Sustainable and resilient infrastructure

From our homes to our workplaces, from the roads we take to get there, to the lakes, rivers and oceans we enjoy, infrastructure is everywhere.

Protecting our infrastructure from natural disasters, such as earthquakes, extreme wind events and flooding—as well as the security of critical infrastructure against human-induced hazards—has the potential to change lives, as does providing clean water and energy to our communities.

Researchers at uOttawa Engineering working within this field have the safety of society at heart. In addition, our experts go one step further in order to ensure that the work we do is done with sustainability in mind. Our goal is to reduce our environmental footprint and be faithful stewards of our planet and its people.

Areas of research

  • Natural and human-induced hazard mitigation
  • Physical and cyber infrastructure protection and security
  • Smart (instrumented) infrastructure
  • Infrastructure rehabilitation
  • Building information modelling and visualization
  • Life cycle analysis and lean construction optimization
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Water security
  • Advanced and/or sustainable construction materials
  • Smart cities
  • Renewable energy
  • Efficient vehicles


Preparing for the next tornado

A group of civil engineers

Prior to the year 2000, the National Capital Region only experienced three tornadoes in its recorded history. Since then, there’s been 15.

Preparing a property for a tornado includes keeping large rooftop objects – think solar panels and air conditioners, for example – tied down or firmly attached to buildings to prevent them from being ripped off and causing injuries to bystanders or major damage to other buildings.

Research on the extent to which rooftop objects can withstand tornadoes is currently lacking. Elena Dragomirescu, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering, is looking for answers.

Creating and maintaining sustainable solutions for concrete infrastructure

Civil infrastructure is critical to society. A large number of concrete structures built in the 1960’s to 1980’s in Canada and worldwide are showing signs of distress caused by multiple damage mechanisms. 

Considering the need for sustainable and resilient infrastructure, it is essential that the structures meant to replace them be built with eco-efficient techniques and environmentally friendly materials.

uOttawa's Faculty of Engineering at the forefront of protecting Canada's infrastrusture

Ioan Nistor poses with infrastructure damaged in 2011 Tohoku tsunami

How much thought do you give to the roads and bridges you drive over on your daily commute?

Ask an elite team of Ottawa-based researchers, and the answer will likely be “quite a lot.”

The University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering is home to a range of seasoned academics whose work revolves around the study of sustainable and resilient infrastructure. This research area leverages the strengths of the faculty’s Department of Civil Engineering.

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