[Updated June 15, 2015]

Carleton University’s leading research on infrastructure protection has received a $2.9 million boost from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) as part of its Innovation Fund. David Lau, Faculty of Engineering and Design professor with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will receive more than $2.9 million to establish a multi-hazard test facility for built infrastructure protection and resilience.

In addition to the CFI commitment, Yasir Naqvi, MPP Ottawa Centre, announced on June 11 that Professor Lau will receive $2.9 million in matching funds as part of the 2015 Ontario Research Fund.

Recognizing that Canada’s core public infrastructure represents a valuable public asset worth more than $500 billion, the new facility will help develop breakthrough technologies, products and techniques that will enhance the resilience and reduce the cost of constructing and maintaining future and existing Canadian infrastructure.

“Our research-intensive Faculty of Engineering and Design is very proud of its researchers,” said Rafik Goubran, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Design. “We are confident that the research will lead to novel solutions that will make our world a better place.”

Previous research in the protection of infrastructure has considered separately the effect of natural and man-made hazards such as earthquakes, fires, floods, landslides, extreme cold, thawing permafrost, blasts and wind. However, these hazards often result in further dangers, as earthquakes regularly cause fires, and blasts may cause impact damage.

The new facility will leverage and integrate existing and unique strengths for fire safety, earthquakes, blasts, geotechnical, business finance, economics and public policy. This research will improve the safety and security of Canadians with better built infrastructure which also will enhance long-term economic sustainability by minimizing cost requirements. It will also better protect the environment by preventing leakage from oil and gas pipelines.

Carleton will collaborate with the University of Ottawa on the project.

Through the 2015 Innovation Fund, CFI seeks to support promising and innovative directions in research or technology development in areas where Canada currently is, or has the potential to be, competitive on the global stage. The CFI will support initiatives that allow institutions and their researchers to build on and enhance an emerging strategic priority area, accelerate current research and technology development work or take established capabilities to a globally competitive level.

The Ontario Research Fund – Research Infrastructure provides research institutions with funding to help support infrastructure needs, such as modern facilities and equipment.

Thursday, June 4, 2015 in
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