Mamiya RZ67II, Cambo SC 4×5, Canon EOS 5D Mk III, Phase One IQ and P digital backs

FAVORITE SUBJECTS: History, nature in general, birds and landscapes in particular

FAVOURITE MAGAZINES: Outdoor Photographer, Model Railroader, ShopNotes, International Journal of Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics

FAVORITE VACATION SPOT: New England, the Maine coast in particular

PERSONAL MOTTO: “Use the word impossible with extreme caution”

By nature I like to know how things are made or how they work. I have spent 23 years in one side of the classroom, and now I am spending time in the other side. It seems I can’t get away from school, but hey, I am loving it!

Photography is special; imagine, you are capturing a moment in time. Whatever you have captured becomes immortal. It never happened before and it will never happen again just the same way. We are missing out on precious moments every second. Go, make a photo of something that is important to you!

Then there are those model trains. I recall when I was in grade school I have borrowed a book about building model railroads. I liked it. Fast-forward twenty-some years. Now I can build them.

As the saying goes; one thing leads to another. To build model railroads one needs to make a benchwork out of wood. So I got into woodworking. And got enchanted by the swirling patterns and natural beauty of wood. So I am building furniture now…

I guess my engineering background helps in all this!


Doctor of Philosophy – Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, 2003

Thesis Title: Innovative techniques in large-scale stress analysis of underground excavations
Supervisor: Dr. J.H. Curran

Major: Computational Continuum Mechanics
First Minor: Computational Fluid Mechanics with emphasis on Parallel Algorithms
Second Minor: Slope Stability Analysis

Master of Applied Science – Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, 1999

Thesis Title: Non-circular slope stability analysis using the generalized wedge method with modifications and extensions for application in rock engineering
Supervisor: Dr. J.H. Curran

Bachelor of Engineering (with Honours) – Department of Civil Engineering, Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto, 1996

Thesis Title: Finite element modeling, analysis and structural design of circular reinforced concrete tanks
Supervisor: Dr. M. R. Kianoush