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Concordia’s CICIEM works with engineering firms to modernize construction


Osama Moselhi

Osama Moselhi, PhD. Photo credit: Concordia University.

The Centre for Innovation in Construction and Infrastructure Engineering and Management (CICIEM), launched at Montreal’s Concordia University in June 2019, is looking for collaboration opportunities with Canada’s engineering firms to help automate and digitize the construction industry.

“Here at Concordia, we have a critical mass of expertise in sustainable, resilient civil infrastructure systems,” says Osama Moselhi, PhD, director of the CICIEM and a professor in Concordia’s department of building, civil and environmental engineering. “We have the largest graduate program in construction and civil infrastructure in the country. We want to be an agent of change for the industry.”

The centre’s advisory board includes executives from Hatch, SNC-Lavalin, Canam Group and Hydro-Quebec.

The centre itself comprises 17 research members, five departments and five research labs, which aim to improve quality, productivity, safety and competitiveness for the Canadian construction industry through the following areas:

  • Automation and robotics.
  • Sensor technologies and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
  • Big data analytics and data science.
  • Industrialization.
  • Reliability analysis, condition assessment and rating.

By embracing such ‘Industry 4.0’ concepts, the CICIEM seeks to develop new ways for municipal governments, in particular, to optimize their budgets for maintaining, rehabilitating and renewing their civil infrastructure.

One example would be multi-purpose utility tunnels for cities’ sewers, cables and pipes, so roads do not have to be dug up frequently for underground repairs. A higher initial cost could lead to lower long-term costs.