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Dr. Susan Tighe

Provost and Vice-President, Academic

Department of Civil Engineering

Transportation; Pavement Engineering and Management; Infrastructure Management; Resilient Infrastructure; Life Cycle Assessment; Geotechnical Engineering; Construction Work Zone Safety; Automated Distress Collection
Areas of Specialization:
Research Clusters:


Professor Susan Tighe, PhD, PEng, FCAE, FCSCE serves as Provost and Vice President Academic at McMaster University and is an active researcher in McMaster’s Department of Civil Engineering. She has gained national and international recognition for her outstanding contributions to the development, design, and management of sustainable concrete and asphalt transportation infrastructure. Her reputation as a scholar, educator, and professional engineer is well illustrated by the breadth of her technical publications in pavements and infrastructure and involvement in several national and international research projects in Canada, Africa, Chile, India, China, Australia, New Zealand and throughout North America. She led the development of the 2013 Pavement Asset Design and Management Guide for the Transportation Association of Canada and is author of over 400 technical publications.


BASc (Queens), MASc (Waterloo), PhD (Waterloo)


Dr. Tighe received her BASc in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University, her MASc Civil Engineering and PhD in Civil Engineering both from the University of Waterloo. She has been a Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario since 1995 and was a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo from 2000 to 2020 where she held a Canada Research Chair, the Norman W. McLeod Endowed Chair in Sustainable Pavement Engineering, served as Director of the Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology and Deputy Provost and Associate Vice President Integrated Planning and Budgeting. She is a Past President of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) and is the Chair of the CSCE 2021 Annual Conference to be held in Niagara Falls in May 2021.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Dr. Tighe worked for the Ministry of Transportation Ontario in various roles including construction site engineer, geotechnical materials engineer and materials engineer writing standards and specifications. She also spent a sabbatical working in the private sector for a leading civil engineering construction company in Australia. During sabbaticals she has spent time in Australia working for a contractor, and has also received academic Fellowships including the Erskine Fellowship at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering University of Nottingham in England and the Queensland Pavement Center located at University of the Sunshine Coast Australia. She is a member of the inaugural class of the New College of Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada and was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 for her leadership and vision with respect to the Canadian Transportation Community.


Professor Susan Tighe received the Transportation Association of Canada Academic Merit Award, the prestigious Research & Development Medal given to her by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) and Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), as well was the Inaugural Bleeds Black Award from the Ontario Hot Mix Producers, and Inaugural Region of Waterloo Top 40 Under 40. She has successfully completed over 80 graduate students and received the University of Waterloo Graduate Supervision Award and Faculty of Engineering Graduate Supervision Award.