Simaan M. AbouRizk

Canada Research Chair in Operations Simulation

Tier 1 - 2017-11-01
Renewed: 2016-07-01
University of Alberta
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council


Research involves

Developing advanced computer simulation methods, tools and software for application in production operation processes related to construction, mining, and related industries.

Research relevance

Will improve operational performance and reduce overall costs for these industries, resulting in estimated annual savings in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Engineering for the 21st Century

Canada's construction and mining industries represent a significant portion of our economy. Construction accounts for roughly $130 billion, or roughly 10 percent of Canada's GDP, and over the next five to ten years, investment in oil sand projects in Alberta alone will amount to $50 billion. Before any work can begin, engineers must carefully plan and design effective processes for the various production operations involved, such as excavation, land reclamation, pipe installation, foundations, tunnels, and roads. Advances in computer simulation - using computers to build, study and manipulate virtual models of a real system - offer great promise for engineering in the 21st-century.

Dr. Simaan M. AbouRizk envisions a world where accurate virtual models of a system are easily and efficiently developed and manipulated. In such a world, engineering is integrated, accurate, comprehensive, cost effective and optimized. In the past ten years, Dr. AbouRizk's work has played a pivotal role in advancing computer simulation for construction and surface mining, and has resulted in major economic gains for his industrial partners and for Canada's construction industry at large.

As Canada Research Chair in Operations Simulation, Dr. AbouRizk is exploring innovative information technologies for modelling, analyzing and optimizing operations related to construction, mining and other associated industries. His team will develop powerful and flexible simulation software tools that allow engineers to study underlying system behaviour and experiment with various approaches to improve or radically change system performance without interfering in its ongoing operation and without ever setting foot on site. Additionally, the team will identify where, and which, process changes are needed and collaborate with a consortium of regional, national and international firms to determine how best to transfer this knowledge to industry.

The overall goal of this seven-year research program is to vastly increase the competitiveness of Canada's construction and mining industries and to position Canada as a world leader in computer simulation.