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Faculty of Engineering
UNB Fredericton

Back to Civil Engineering

Our research

Over 90 per cent of our faculty is engaged in research activities. Civil engineering research includes everything from concrete materials, to water resources and treatment, and from road safety to soil-structure interactions.

These are just a few research groups associated with the department.

UNB Construction Engineering and Management Group

Research within the Construction Engineering and Management Group is centered on improving the performance of the construction industry through the appropriate adoption and implementation of methods and technologies to support the management process.

The group is supported by the M. Patrick Gillin Chair in Construction Engineering and Management. Current and more recent research projects fall under three themes:

  • measuring industry performance (e.g., assessing the maturity of industry management practices; benchmarking industry performance and productivity):
  • advanced information and communication technologies (e.g., virtual and augmented reality technologies; interactive and collaborative technologies; mobile computing for on-site applications); and
  • adoption of management and technological innovations (e.g., knowledge and information management practices; risk and sustainability management practices; assessment of industry innovation).

UNB Materials Group

Within the Materials Group, a number of research projects are being funded to develop methodologies for repairing structures suffering from deterioration due to alkali-silica reaction, delayed ettringite formation, or both processes occurring simultaneously. Methods being investigated include use of carbon-fiber reinforced polymer wraps, use of coatings and sealants, and use of lithium.

UNB Structures Group

Research in the Structures Group includes the topics of: serviceability behavior of structures; soil-structure interaction; structural health monitoring; probabilistic structural analysis; structural analysis and design; reliability of structures; impact and explosive resistant structures; dynamic material properties; FRP retrofit of structures; and lightweight concrete structures.

UNB Transportation Group

The primary objective of the Transportation Group is to produce a well-rounded transportation professional. We focus on education rather than training; the latter being the responsibility of the industry sector which employs our graduates.

The Transportation Group provides educational and research opportunities in support of regional and national transportation requirements. Transportation engineering research is conducted in different areas in traffic, road safety and pavements.

UNB Water and Environmental Group

The Water and Environmental Group is engaged in developing innovative systems and infrastructures for protection of water resources and sustainable management of municipal and industrial wastes. The group educates and train students and professionals in the area of groundwater management, eco-friendly surface water hydraulics, water treatment processes, and solid waste management in collaboration with industries, municipalities and various government organizations.

An example of recent research is the UNB baseline groundwater project. The production of oil and natural gas is an activity that generates public and regulatory concerns related to freshwater resources. The recent exploration activities for natural gas in New Brunswick have highlighted the keen interest and concern over potential impacts, if any, to groundwater that serves as the water supply for over 60 per cent of the province’s population.