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Canada Research Chair in Seismic Resilience of Infrastructure
Director of Structural Testing Facilities
Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto
Associate Editor, Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering


Why we should be building more resilient infrastructure and how to do it

Thurday, June 13 – 8h15 to 9h00 – Laval 1 / 2 

Protecting our infrastructure in Canada is fundamentally important to public safety and to all sectors of our economy. Even if loss of life is averted when designing structures following modern codes, major catastrophic events, such as earthquakes or hurricanes, may produce significant damage, economic loss and place major strains on Canadians’ well-being. To address this challenge engineers are evolving their traditional methods of designing “safe” structures to achieving more “resilient” ones; the ultimate goal being to design and build a new generation of infrastructure that remains damageless and fully functional even after major disasters.

In this presentation, an overview of the large-scale experimental and numerical research that has taken place over the past two decades at the University of Toronto to develop this new generation of resilient structural systems will be presented.

Examples of the impact of this work on the state-of-practice as well as an overview of the numerous tech transfer activities that have been carried out to move these U of T innovations into practice will also be discussed.

Dr. Christopoulos is an associate member of the CSA-S16 Canadian Steel Code Committee, has been involved in a number of high-profile consulting projects involving the implementation of supplemental damping devices in structures, and has presented numerous lectures on advanced seismic engineering and damping systems with an emphasis on high-performance systems throughout the world.


Moderator: Dr. Kerry Mazurek
Associate Professor
College of Engineering – University of Saskatchewan 


Thurday, June 13 – 12h15 to 13h00 – Laval 1 / 2 

Adaptation to climate change is a serious concern for design and retrofitting of infrastructure, and in particular for cities.  However, there is a great deal of uncertainty associated with climate change estimates for example, for changes in rainfall intensities for a particular city. Also, there has not been a lot of exposure at the undergraduate level in civil engineering in how estimates in changes in climate variables such as wind and rain are conducted.

In this panel discussion, there will be a brief introduction on how climate change estimates are being conducted. This introduction will focus on an introduction to the techniques being used for estimating changes in rainfall intensity for a city over the design life of its water infrastructure (the next 100 years).  Then, the panel will be asked to discuss the following:

  1. What does “resilient infrastructure” mean in this kind of changing climate?
  2. How should a city think about/handling the uncertainty associated with estimates produced? For example, how should they handle setting design standards under changing rainfall intensities in the design/retrofitting of its stormwater collection system?
  3. How should we prepare future civil engineering graduates and practicing engineers for handling these problems?

Proposed Panel

The composition of the proposed climate change adaptation panel is as follows:

Peter Langan, Vice-President of RV Anderson and Associates in Toronto

  • RV Anderson and Associate is a municipal engineering consulting company who has done work in design for climate change adaptation

Alireza Nazemi, Ph.D., EIT, Assistant Professor, Building, Civil, and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec

  • Research in: vulnerability assessment of water resource systems to changing conditions; large-scale hydrological changes and associated natural and anthropogenic risks under global change scenario; downscaling and disaggregation of climate models outputs across Canada.
  • Associate Editor, Sustainable Cities and Society

Van-Thanh-Van Nguyen, Ph.D., P.Eng., Endowed Brace Chair Professor of Civil Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

  • Acting Director (2007-2008) and Associate Director (2004-2012) of the Global Environmental and Climate Change Centre
  • Expertise includes:
    • Climate change impacts and adaptation in water management
    • Modeling of hydrologic processes over different spatial and temporal scales (rainfalls, streamflows, temperatures, etc.)
    • Regional estimation of extreme hydrologic variables (extreme rainfalls, floods, temperature extremes, ice storms, etc.)
    • Design, planning and management of urban drainage systems

Joseph Daraio, Ph.D., Engineering Liscensee, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland

  • Research is in the area of the potential impacts of climate change on stormwater infrastructure and water resources.
  • Studies impact of land-use and climate change on watershed hydrology and ecology.

Part of a large project in Newfoundland to train professional engineers and planners on how to incorporate climate change considerations into infrastructure planning and design.


Complex Systems Group
Autodesk Research


The modeling of collaborative systems throughout the AEC process (architecture, engineering, construction) as a way of the future

Friday, June 14 – 8h00 to 9h00 – Laval 1 / 2 

Today, we face enormous challenges of sustainable development, and construction is a growing problem. How can these problems be brought upstream, at the engineering and architecture stages of the construction concept? Looking at the entire system, new research questions are emerging that could be critical to solving together the main global problem of our time.

Azam Khan leads the complex systems research at Autodesk. He is the founder of the Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design and Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. He was also a guest professor at Velux at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Faculty of Architecture and Design. Azam is B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto, and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Copenhagen. He is the co-author of over 70 papers dealing with theory and practice in modeling and simulation, visual analysis, visual cognition, Bayesian inference for humans, human interaction computers, sensor networks and architectural design. Much of the research in simulation has been made public as SyDEVS, an open source project applying a multiparadigm and multi-scale system simulation framework, to support the modeling of complex natural and artificial systems.


Professor, NSERC Senior Industrial Research Chair in Oil Sands Tailings Water Treatment
Theme Co-Lead, Resilient Reclaimed Land and Water Systems, Future Energy Systems (FES)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Alberta


Overview of the Alberta Oil Sands: Key Issues and Environmental Impacts

Friday, June 14 – 12h15 to 12h45 – Laval 1 / 2 

The advances in the exploration and production of the Alberta’s oil sands have propelled Canada to become the world’s fourth largest producer of crude oil in 2018, behind the U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia. However, the Alberta’s development of oil sands has faced severe and increasing criticism by Canadian and international environmental groups. The current challenges for the Alberta oil sands industry are the environmental impacts associated with the mining operations, including air emissions, land disturbance and reclamation, as well as water use leading to water contamination and the need for water treatment and reclamation. Moreover, oil sands mining is a sensitive public issue not only in Canada, but also worldwide. In particular, aboriginal people living in the oil sands region fear potential health impacts and have concerns about environmental impacts of oil sands development. This presentation will give an overview of oil sands extraction processes, wastes generated and their environmental impacts. Some of the water treatment/reclamation strategies via engineered and passive treatment approaches will also be presented.

Dr. Mohamed Gamal El-Din is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta. Since 2011, he holds an NSERC Senior Industrial Research Chair (IRC) in Oil Sands Tailings Water Treatment. He is also Co-Lead for the Resilient Reclaimed Land and Water Systems theme with Future Energy Systems (FES). His research focuses on the fundamentals of advanced and innovative treatment approaches for water and wastewater (municipal and industrial such as oil and gas).


Geotechnical and material engineer
SNC Lavalin- Infrastructure construction


Properties and performance of the materials used in the construction of the Samuel de Champlain Bridge

Saturday, June 15 – 8h15 to 9h00 – Laval 1 / 2 

The Samuel de Champlain Bridge is one of the biggest infrastructure construction project in North America. The non-replaceable components of this bridge are required to have a 125 years design service life.

The durability requirements for the materials to be used on the bridge are very high when compared with a standard structure. In this presentation, we will explain the process that has been implemented for the choice of the materials especially for the concrete. Over 150 different concrete mix design were used on the project .A lot of modifications were performed on the concrete mixes due to construction`s constraint.

Some of the challenge that were encountered during the construction will be discussed in regards to the use of high performance and self-leveling concrete. Finally the testing program that has been performed in order to achieve the durability requirements will be presented.

Marcel Martineau is a geotechnical and material engineer for SNC Lavalin – Infrastructure construction division. He completed a bachelor degree in geology engineering at Laval University in 1983 and a master in civil engineering (geotechnical) at Sherbrooke University in 1985. From 1985 to 2015, Mr. Martineau works for several geotechnical and material testing consulting firms in Montreal. In June 2015, he joined Signature sur le Saint-Laurent construction which are responsible of the construction of the Samuel de Champlain Bridge. Since January 2019, he is involved also in the REM project (Réseau électrique métropolitain). He is responsible of the geotechnical and the materials engineering, the environment, the vibration control and the EOR (engineer of record).

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