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CSEA Seminar - Engineering & Construction Forum

Location:South Common CC Youth Rm, 2233 South Millway, Mississauga, ON, L5L 3H7

Time:1:00 - 5:00 pm 01/06/2024

Event Overview:

The Canada Structural Engineers Association (CSEA) organized a pivotal seminar on June 1, 2024, which brought together leading experts to discuss advanced topics in engineering and construction. About 50 engineers attended this seminar.

CSEA president Liao Haixue delivered a welcome speech and thanks all the speakers, moderators, CSEA board members and management team, appreciated that the the attendees spent weekend time on CSEA seminar. CSEA VP Hangang Li hosted and moderated the seminar.

This seminar first focused on the cutting-edge applications of trenchless technologies in urban infrastructure. It was presented by Brady Lin, a senior MTO engineer.

Secondly, professor Cancan Yang replayed the collapse of Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland on March 26 due to the collision by a container ship, and presented designing bridges to withstand vessel collisions—a crucial consideration underscored by recent structural failures.

Finally David Lai, Cancan Yang and Hangang Li hosted a panel discussions about bridge collision design.

Event Moderator and Speakers:


  • Hangang Li, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Position: Senior Structural Engineer, City of Toronto

Role: Dr. Li expertly facilitated the discussions, guiding the speakers through the intricate topics and ensuring a comprehensive exploration of the presentations provided.

Topic 1: Geotechnical/Foundation Engineering and Trenchless Technologies 

Presenter - Brady Lin

Background: Brady Lin, with his extensive 25-year background at the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and deep expertise in geology and environmental engineering, presented a comprehensive overview of geotechnical engineering practices. His discussion delved into common MTO practices, pipe installation techniques, and a detailed case study on foundation engineering challenges.

Topic Key Points:

  • Microtunnelling Case Study: Lin provided insights into the complexities of microtunnelling under Highway 401/Leslie, explaining the processes and challenges associated with this trenchless technology.

  • Trenchless Technologies Overview: His presentation covered various methods such as Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), Auger Boring, and Microtunnelling, discussing their applications, advantages, and limitations based on subsurface conditions.

  • Practical Guidelines and Risk Management: Lin extended the discussion to practical guidelines for implementing trenchless technologies, emphasizing precision in line and grade control and risk mitigation strategies during construction.

Topic 2 : Vessel Collision Design for Bridges

Presenter - Cancan Yang

Background: As an Assistant Professor at McMaster University, Cancan Yang discussed the urgent challenges faced by bridge engineering in today’s context of climate change and the need for sustainable infrastructure. Her presentation was particularly focused on the lessons learned from the recent catastrophic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Maryland, emphasizing the crucial design requirements needed to prevent such disasters.

Presenter - David Lai

Background: David Lai Former head of MTO’s Bridge Rehab and complemented Cancan Yang’s discussion by providing insights into the technical standards and durable technologies implemented in bridge construction and maintenance. His talk focused on the specific structural responses necessary to enhance the resilience of bridges against vessel collisions.

Topic Key Points:

  • Ship Impact Force Calculation: This segment involved detailed calculations of ship impact forces, utilizing real-life data to highlight the magnitude of forces involved and the structural responses required.

  • Design Standards and Regulations: They discussed the critical standards for bridge design as per the AASHTO LRFD and CSA S6:19 specifications, aimed at effectively managing and mitigating risks associated with vessel collisions.


The seminar provided a valuable platform for professionals to deepen their understanding of significant engineering disciplines that impact both the safety and efficiency of infrastructure projects. The in-depth presentations by Cancan Yang, David Lai, and Brady Lin not only informed but also highlighted the necessity for interdisciplinary knowledge and the integration of rigorous safety standards into engineering practices.


Special thanks to all the speakers for their profound contributions and to Hangang Li for his effective moderation. The active engagement of all attendees played a crucial role in the success of this seminar, fostering a dynamic and enriching learning environment for all participants.

Volunteer List:

Hangang Li, Sheng Wang, Raymond Su, Zenan Yu, Steve Wang, George Wang

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