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The Canadian Society for Civil Engineering honours Osama Moselhi’s 40+ years of contributions

The newly inaugurated Moselhi Best Paper Award, named after the Concordia professor, recognizes cutting-edge research in construction
June 17, 2019
By Suzanne Bowness

One of the top honours any professor can receive is having an academic society designate a best paper award in his or her name, as recognition of exemplary scholarly and student-centred contributions to the field.

Last week, members of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (CSCE) celebrated the naming of its construction division best paper award after Osama Moselhi, professor in Concordia’s Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering (BCEE).

The Award will be bestowed by the Construction Division of the CSCE on the author (or authors) of a paper based on its contribution to the body of knowledge through cutting-edge research in construction.

Moselhi’s efforts have been fundamental in establishing the building engineering and construction engineering programs at Concordia.

“Professor Moselhi has a rich legacy of research in construction engineering, including mentorship of highly successful researchers who hold leadership positions in academia and industry today,” says Amir Asif, dean of the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Moselhi chaired the joint  2019 CSCE construction and ASCE Construction Research Congress (CRC) conference in Laval, where he was also toasted by a gathering of colleagues, friends and a cluster of high caliber former students.

The event celebrated a 40-plus year career in both industry and academia.

“I’m really humbled and most honoured to be recognized by my colleagues who made it happen, and also while I’m still active and not after the fact,” he says.

“I believe that it is something great when we receive such recognition when we’re alive and active. This is what makes it so special,” Moselhi says, adding that he was excited that many former students were there to celebrate with him this special event.

Moselhi earned his PhD at Concordia in 1978 and joined the faculty in 1985. Since then he has served as department chair and executive advisor to the dean, supervised and co-supervised more than 100 master’s and PhD students, and authored and co-authored over 400 scientific publications.

He is also a member of the Provost’s Circle of Distinction, which acknowledges faculty members who have been recognized by organizations outside Concordia.

‘He’s an inspiring role model’

Khaled El-Rayes (MA 93, PhD 98), now professor of construction engineering and management and the O’Neil Faculty Scholar in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was one of Moselhi’s graduate students at Concordia. El-Rayes calls his mentor a “pioneer,” who established the area of construction management research in Canada in the 1980s.

“His solid and continuous mentoring and support over the last 30 years has made a significant and lasting impact on my professional career and life,” says El-Rayes.

“He is an exemplary advisor and mentor who leads by example. I have learned from him how to take pride in your work and how to pursue excellence in all your endeavours.”

Colleagues are equally enthusiastic. “Dr. Moselhi’s insight in the realm of construction and his leadership in academia has helped the BCEE department’s construction engineering and management program be globally recognized,” says Shahin Karimidorabati, BCEE graduate program director.

Fellow professor Fuzhan Nasiri adds that Moselhi’s contributions to construction engineering and management have gone far beyond Concordia and Canada, thanks to his industry collaboration, mentorship of graduate students and continuous leadership roles in various industry associations and institutions.

“He’s an inspiring role model, educator and mentor for generations of colleagues and students,” says Nasiri.

Moselhi has already received several awards for his contributions to the development of construction engineering in Canada, including the CSCE’s prestigious Walter Shanly Award and the International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction’s Tucker-Hasegawa Award. He was elected fellow of the CSCE in 1994 and of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1999.

Outside academia, Moselhi has consulted on numerous projects around the world, including construction of harbor and offshore facilities in Saudi Arabia, design and management of nuclear plants in Canada and sustainable municipal infrastructure issues for the Canadian government.

Yet Moselhi says that working with his students, many of whom have gone on to be leaders in the construction industry, and professors at other universities has been a highlight of his career.

“I value very much the opportunity to work with the young minds at Concordia and to help them be the leaders of tomorrow.”

Find out more about Concordia’s
Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.


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