Dr. El-Dakhakhni’s first research area experimentally examines the structural performance under extreme loading induced by both natural (e.g. seismic) and anthropogenic (e.g. blast) hazards. He holds the Martini, Mascarin and George Chair in Masonry Design; he is also the Director of McMaster Applied Dynamics Laboratory and the Co-Director of the McMaster Centre for Effective Design of Structures. In addition to his numerous related publications, Dr. El-Dakhakhni is also heavily involved in knowledge mobilization in this area, where he has served/been serving on several code and standards committees in Canada and the USA. He is also a voting member on the National Building Code (NBC) of Canada Standing Committee-Earthquake Design, task group on evaluating the seismic response modification factors for all building systems in Canada. A Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Dr. El-Dakhakhni has been recognized through several prestigious research awards including an Ontario Early Researcher Award, an NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement (DAS) in 2011, the Alan H. Yorkdale Research Award and the John B. Scalzi Research Award.
His second research area focuses on translating the knowledge pertaining to multi-hazard and system-level vulnerability to usable information that can have direct positive impacts on different stakeholders in our societies. In this respect, he is the founding Director of the McMaster Institute for Multi-hazard Systemic Risk Studies (Interface), within which his vision has been providing the platform for researchers to work collaboratively at the interfaces between social-, natural- and medical-sciences and engineering. He is particularly interested in developing tools to evaluate interdependencies between the built and natural environments considering the multi-dimensional and cascading impacts of catastrophes. He is also working on developing system-level resilience quantification tools and cross-disciplinary systemic-risk management frameworks. Within this focus area, he serves as the Director of the Canadian Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Resilience under Seismic Systemic Risk (CaNRisk) NSERC-CREATE program. His emergence as a leader in this area has also been recognized through a second NSERC-DAS award in 2016, placing him among only a few researchers in Canada recognized with such a prestigious honour twice in their career, for two different research areas. Dr. El-Dakhakhni is a member of the leadership team of the ASCE Risk & Resilience Measurement Committee and the ASCE Disaster Response and Recovery Committee. He is also an elected member of the Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.