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Nigel Shrive inducted as Royal Society of Canada New Fellow

Civil engineering professor pioneer in masonry and osteoarthritis research

Lisha Hassanali and UToday
Schulich School of Engineering Professor Nigel Shrive was inducted as a Royal Society of Canada 2016 New Fellow in November 2016 for his contributions to civil and biomedical engineering. Photo by Mark Skogen for the Schulich School of Engineering

The connection between civil engineering and osteoarthritis may not be obvious until you consider the body as a structure. Applying structural mechanics to the human body and masonry are both at the heart of Professor Nigel Shrive’s work. In recognition of his outstanding scholarly achievements, Shrive was recently inducted as a Royal Society of Canada New Fellow.

“I use the same principles from civil engineering to apply to bones and joints,” says Shrive. “Ligament and bone are structures. They transport load from one part of the body to another. The basic fundamental principles are the same whether it’s a knee joint or a concrete building.”

Shrive is internationally known and respected, in both civil and biomedical engineering, for his theoretical contributions, ingenious testing, real-world applications and development of novel testing equipment. His research has resulted in significant impacts on the fields of masonry and concrete, joints and tissues, and the cardiovascular system. His work has resulted in changes to engineering codes of practice and changes to clinical practice with respect to injuries to the knee. His artificial knee has been implanted in thousands of people worldwide.

“It is a great honour to be recognized in this way,” says Shrive, professor in the Schulich School of Engineering.

Shrive was a Killiam Memorial Chairholder and teaches in the Department of Civil Engineering, conducts research on masonry and has developed an expertise in biomechanics. Part of his current research is with an interdisciplinary team that seeks to understand post-traumatic osteoarthritis, the causes of initiation and progression of this complex disease in hopes of finding a way to prevent it or slow progression.

“The University of Calgary is an interesting place because it has developed a culture of collaboration on research,” says Shrive. “The university is particularly well-positioned to allow and encourage cross-faculty collaboration to make some significant advances. It is something that has to happen instead of competing with each other.”

Founded in 1882, the Royal Society of Canada comprises the academies of arts, humanities and sciences; in addition to Canada's first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership, The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Its mission is to recognize scholarly, research and artistic excellence, to advise governments and organizations, and to promote a culture of knowledge and innovation in Canada and with other national academies around the world.

Nigel Shrive was inducted was honoured as a Royal Society of Canada New Fellow alongside Schulich Professor Rangaraj M. Rangayyan on November 18, 2016. Read more about Rangayyan’s engineering research and contributions.

They are part of a cohort of 89 new fellows from across Canada inducted into the academies in 2016. The scholars have been elected by their peers — in recognition of their outstanding scholarly, scientific and artistic achievements.

The University of Calgary’s multidisciplinary Engineering Solutions for Health: Biomedical Engineering research strategy is focused on developing solutions for pressing health challenges in disease and injury prevention, diagnosis and treatments. We are also applying systems engineering principles to continuously improve the health system.