Canadian Hydraulics Centre at the National Research Council of Canada

Canadian Hydraulics Centre at the NRC

(Ottawa, Ontario)

The National Research Council of Canada’s (NRC) Hydraulics Centre, located in Ottawa, Ontario, provides Canadian and international engineers with physical and numerical modelling and analysis services in hydraulics. Our research includes a clean energy component that includes off-shore wind energy, wave or tidal energy generation and hydro power.

Types of R&D conducted

Today, NRC operates one of the world's premier hydraulics laboratories dedicated to applied research and commercial studies related to civil engineering hydraulics, coastal science and engineering, port and harbour developments, and offshore energy projects. The laboratory is routinely used to verify the performance and optimize the design of specific projects, including:

NRC's world-class laboratory is complemented by a large number of sophisticated numerical modelling tools that are applied to investigate a wide array of issues, such as:

Cold Regions Technologies

NRC has expertise in solving ice engineering problems through the use of field studies, laboratory studies, data mining and numerical models. NRC also has the most complete set of information on ice loads in the world.

NRC's numerical modelling tools have been used to study many ice engineering issues, such as predicting the ice loads and ice failure patterns around bridge piers and offshore platforms in the Caspian and Beaufort seas. NRC's physical modelling capabilities include an ice tank and cold room that have been used to examine ice loads on the Confederation Bridge piers, offshore platforms and wind turbines, as well as investigating the effects of ice scouring a seabed.

Environmental Hydraulics

Using sophisticated numerical models, and in some cases physical models, NRC examines the nature of environmental hydraulics problems and develops potential solutions.

Environmental hydraulics services include:


NRC is well equipped to help businesses achieve cohesive, integrated and timely solutions to complex R&D problems for both Canadian and global markets. Each year NRC scientists, engineers and business experts work closely with thousands of firms, helping them bring new technologies to market. Through research collaborations, community innovation, industry support and commercialization opportunities, firms benefit from NRC’s expertise, services, facilities and licensing opportunities while increasing their own innovation potential.

NRC’s leading-edge facilities provide businesses, universities and government partners with access to state-of-the-art equipment as well as results-driven research and training programs. NRCalso offers fee-for-service testing equipment to help businesses accelerate their design cycles.

NRC’s Industrial Partnership Facilities, also known as “business incubators,” provide businesses the opportunity to co-locate with the NRC, enabling them to tap into the organization’s multidisciplinary resources, often leading to successful partnerships.

Partners and collaboration opportunities

NRC works with industry, governments, universities and other partners to leverage resources and advance clean energy technologies to commercialization.

Potential collaborators are encouraged to contact us. Learn more about business opportunities with NRC.

“Over the past 10 years we have worked with NRC’s Hydraulics Centre on approximately 10 physical model test studies. We have been very pleased with their performance on these assignments. (…) They have provided technically sound and creative modelling approaches with clear, detailed reporting, while meeting the time and budget requirements agreed at the outset. Moreover, they are easy to work with and do their best to accommodate our changing project requirements.”

-- Christopher M. Carr, P.E., Chief Coastal Engineer and Senior Vice President, Halcrow, Inc.

Unique or high-value hardware and/or software

Technology Development

NRC has a long history of developing intellectual property and using it to: direct application in its own laboratories, commercialization to licensees worldwide, and the development of proprietary solutions for clients using intellectual property as the foundation. Past successes include:

Some of the above applications have been made freely downloadable, but the underlying source code has been retained by NRC in proprietary form and remains under active development and use. We continue to develop intellectual property for physical experimentation and measurement as well as for advanced numerical modelling in the field of water- and ice-related phenomena.



National Research Council of Canada
Canadian Hydraulics Centre
1200 Montreal Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A OR6, Canada

Francois Moreau, Business Development Officer
(613) 991-2206

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