McMaster University

Centre for Effective
Design of Structures



McMaster University's Centre for Effective Design of Structures was created by University Senate on May 12, 2002.

McMaster University has been awarded $3.3 million through the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund to match equal research funding from the construction industry and from McMaster University. The total of $9.9 million over a five year period has provided McMaster University with the resources to redevelop their structural engineering group. This redevelopment will focus on identified needs for the twenty-first century and will concentrate on areas that will be unique and serve to differentiate McMaster's structural group from those at other Canadian Universities.

Centre for Effective Design of Structures
Department of Civil Engineering
McMaster University
1280 Main St. West, JHE - 301
Hamilton, ON   L8S 4L7

Phone:   905-525-9140 ext. 24917
Fax:    905-529-9688


The initiative to establish the Centre for Effective Design of Structures has resulted in the following visible impacts:

  • A tenure-track University funded faculty position was created and has been filled by Dr. Samir Chidiac.
  • The Ontario Masonry Contractors' Association donated $1 million to help endow the Martini, Mascarin and George Chair in Masonry Design.
  • Joe Ng and JNE Consulting have donated $1 million to help endow the Joe Ng/JNE Consulting Chair in Design, Construction and Management in Infrastructure Renewal.
  • Canadian Masonry Contractors' Association has contributed $500,000, the Ontario Concrete Block Association has contributed $125,000, Sobotec Ltd. has contributed $100,000, Canadian Plastics Industry Association has contributed $45,000, Atlas Block has contributed $80,000, and Brampton Brick has contributed $150,000 towards a $1 million endowment for a Chair in Effective Design of Structures.
  • Funding through the Centre created a new research technician position.
  • Funding through the Centre has supported 8 research engineer / post-doctoral fellow positions.
  • Funding through the Centre has provided financial support for 71 graduate students. For the past year, enrollment included 49 graduate students in structures.
  • Funding through the Centre has provided financial support for undergraduate summer research engineers each year, 25 students have been supported so far.


The basic objective of the Centre is to link research with education to produces engineers who:

  • understand durability of materials.
  • possess advanced analytical skills.
  • can identify client-specific needs.
  • can integrate design with the construction process.
  • can integrate sustainability considerations including maintenance and service life.
  • can include building envelope and services considerations.

The Centre will assist industry in development of cost-effective products and construction processes through sponsored and collaborative research. In addition, it is a goal of the Centre to increase recognition of the value of effective design to include optimum design, including timeliness of completion of construction. Also, the Centre will focus on practices that satisfy the need for comprehensive evaluation and documentation of design to limit extra costs, delays, compromised utility, and high operating and maintenance costs.




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