A passion for large structures

Welcome to Professor Georges El-Saikaly

April 13, 2018
Nearly 70% of all the structures on Quebec's road network were built between 1960 and 1980. The Concorde overpass, which collapsed in 2006, was one such structure. And since the province's Ministry of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification reckons that a structure more often than not begins to need repair upon reaching its thirtieth anniversary, it is fair to say that when it comes to public works, Quebec has its work cut out.

Georges El-Saikaly settled in Montreal just before the Concorde tragedy. “The incident made an impression on me. I began wondering who was Quebec's authoritative expert in the field of structural strengthening and rehabilitation, and was referred to Professor Omar Chaallal at ÉTS,” he recalls. The encounter with the professor proved to be a turning point in the young civil engineer's career and marked the beginning of a longstanding collaborative relationship that continues to this day.

Mr. El-Saikaly recently joined ÉTS as a research professor in the Construction Engineering Department. A civil and structural engineer, he specializes in the strengthening and rehabilitation of concrete structures. His academic and professional experience have given him in-depth knowledge of international design codes for buildings and highway bridges, design guidelines for strengthening structures with fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, and strategic project management.

After graduating from Lebanese University in Beirut in 1997, Professor El-Saikaly held a succession of executive positions for various consulting engineering firms, accumulating solid in-the-field expertise that he now brings to ÉTS. Following his undergraduate studies, he obtained a DESS (specialized graduate diploma) in civil engineering from the École Polytechnique de Montréal, an MBA in science and engineering from UQAM and a PhD with distinction from ÉTS. His doctoral thesis in applied research was titled “Assessment of fatigue behavior for reinforced concrete beams strengthened in shear with fiber reinforced polymer composites”.

A postdoctoral researcher until quite recently, Mr. El-Saikaly was the recipient of the prestigious 2016–2018 postdoctoral research scholarship from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT).

Well known at ÉTS
Georges El-Saikaly has been a familiar presence around the ÉTS campus since January 2011. He has by turns been a doctoral student, a teaching assistant, a research assistant and a postdoctoral researcher/trainee. Today, as a professor, he is dedicated to teaching all aspects of engineering related to structures, in addition to guiding master's and PhD students and supervising the internships of undergraduate students.

Modeling based on finite elements and parametric studies

Professor El-Saikaly will pursue his experimental work as a member of the ÉTS team specialized in development and research on structures and rehabilitation (DRSR). He also plans to undertake other innovative initiatives, including ones involving finite-element–based modeling of FRP-strengthened structures. As regards the latter, computer simulations drawing on a vast database will be performed to validate the experimental behaviour and, ultimately, to conduct parametric studies and develop analytical models with an eye toward their integration into design codes and standards governing the external strengthening of structures. This will be done by highlighting the interactions between the various components, particularly the FRP/Concrete interface, subject to a variety of loadings (shear, bending and compression). A particular area of interest to Professor El-Saikaly is the use of modeling under cyclic loading to assess the behaviour of strengthened structures such as bridges under fatigue conditions.

Working closely with other ÉTS professors, Professor El-Saikaly will seek to develop computerized models in the field of seismic rehabilitation of bridges and buildings and to forge solid partnerships with the construction industry and owners of structural works (Public Works Canada, Transports Québec and Ville de Montréal).

As someone for whom large structures have always held much fascination, Georges El-Saikaly joins ÉTS at an opportune moment to contribute his expertise and research to help meet Quebec's important needs in the area of infrastructure.

See also:
DRSR – Research team specialized in development and research on structures and rehabilitation
Pour information
Sébastien Langevin
Communications Officer
514 396-8427

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