IGNITE Video #3 - Social Media Launch: Dr. Sam Salem, Department of Civil Engineering, Thunder Bay: "Towards Enhanced Fire-Resistant Mass Timber Buildings for Canadians."

Event Date: 
Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - 1:00pm to 11:30pm EST
Event Location: 
Online event

About the IGNITE Series

The Office of Innovation, Partnership & Economic Development (IPED) proudly presents its annual event, IGNITE, which showcases research excellence through short videos.  In an effort to celebrate the ongoing research that is taking place on both campuses, we are very excited to share these videos with our communities, industry partners, and funders.       

The videos will launch throughout R&I Week (every day at 1:00pm) on a number of social media platforms.  Like and share these videos for a chance to win daily prizes!

These videos have been created in an effort to celebrate the ongoing research that is taking place on both campuses, and we are very excited to share these videos with our communities, industry partners, and funders.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 @ 1:00pm 
Dr. Sam Salem, Civil Engineering
Towards Enhanced Fire-Resistant Mass Timber Buildings for Canadians

Dr. Salem’s research program involves investigating the structural behaviour of innovative mass timber building systems while utilizing the state-of-the art Fire Testing and Research Laboratory at Lakehead University (est 2016), 

Over its lifetime, any structure shall withstand multiple hazards, one of which is fire that has cascading effects. In addition to inflicting massive economic losses, the negative societal impacts of building fires are astounding. Prescriptive building codes that limit the use of materials based on type rather than its fire performance, are the greatest barrier to use of wood as the primarily construction material in more buildings. As a result, timber buildings are considerably limited by prescriptive code legislation; and in many jurisdictions due to reluctance to allow evidence-based performance solutions for fire resistance of capable mass timber sections.

Nowadays, building tall with timber is the aim of many architects, engineers, buildings owners and developers in Canada and worldwide. Unfortunately, such a building type is largely outside the scope of current building codes, which means each tall timber building project requires plentiful, and often costly, testing to prove such building will perform equal to or better than it would if it was made of other construction materials, such as concrete or steel, especially in fire conditions. The outcomes of Dr. Salem’s unique research program are to create real opportunities for developing resilient, sustainable, and fire-safe timber structures in Canada and worldwide.

Lakehead University Faculty Bio

Dr. Sam Salem, Department of Civil EngineeringDr. Salem is a tenured Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering. He established his unique research program to investigate the structural fire behaviour of innovative building systems with focus on those made of new engineered-wood products used in mass timber construction. Dr. Salem is the founder and director of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)-sponsored Fire Testing and Research Laboratory at Lakehead University (LUFTRL), a one-of-a-kind world-class fire testing facility.

Dr. Salem is well recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in the field of structural fire engineering, as he authored/co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed, refereed publications in this fast-developing area of research. He also trained more than 40 highly qualified personnel including post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. He has been successful in attracting more than $1.8 million in research grants and awards from different funding entities, such as NSERC, CFI, OCE, OMRI, NOHFC, MNRF, MTI, and others. Dr. Salem is an award-winning, high-caliber researcher who received several academic awards and honors. He was awarded the Outstanding Paper Award from the 6th International Conference on Applications of Structural Fire Engineering (ASFE 2019); Lakehead University Merit Award for Excellence in Research in 2021, and Excellence in Teaching and Research in 2015 and 2019; Lakehead University Contribution to Teaching Award in 2014 and 2018, and others.

Research Interests: 

Structural integrity and failure of buildings; Structural fire engineering; Performance-based fire resistance design; Large-scale fire resistance testing and computer modelling of timber, steel, and concrete structures.

Industry partners: Nordic Structures, and Element5

Funding partners: NSERC, and Mass Timber Institute (MTI)

Ignite Promotion Poster