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Chairholder Profile

Brahim Benmokrane

Brahim Benmokrane

Department of Civil Engineering
Université de Sherbrooke

Chair title

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Innovative Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Composite Materials for Infrastructure

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Senior Chairholder since 2000


The corrosion of steel reinforcing bars (commonly called rebars) is the number one factor limiting the life expectancy of concrete structures such as bridges and parking facilities. In North America, this situation is exacerbated by our use of winter de-icing salts and significant daily and seasonal fluctuations in temperature. The corrosion of rebars is also accelerated by mechanical overloads arising from the ever-increasing traffic volumes on our roads.

In Canada, the current estimated cost to repair existing bridges and all other concrete structures is more than $74 billion. In
order to reduce the burden of never-ending repair costs, government organizations, private industry and university researchers are seeking ways to reduce or eliminate rebar corrosion.

The solution proposed in this Industrial Research Chair program is the use of fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) bars in concrete. FRP bars are made of synthetic or organic fibres embedded in a resin matrix. Their main advantage over steel rebars is that they do not corrode in even harsh chemical environments. They also have other advantages over conventional steel bars: they are as little as one fifth the density of steel, have greater tensile strength, and are electrically neutral.

This Industrial Research Chair program is multidisciplinary and jointly involves industry, university researchers, consulting engineers, and end users. Through this successful partnership, several bridges in the Eastern Townships have already been built using FRP technology.

The research also has broad spin-offs. These include advances in materials science and technologies for civil engineering, as well as the introduction of new design codes and standards. The research also helps train young scientists who along with FRP technology provide a considerable economic boost to Canadian industry, increasing our global competitiveness.


  • Pultrall Inc.
  • Roctest Ltd.
  • Teknika-HBA Inc.
  • GéoLab Inc.
  • Avensys Inc.
  • A.S. Composites Inc.
  • Hydro-Québec
  • Quebec Ministry of Transportation/Ministère des Transports du Québec
  • Public Works and Government Services Canada/Travaux publics et Services gouvernementaux Canada
  • TowerTex Composites Innovateurs Inc.

Contact information

Department of Civil Engineering
Université de Sherbrooke
Faculty of Engineering
Sherbrooke, Québec
J1K 2R1

Tel.: 819-821-7758
Fax: 819-821-7974

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