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Changes to the Department of Civil Engineering Operations

Please note that in response to current circumstances regarding spread of the COVID-19 virus, Civil Engineering’s administrative staff are providing services remotely until further notice.

We will be responding to emails (preferred) and phone calls as quickly as possible during regular office hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm.

You are welcome to contact the following staff for support:

Joanne Gadawski, Administrator

Morgan Shuker, Graduate Admininstrative Assistant

Eduard Sviridenko, Undergraduate Admininstrative Assistant

Kent Wheeler, ADL Supervisor/Senior Lab Technician

Monica Han, Environmental Lab Technician

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your patience and take good care!

We have updated our website with resources available to you that you might find useful during these times and moving forward.
That includes our updated FAQs and technology resources for students.

Please have a look at

We have also updated our Course Conflict Form and Engineering Permission Form and made them fillable for your convenience in submitting them virtually. You will find those forms on our Resources page.


FROM THE DEAN: How McMaster Engineering has pivoted during COVID-19

July 8, 2020 /  Department News

FROM THE DEAN: How McMaster Engineering has pivoted during COVID-19

McMaster Engineering is a community that pivots. Our community of researchers, instructors, staff and students is quick to embrace change and meet new challenges. No challenge has been greater than COVID-19.

New first-year engineering program to offer innovative virtual labs and design projects

May 29, 2020 /  Department News

New first-year engineering program to offer innovative virtual labs and design projects

McMaster Engineering’s project-based course for incoming students was designed from the start to succeed in a virtual setting.

Smiling in the face of cancer: One student’s journey during a pandemic

April 16, 2020 /  Department News

Smiling in the face of cancer: One student’s journey during a pandemic

It was no ordinary Zoom chat. On April 5, Julia Aprile, a second year civil engineering student at McMaster, shaved her head in front of over 20 friends and family members who cheered her on from her laptop.

Read More

Moustafa Naiem Awarded Vanier CGS Scholarship

The Department of Civil Engineering is proud to announce that Moustafa Naiem, PhD student has been awarded a Vanier CGS Scholarship. Named after Major-General Georges P. Vanier, the first francophone Governor General of Canada, the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS) is awarded to top ranking doctoral students who demonstrate academic excellence, research potential, and leadership.

Student Bio: 
Moustafa Naiem is a graduate from the Structural Engineering department in Cairo University in Egypt, earning his B.Sc. degree in 2016 and graduating first-of-class. He worked as a Teaching Assistant while earning his Masters degree in Structural Topology Optimization and Steel Structures Design at the same university in 2018.  Moustafa's passion went beyond academia - he was involved in reshaping the extra-curricular community at Cairo University during his undergraduate years. He was the co-founder and license holder for TEDxCairoUniversity for over three years, held a TEDx conference, and later became a mentor for the TEDx Community - and other organizations - in Egypt. At McMaster University, Moustafa has been developing measures to quantify critical infrastructure network resilience in cities under climate change-induced systemic (cascade) risks. His work has the potential to save billions of dollars.

Title of Research Proposal: 
"A Resilient Canada in the Face of Climate Change-Induced Systemic Risks"

Lay Abstract of the proposed research: 
In the past decades, Canada has witnessed a continuous increase in the frequency and magnitude of climate change-induced natural disasters. These events include droughts, floods, wildfires, and most recently, tornadoes. In 2016, climate change induced damage was estimated to be $8.6 billion in Canada, while in the United States of America, floods are becoming one of the costliest and highest in occurrence of all climate change induced hazards, costing an average of $8 billion dollars annually. Also, hurricanes such as hurricane Sandy cost over $67 billion dollars of total damage, while more recently. hurricane Florence resulted in an estimated damage of $5 billion so far. It is thus clear that the effect of climate change is already costing Canadians billions of dollars annually, at an increasing rate. Given the effect of these events on cities, there is yet to be a clear methodology to quantify a city’s resilience in the face of such hazards, and predict the losses, that also takes into account the interdependence of different infrastructure networks. Although there have been multiple frameworks in literature, none has been comprehensive for a large-scale city. As such, the proposed methodology introduces the utilization of several Machine Learning techniques to propose a 4-steps framework that quantifies city resilience under floods.

Amir Arsalan Jameei Awarded the Dr. Gunhard A.E. Oravas Memorial Scholarship

Amir Arsalan is a Ph.D. candidate in Civil Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Pietruszczak. His Ph.D. research is focused on computational mechanics of fluid-infiltrated porous media that examines the interactions of different phases and phenomena in reference to the coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical analysis of fully or partially saturated porous media. Other areas of his research include: different kinematics (viz. geometric nonlinearity and linearity), presence of discontinuities and material instabilities (strain localization and shear band evolution), and computational plasticity (material behaviour in the context of classical and finite-strain plasticity). He has been developing a new continuum approach for the study of fractures, faults, and deformation localization in different engineering applications that deal with fluid-infiltrated porous media. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Guilan, Iran. His M.Sc. thesis introduced an innovative approach which obtains the limit loads of anisotropic soils through using the lower bound limit analysis in conjunction with finite elements and linear programming.

Dr. Gunhard A.E. Oravas was a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Civil Engineering. His research interests
included Engineering Mechanics and Structural Engineering. He was an outstanding scholar and dedicated teacher
who greatly contributed to the quality of engineering education at McMaster University. This award is established from
a charitable donation by the beneficiary of his estate.

Civil Engineering Student Wins the 2020 MacDATA Graduate Fellowship

Pengxiao Zhou, a first-year PhD student in the Department of Civil Engineering has been awarded the 2020 MacDATA Graduate Fellowship.

The project will establish an integrated toolkit for the prediction of influent and effluent emerging contaminants at wastewater treatment plants. In the short-term, the research program will focus on the development of data preprocessing, feature selection, predictive model development, and uncertainty analysis approaches for the real-time influent and effluent emerging contaminant control. In the long-term, the generated knowledge might be extended to various environmental engineering fields and multiple regions internationally.

Pengxiao Zhou is working under the supervision of Dr. Zoe Li. His research focuses on implementing uncertainty analysis for wastewater simulation models. This MacDATA project is being co-supervised by Dr. Wenbo He and Dr. Zoe Li.

Congratulations Pengxiao Zhou!

WTS International 2019 Women in Transportation Award

Rasha Hassan, a second year M.A.Sc. student at the department, was the recipient of the prestigious WTS International 2019 Women in Transportation Award. The award was presented during the WTS International Annual General Meeting on October 24th, 2019 in Toronto. Working within the McMaster INTERFACE Institute, Rasha’s research is focused on Resilience Quantification and Systemic Risk Mitigation Strategies of Interdependent Transportation Networks, under the supervision of Dr. Wael El-Dakhakhni in collaboration with Drs. Moataz Mohamed and Mohamed Ezzeldin.

Moataz Mohamed Awarded Grant for Research on Electric Bus Transit Charging Infrastructure

Dr. Mohamed will study how electric bus transit system could benefit from energy storage systems to mitigating their systemic impacts on the utility grid

The Department of Civil Engineering would like to congratulate Dr. Moataz Mohamed, who has been awarded a $23,500 NSERC ENGAGE grant for his research on "Cascading Impacts of Electric Bus Charging Infrastructure Network" in collaboration with Inspectech Analygas group Inc.

This grant will fund advanced real-world based simulation models informing the integration of Energy Storage System (ESS) to advance the operation electric bus transit, with Hatem Ahmed and Mohamed El-Sayed as the lead PhD graduate students.

Dr. Mohamed is developing tools, transferring knowledge and training new generations of competent employable engineers to capitalize on the opportunities associated with the role of disruptive technologies in future cities of tomorrow. There are two main streams to his research:

Public Transit Renaissance through the development of new research models for improving the quality of public transit systems. These models include, yet not limited to, electric buses, behavioural and perceptional models, feasibility assessment, cascading impacts, and innovative service delivery business models.

Disruptive Tools for Transportation Systems through the development of toolboxes informing the integration of various disruptive technologies. This research focuses on the utilization of adaptive analytical models (e.g. ML) for testing, validating, and quantifying the impacts of new technologies in our transportation system, with a focus on autonomous UAVs application in parcel delivery.


Civil Engineering Alumni Spotlight

Rob Casasanta, B.Eng. `93

“My engineering degree has been very valuable in the design and manufacturing work I do. It also taught me how to learn and adapt to new and different situations. Every day brings its challenges and rewards which allows me to continuously learn and improve.” 

Rob Casasanta, along with his two younger brothers, Vic and Luigi, runs Brantford’s LC Bakery Equipment Services Ltd., a successful manufacturer of industrial and commercial bakery and food services equipment.

More Civil Engineering Alumni Stories