Saiedeh Razavi named Chair in Heavy Construction at McMaster University

Heavy construction machinery may tower above her, but Saiedeh Razavi will wield a great deal of influence on their future use as the inaugural Chair in Heavy Construction at McMaster University.

Professor Razavi was officially named the chair holder at an announcement recently held at McMaster University. In attendance were representatives from many of the 13 regional construction organizations that pledged $1,252,500 million over five years to establish the Chair. The amount is matched by the University.

Three other appointments were also formally announced to endowed chairs previously established in the Department of Civil Engineering:

•    Professor Samir Chidiac, Chair in Effective Design of Structures (established 2002);

•    Professor Michael Tait, Joe Ng-JNE Consulting Chair in Design, Construction and Management of Infrastructure Renewal (established 2000);

•    Professor Wael El-Dakhakhni, Martini, Mascarin and George Chair in Masonry Design (established 1999).

Professor Razavi begins her position on July 1, 2011. She joins McMaster from Concordia University where she has been working as a postdoctoral fellow. At McMaster, she will hold an academic appointment in the Department of Civil Engineering with instruction responsibilities at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as with the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology civil engineering technology program.

Professor Razavi brings considerable experience in large scale industrial construction projects to the position. She also has a keen interest in sensing and information technology for construction and infrastructure management, logistics, and transportation. She earned her PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Waterloo, M.Sc. in Computer Engineering (Artificial Intelligence) at Iran University of Science and Technology, and B.Sc. in Software Engineering at Sharif University of Technology.

The Chair in Heavy Construction was established to provide leadership in advancing innovation in the heavy-construction sector, attracting and developing talent, and contributing to the advancement of a modern, durable and sustainable infrastructure in Ontario. An advisory team from the heavy construction industry will be assembled by the Chair to advise on priorities in these areas.

Organizations pledging funding for the Chair were: Hamilton & District Heavy Construction Association, Ontario Road Builders’ Association, Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association, John Deere Foundation, Ministry of Transportation Ontario, L.I.U.N.A. Local 837, Mechanical Contractors Association Hamilton, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 793, Bot Construction, Ontario Concrete Pipe Association, Battlefield Equipment, Greater Toronto Sewer and Watermain Contractors Association, and the Heavy Construction Association Toronto.