Jean Côté

Jean Côté

Department of Civil Engineering
Université Laval

Chair title

NSERC-Hydro-Québec Industrial Research Chair in life cycle optimisation for embankment dams

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Associate Chairholder since 2009


The chair aims to develop tools to analyse and predict the behaviour of embankment dams using the 3M approach, i.e., Materials, Monitoring and Modeling. The 3M methodology focuses on the integration of extensive knowledge of material properties into an efficient system for processing data collected by monitoring the structure with a view to designing robust and reliable modeling tools.

The following are the specific objectives of the chair:

  • further our understanding of the behaviour of embankment dam materials;
  • characterize the thermal, hydric, mechanical and pneumatic behaviours of embankment dam materials;
  • improve the hydraulic properties of moraines low in fine particles;
  • characterize and model coupled physical phenomena that affect the behaviour of embankment dams;
  • model and predict the behaviour of embankment dams under normal and exceptional loads;
  • facilitate the interpretation and representation of data collected by monitoring structures;
  • develop criteria for the selection of different materials so as to optimize dam service life;
  • set critical thresholds for seismic behaviour to be used in inspections of embankment dams.

The benefits of the chair's work will be significant for all the partners as well as for all Canadians. Enhanced knowledge of the thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviours of materials will lead to improved embankment dam design, thereby obviating the need to correct disorders that would otherwise appear in the future and would entail considerable expense on account of the remote locations of these dams. Moreover, the dynamic analysis tools to be developed will be essential to the evaluation embankment dam behaviour during seismic events.


  • Hydro-Québec
  • SNC-Lavalin Inc.
  • Qualitas-Techmat
  • SRK Consulting Inc.
  • Centre d'expertise hydrique du Québec
  • Génivar Consulting Group Inc.

Contact information

Department of Civil Engineering
Université Laval
Pavillon Adrien-Pouliot, Room 2912-A
Québec, Québec
G1V 0A6

Tel.: 418-656-5936
Fax: 418-656-2928


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