Dr. El Naggar's research interests cover a wide range of geotechnical problems including:  Design of machine foundations; static and dynamic analysis of piles; soil-structure interaction; structural dynamics and earthquake and offshore engineering; soil dynamics and geotechnical earthquake engineering.

He has made significant contributions to the design of deep foundations, design of foundations for machines (e.g. power plants, manufacturing equipment, etc.) and analysis of response of structures to environmental loads. He has an ongoing interest in analysis and design of deep (pile) foundations. His contributions include a number of innovative solutions for foundation problems. He developed an approach to predict the bearing capacity of piles using the Statnamic© load test. He also developed an innovative technique to improve the response of piles installed in marine clays using electrical treatment. Furthermore, he developed an efficient analytical approach to evaluate the stiffness characteristics of the pile foundations under dynamic loads that is incorporated in a design code to be used by bridge engineers. Dr. El Naggar and his co-workers investigated the performance characteristics of tapered piles, and developed design tools for their implementation in foundation design.

He has undertaken definitive work to characterize the response of structures to wind, earthquake and wave loading. The rational analysis methods developed consider the interactive effects of the supporting soil medium on the structures response. The findings from this work were published in national and international journals and are being incorporated in national design guidelines and are used by practicing engineers in their designs.

He has a national and international reputation in the area of design of machine foundations as well. He served as consultant in a variety of challenging projects both in Canada and abroad including high-profile projects such as the foundation of the Canadian Light Source (Synchrotron), power plants in Canada and the USA, MRI units, paper mills, etc. He has also taught thirty short courses on “Design of Machine Foundations” to practicing engineers in Canadian and American engineering firms. He is a co-author for the computer program DYNA6 that is used worldwide for the design of machine foundations.

His current research includes static and dynamic response of piles; lateral response of pile groups under extreme loading; seismic local site effects and soil structure interaction and seismic microzonation of Toronto and Mississauga; seismic response of buildings with basements; and behaviour of tapered piles (including centrifuge and lab testing); seismic response of helical piles; FRP Composite piles; performance evaluation of micro piles-raft systems.

Principal Fields of Work

  • Design of machine foundations
  • Static and dynamic analysis of piles
  • Linear and nonlinear analysis of soil-structure interaction
  • Construction, testing and evaluation of long-term performance of deep foundations and (temporary) support for deep building pits
  • Soil dynamics and geotechnical earthquake engineering:  including measurements of dynamic soil properties using field and laboratory methods, seismic microzonation studies; seismic soil-structure interaction of foundations and buildings