Mohamed El Semelawy Ph.D., P.Eng.

Senior Associate, Civil/Structural Failure
Direct: 647-738-8299

Our Associates perform on-site investigations to determine origin and cause of complex losses. Their process: examine and collect evidence, take on-site photos, interview witnesses, conduct testing in our lab and analyze data to produce technical reports that are clear and concise.


expert summary

Dr. Semelawy is a Senior Associate with the Structural Group. Mohamed is a Professional Engineer with over 16 years of experience in multiple areas of practice, including commercial and residential projects, industrial oil and gas, and code and standards development, in addition to five years of academic research related to industrial application. Mohamed has published several academic papers and has also served as a peer reviewer for multiple journals.


  • Structural engineering
  • Codes, standards and guidelines for structural design
  • Ontario Building Code and National Building Code of Canada
  • North American model codes (NBCC and IBC) and their provincial and state variations
  • North American design standards for concrete, steel and wood design
  • Finite elements, structural dynamics, seismic and wind analysis
  • Research projects focused on developing innovative structural systems

academic background

  • Ph.D. in Structural Engineering, Western University, 2011
  • Master of Science in Structural Engineering, University of Toronto, 2007
  • Bachelor of Science in Structural Engineering, Ain-Shams University, 2002

additional Courses

  • Analysis and Design of Seismic Resistant Structures, University of Toronto, 2006
  • Bridge Engineering, University of Toronto, 2006
  • Advanced Numerical Analysis, University of Toronto, 2006
  • Technical Report Writing, University of Toronto, 2006
  • Design of Pre-Stressed Concrete Structures, Western University, 2008
  • Project Management, Schulich School of Business, York University, 2016


-30- Forensic Engineering
Senior Associate – Structural Group
November 2018 – Present, Toronto, ON

  • Primarily involved in origin and cause investigations, technical assessment and cost estimation related to repair/remediation strategies for various projects, third-party peer review of design documents and reports, contract documents and contractor submittals related to structural design sufficiency.
  • Conduct failure/deficiency analysis for litigation support to identify the most probable sequence of events leading to the ultimate failure/deficiency.
  • Provision of peer-review of reports, plans and specifications to determine whether they meet applicable statutes, regulations, standards, codes, by-laws and acceptable engineering/construction practices.

Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Building Code Advisor – Structural Specialist
November 2015 – October 2018, Toronto, ON

  • Provided specialist structural engineering expertise and advice to the government of Ontario to support the regulatory framework for the construction of buildings. Provision of continuous review and improvement of existing regulations and statutes towards further editions of the Ontario Building Code. Additional contributions in efforts related to:
  • Innovative use of mass timber in tall buildings construction.
  • Requirements for farm buildings.
  • Response to the Elliot Lake Commission of Inquiry.
  • Solar panels on rooftops of buildings.
  • Conflict resolution Building Code Commission.

Senior Structural Engineer
July 2011 – October 2015, Edmonton, AB

  • Responsible for design and analysis of various structures complying with client specifications and the Alberta building code for the Fort Hills oil sand mining project. The total cost of the project is estimated at $15B.
  • Delivered detailed design and analysis of various structures for the primary extraction plant and stamped over 150 drawings, which included piling, concrete foundations and steel structures.
  • Supported the steel fabrication and erection requests for information (RFI) and acted as the single technical point of contact representing my team on issues related to steel fabrication and erection.

Structural Engineer (Part-Time)
November 2013 – November 2014, Edmonton, AB

  • Provided structural engineering services to clients. Projects included:
  • Structural assessment of existing house for intended change of use (added loads)
  • Structural design of single-family model house
  • Structural design of Earthbag prototype emergency shelter

Engineering Analysis and Dynamics
Structural Engineer
January 2008 – October 2009, London, ON

  • Responsible for analysis and design of flooring systems, columns, shear walls and pile caps of concrete/precast structures. Designs included consideration of lateral wind and earthquake loads. Design was carried out according to the governing Building Code, in most cases, the Ontario Building Code. ETABS was used for the building analysis; design was conducted using hand calculations and Response 2000. Projects included:
  • Hampton Inn tower, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada: 65-storey building
  • Renaissance Hotel Addition, South Tower building, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada: 57-storey building
  • Technia Factory, Jedda, Saudi Arabia: Single-storey precast concrete industrial facility with overhead crane
  • Le Monaco Condominium, Georgetown, Ontario, Canada: 4-storey condominium building

Western University
Research/Teaching Assistant
May 2007 – June 2011, London, ON

  • Research project focused on experimental and analytical development of a novel anchor jointed precast shear walls system intended to resist lateral loads in low-to-medium rise buildings.

University of Toronto
Research/Teaching Assistant
September 2004 – January 2007, Toronto, ON

  • Research project focused on the effects of axial prestress on the punching shear resistance of unreinforced slabs subjected to wheel loads. The ultimate objective of the research was to gain code recognition to eliminate the need for reinforcement in the top slab of segmental precast bridges.

HZ Consultant
Structural Engineer
February 2002 – August 2004, Cairo, Egypt

  • Responsible for completing the structural design of several commercial and residential reinforced concrete skeleton-type buildings. These ranged in size from single-storey to 20-storey medium-rise buildings.

Professional societies and associations

  • Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), Member

awards and achievements

  • Big Beam Competition 2008: design, build and test a precast concrete beam to meet certain criteria – First place Canada – Sixth place international

Publications and academic Speaking Engagements

  • “Finite-element analysis of anchor-jointed precast structural wall system”, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Structures and Buildings, Volume 170 Issue 8, August 2017, pp. 543-554.
  • “Novel anchor-jointed precast shear wall: testing and validation”, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Structures and Buildings, Volume 168 Issue 4, April 2015, pp. 263-274.
  • “Design of prestressed concrete flat slab using modern heuristic optimization techniques”, Expert Systems with Applications, April 2012, Volume 39 Issue 5: pp.5758-5766.
  • “Punching Shear Behavior of Externally Prestressed Concrete Slabs” Journal of Structural Engineering, Volume 137 Issue 1 – January 2011.