MONTREAL, June 17 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Society for Civil
Engineering (CSCE) presented its first Award for Excellence in Innovation in
Civil Engineering at the CSCE Annual General Meeting and Conference held May
27-30 in St. John's, Newfoundland. The award, sponsored by Canam Group, was
bestowed on the Ontario-based firm Cast ConneX Corporation for the development
of high-strength connectors specially designed to improve building safety in
seismically active zones.
"The CSCE is very pleased to partner with Canam Group in launching the
new Award for Excellence in the field of Civil Engineering," said George
Akhras, Chair of the CSCE Innovation and IT Committee. "This award was created
to encourage innovation in every sphere of civil engineering and is presented
to an individual or group belonging to a Canadian firm or research
organization involved in the practice of civil engineering in Canada." He
emphasized that this award is primarily intended to encourage creativity and
ingenuity in civil engineering practice.
High-strength, mass-produced connectors made from cast steel were
developed to provide the steel construction industry with off-the-shelf,
pre-qualified, seismic-resistant bracing connectors. The components interface
with standard hollow structural section (HSS) brace members and are more
economical than conventionally fabricated seismic-resistant connections.
Standardizing the components has allowed them to be validated through
rigorous, full-scale laboratory testing to prove their performance in an
earthquake - unlike the one-off connection designs utilized today. This novel
connection technique was first used by Canam Group in 2008 in the construction
of the Sandoz Canada head office, a four-storey, steel-framed building in
The technology behind these connectors was developed by Jeffrey A.
Packer, Constantin Chrisopoulos, Carlos de Oliveira and Michael Gray, who
subsequently founded Cast ConneX Corporation in 2007 to commercialize these
seismic-resistant connectors. Patents are pending in many countries around the
"We were thrilled and honoured to be chosen as the inaugural recipients
of the CSCE's Award for Excellence in Innovation in Civil Engineering," said
Jeffrey A. Packer, one of the award winners and a civil engineering professor
at the University of Toronto. "This is a tremendous affirmation of the novel
products developed by Cast ConneX Corporation, and the award will certainly
boost the company's prospects and enhance our marketing," added Mr. Packer.
"Canam Group is proud to sponsor this award and to encourage innovation
in the field of civil engineering in Canada," stated Tony Bégin, Business
Development Manager. "The practical and commercial application of experimental
discoveries aimed at improving the design and construction techniques used in
civil engineering projects is consistent with our company's position: Better
About Canam Group
Canam Group Inc. is an industrial company operating 12 plants specialized
in the design and fabrication of construction products and solutions, marketed
by eight business units in the commercial, industrial, institutional,
residential, highway infrastructure and bridge sectors.
About the CSCE
Founded in 1887 by prominent civil engineers in Canada, the Canadian
Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) is a learned society intended to develop
and maintain high standards of civil engineering practice in Canada and to
enhance the public image of the civil engineering profession.
High resolution photographs available upon request
For further information:
For further information: George Akhras, Chair, Innovation and IT
Committee, CSCE, (613) 541-6000, ext. 6388, firstname.lastname@example.org; Tony Bégin,
Business Development Manager, Canam Group, (418) 228-8031,