Director: Professor David Lau

The primary functions of the Ottawa-Carleton Bridge Research Institute are:

  1. To coordinate and foster graduate study and research in the area of bridge engineering.
  2. To develop and maintain expertise and to effectively respond to industry’s research needs in the area of bridge engineering.

Specialization in bridge engineering is offered by the OCICE within its graduate program. Related graduate courses cover topics such as: Introduction to Bridge Engineering; Design of Concrete and Steel Bridges; Design of Bridges against Wind and Earthquake; and Bridge Planning and Management.

Research in progress in the field of bridge analysis and design includes: load distribution analysis of bridge decks; application of finite strip method to the analysis of bridge structures; non-linear analysis of cable-stayed bridges; finite element analysis of multi-cell, thin-walled box girder bridges; and experimental and analytical investigation of load redistribution in the inelastic stages.

Research projects currently underway in the area of bridge dynamics and vibrations include: earthquake resistant design of highway bridges; seismic reliability and performance assessment of bridges; innovative numerical modelling and analysis techniques for complex bridge structures; three-dimensional dynamic analysis of vehicle- bridge deck interaction; vibration and earthquake response analysis and design of long-span bridges. Aseismic design and seismic retrofit of highway bridge piers are other research topics being pursued.

Research in the area of wind engineering and bridge aerodynamics includes: effect of wind direction on buffeting of bridges, fatigue damage due to buffeting; reliability analysis of bridge instability; assessment and mitigation of vortex shedding induced bridge vibration; and aerodynamics of cables and cable systems including wind tunnel testing, prediction and assessment of wind induced bridge response.

Recently, OCBRI has initiated new research on performance assessment of bridge infrastructures through remote monitoring. The research in progress in this area includes the development of remote monitoring system and data processing techniques for complex bridge structures, including the Confederation Bridge and other unique bridge systems. Short and long-term bridge behaviour and performance to wind, traffic loads, ice impact and earthquake are being investigated.

At least six faculty members from the two universities are actively pursuing research activities on bridge-related topics. A number of graduate theses and numerous publications have resulted from the research conducted at OCBRI. Financial support has been provided by NSERC, PWGSC, MTO. Research collaboration with NRCC is very active, too.