Institutes and Centres
Climatological studies of wind, snow, rain and other meteorological variables provide vital information required in the design of engineered structures. Wind loads, due to hurricanes, typhoons or tornadoes in some regions, are quite often the largest environmental load on tall structures. The complex grouping of buildings in urban settings sometimes creates adverse wind conditions which affect the safety and comfort of people in the streets below. Low-rise buildings with large-span roofs are susceptible to wind and wind-shaped snow loads in areas with colder climates. The Alan G. Davenport Wind Engineering Group studies these kinds of problems using statistical models of the climate which can be combined with wind tunnel test results to provide accurate predictions of full-scale behaviour for each project.
The Chemical Reactor Engineering Centre provides expertise to the industrial sector on Reactor Engineering and Chemical Processes. CREC concentrates on the development of novel reactor modelling and optimization of chemical processes. The research group prides itself in keeping industry informed by publishing a newsletter outlining CREC's latest developments and by coordinating conferences and workshops designed to bring up-to-date on the latest breakthroughs.
The main purpose of the Geotechnical Research Centre (GRC) is to conduct geotechnical and related interdisciplinary research with emphasis on interfacing with industry. The main research areas of geotechnical engineering are: soil mechanics, rock mechanics, foundation design, geoenvironmental engineering, tunnels, underground structures, dams, soil improvement, soil and foundation dynamics and earthquake engineering. A research group within the GRC called RESTORE (Research for Subsurface Transport and Remediation) works on an innovative site remediation process where technologies are being developed to deal with hazardous industrial pollutants in soil and groundwater.
ICFAR is doing research is in the development of technologies and processes for the production of chemicals and fuels from alternative resources, with an emphasis in green engineering and environmental sustainability. Watch a video
to learn how the Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources professors Franco Berutti and Cedric Briens are supporting environmental management and a sustainable future on YouTube (2:44).
The Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes is a multi-million dollar state of the art research facility to examine all aspects of house construction. Novel experiments on extreme wind effects, moisture penetration, energy efficiency and mould growth are being performed. The ultimate aim of the research is to improve construction techniques to make our communities more resilient to natural hazards and more energy efficient in the coming decades.
The Wind Engineering, Energy and Environment (WindEEE) Research Institute - currently under constructions - will house the world’s first hexagonal wind tunnel (the WindEEE Dome). WindEEE will physically simulate high-intensity wind systems, including tornados, downbursts and gust fronts that cannot be created in any existing wind tunnels.