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


Helping communities survive the powerful forces of nature

Most people know that earthquakes are powerful forces of nature, even more so when they occur in coastal areas, where they often generate tsunamis of catastrophic levels. Most members of coastal communities, however, do not necessarily know what it takes to fully survive and recover from a natural disaster of this grandeur.

Professor Ioan Nistor has dedicated his career to researching the impacts of extreme natural events on coastal communities at an international scale. Through his research, Nistor contributes to the development and improvement of new standards for designing infrastructure capable of resisting extreme disasters.

The only international member of the two main tsunami committees in the world (ASCE in the United States and JSCE in Japan), Nistor bridges many gaps on both committees, providing a cross-cultural viewpoint and a wealth of engineering experience and knowledge. As a leader in hydraulic and coastal engineering, he works with communities to design critical infrastructure, such as hospitals, bridges, ports, shelters and army bases that will resist and survive the impact of extreme events.

To do so, Professor Nistor and his team travel to impacted communities to conduct Tsunami Forensic Engineering Surveys. This process involves taking various measurements of the buildings, interviewing locals about what they saw and experienced, and surveying the damaged infrastructure. By doing this and conducting thorough research and analysis, he is able to help communities develop higher standards for resistance infrastructure that can make the difference between several thousand and few lives lost.

To learn more about Professor Nistor’s research, please visit his website.

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