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Department of Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering....

Helping to Build the Foundations of a Sustainable Society.

Welcome to the Department of Civil Engineering at McMaster!

You may be exploring our website as you compare undergraduate programs at various universities, or investigating possibilities for graduate studies. In each of these cases, you will be interested to know that we take pride in the quality of our teaching, the relevancy of our innovative research to Canadian communities, and the dedication of our faculty and staff. The department is an active and busy place, but we will take the time to get to know you and help you realize your professional goals. Here at McMaster we are "helping to build the foundations of a sustainable society", with this emphasis on sustainability being developed over the last fifteen years and now extending into many facets of our curriculum and our research programs. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Many thanks...

Brian W. Baetz, PhD, P.Eng., FCSCE

Professor and Chair


P.S... Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Want to learn more about life as a McMaster Engineering Student....

Check out exploremaceng.com for a unique, interactive, and informative look at McMaster Engineering.

Civil Student News

The Department of Civil Engineering would like to congratulate Alexandra Pittiglio and Aaron Pettifer for their recent win at the MCAA Annual Meeting in Hawaii!

In Fall 2014, our civil students and the co-chairs of the Heavy Construction Student Chapter (Alexandra Pittglio and Aaron Petiffer) joined the Mechanical Contractors Association of Hamilton’s (MCAH) Student Chapter for a North American competition. The team was the first and the only Canadian team to ever appear in the final four and was able to rank 1st place in this ultra-competitive annual student chapter event.   

Please click here for futher details.


The Department of Civil Engineering would like to wish the McMaster EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design team 'Good luck' as they compete in Boston this week!

This is the "MacEng Tower" that our students designed and will be competing with.

Congratulations Jeff!


Congratulations go out to Jeff Tweedle, a third year Civil Engineering and Management student, for so honourably representing McMaster at the recent 1000m CIS race. For any recreational runners who do their miles in an 8 minutes pace (5 minutes per km), Jeff ran his track kilometre at approximately twice your speed! Please check out the article in The Sil to read about Jeff's win.

The Dept. of Civil Engineering has recently established an Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Student Chapter (EERI McMaster). Only the second to be established in Canada, EERI McMaster is focused on organizing an undergraduate team to take part in EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competitions and conducting outreach to primary and secondary school students on earthquake engineering. EERI McMaster is open to everyone with an interest in earthquake engineering or seismology.

For more information, please contact EERI McMaster at eerimcmasterstudentchaper@gmail.com, or visit https://sites.google.com/site/eerimcmaster.

Please find below the link to the EERI McMaster University Student Chapter Guest Lecture Series: Seismic Isolation and Structural Control Technology for Building




Faculty Highlights

Faculty in the news

Dr. Lydell Wiebe was recently interviewed by Global News in regard to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday, April 25th. Dr. Wiebe discussed rebuilding historic structures after such a loss.

"There are some things that can be done, if it’s rebuilding, that can be hidden [and] that would dramatically improve the performance of a structure with no visible changes to the outside.”

For example, if a structure is being rebuilt out of brick, as the Darahara Tower was, steel rods placed “in a particular way” between the bricks could have improved the stability of a structure dramatically, Wiebe explained.

“The other thing [that] can be done is you can build… one structure whose job is to hold up the facade of the historic structure. We see this very often when a building has made it through an earthquake but they’re concerned it won’t make it through another one."

To read the full article please click here.

The Department of Civil Engineering would like to congratulate Dr. Wael El-Dakhakhni, an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and holder of the Masonry Design Chair, who has been elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

ASCE Fellows are nominated and elected based on their contributions to civil engineering from  a pool of long standing ASCE members who have developed creative solutions that have changed lives around the world. This is a very prestigious honor that is held by fewer than 4% of ASCE members. Dr. El-Dakhakhni has been an active member in several national and international code committees and professional organizations, as well as serving as an Associate Editor of the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering in the areas of seismic effects, concrete and masonry structures, and performance under blast.


The Department of Civil Engineering would like to sincerely congratulate Dr. Saiedeh Razavi who recently won the Dean's Team Excellence Award for the creation of the Heavy Construction Internship Program. The Program is comprised of a dedicated and hard-working team who bring together students and the local Heavy Construction industry, bridging an industry-academia partnership in learning with the intent to create job-ready students. Through this program, students are eligible for summer, co-op and internship opportunities allowing them to gain knowledge and experience beyond the classroom.

Dr. Razavi and her team have chosen to use their award to establish the Heavy Construction Entrance Award to encourage high-performing students to join McMaster Engineering by offering $500 to four Canadian students or Permanent Residents completing their final year of high-school in Canada.

2014/2015 Dean's Teaching Honour Roll Recipients

The Department of Civil Engineering is very happy to announce that Brian Baetz, Michael Tait, and Lydell Wiebe have been named to the Dean’s Teaching Honour Roll for Term 1 of the 2014/15 academic year. This distinction comes as a result of their exemplary teaching evaluations as rated by their students.