Ying-Hei Chui

Ying-Hei Chui

Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Alberta

Chair title

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Engineered Wood and Building Systems

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Senior Chairholder since 2017


The advent of a new generation of massive engineered wood products, such as cross laminated timber (CLT) and structural composite lumber (SCL), has raised substantial global interest among builders, designers and developers in the use of wood for large or tall structures.

As a building material, wood has a low environmental footprint and high strength-to-weight ratio. It readily facilitates off-site construction, leading to savings in construction costs. Canada is a major producer of both primary and engineered wood products, and this global interest in engineered wood products presents an economic opportunity for the Canadian forest industry to add value to its forest resources. The economic benefit to the Canadian wood industry for this new market opportunity is estimated at about $100 million per year.

Substantial research has been undertaken, both in Canada and around the world, to support and build confidence in the use of engineered wood products in such applications. However, many obstacles still remain which limit the range of design options for engineered wood products in large or tall structures. The research focus of the NSERC Industrial Research Chair (IRC) in Engineered Wood and Building Systems is to advance understanding of the behavior of building systems constructed with massive engineered wood products, in some cases in conjunction with other structural materials such as steel and concrete. This research will lead to removal of some of the restrictions in building codes and design standards that limit the use of these wood products, and will provide structure designers with more design options.

In the first five-year term of the IRC program, the specific building systems to be investigated are lateral load-resisting systems built with massive timber panel (MTP) and mechanical connections, and MTP-concrete composite floor systems with a sandwiched sound/thermal insulation layer. Examples of MTP are CLT, SCL and glued or nailed laminated timber. A significant outcome from this research program is a substantial amount of technical information on innovative heavy timber connection systems, which can be readily codified.

Another expected outcome of the program is the development of innovative hybridized structural systems that incorporate engineered wood with steel or concrete that meet a number of performance requirements mandated by the building codes, including structural, fire and building science requirements. The long-term goal for the University and the IRC’s industrial partners is to build a critical mass of researchers at the University of Alberta who can make the IRC program one of the leading programs of its kind in the world. This will allow the program to continue to support the innovation needs of the wood and construction industries in Alberta and Canada, specifically in engineered wood products and building systems that incorporate such products.


  • Landmark Group of Companies Inc.
  • Western Archrib
  • FPInnovations
  • Canadian Wood Council
  • MyTiCon Timber Connectors
  • Rotho Blaas Canada Construction Products Inc.
  • Nordic Structures
  • SNC-Lavalin Inc.

Contact information

Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Alberta

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