Pat Heffernan

Pat Heffernan
CD, PhD, PEng, Professor
Sawyer 2420
(613) 541-6000 ext 6025
Department of Civil Engineering

College Address

Royal Military College of Canada
PO Box 17000, Station Forces
Kingston, Ontario, CANADA
K7K 7B4

Personal and Professional Bio

Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Dr. Heffernan received his Ph.D. from the Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada in Kingston in 1997.  He served as an officer with the Canadian Military Engineers from 1982 until 2005.  He worked as a lecturer and Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at RMC from 1994 until 1997.  After serving as the Officer Commanding of the Engineering Squadron and Deputy Commanding Officer at 1 Construction Engineering Unit (1 CEU (now 1 ESU)) he returned to RMC in 2001 where he was cross-appointed to the Mechanical and Civil Engineering Departments.  In 2002 he was appointed as Chair of the inter-departmental programme Master of Defence Engineering and Management and in 2010 was appointed as the Head of the Civil Engineering Department.  From 2014 to 2020 he was appointed as the Vice-Principal, Research and Dean of Graduate Studies.

Research Interests

Dr. Heffernan has an active research program which deals predominantly with extreme loading, resilient design for critical infrastructure, rehabilitation and fatigue of structures.  Dr. Heffernan’s research is applicable to both military and civilian agencies that are interested in vulnerability evaluation, blast resistance and damaged structural assessment and repair. 

  • Assessment, analysis, and strengthening of blast damaged structures
  • Resilience of Critical Infrastructure
  • Vulnerability assessment
  • Post-strengthening of damaged bridges and structures using fibre-reinforced polymers (FRP)
  • Fatigue performance of reinforced concrete beams
  • Fatigue performance of reinforcing steels in lab air and corrosive environments
  • Fatigue performance of various aircraft alloys and structural systems.

Sampling of Recent Publications

  • Wight, N., Viau, C., and Heffernan, P.J., 2023 (TBC), Behaviour of Glued-Laminated Timber Beams Under Impact Loading.  Accepted for submission to a special edition of the Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (CJCE).
  • Qasrawi, Y. and Heffernan, P.J., 2016.  Improved Procedure for Calculating the Cleared Pressure acting on a Finite Target due to a Mid-Field Blast.  Journal of Engineering Structures (Invited Paper), Vol 7, No. 3, pp. 305-324.
  • Qasrawi, Y., Heffernan, P.J., and Fam, A., 2016.  Numerical Modelling of Concrete Filled FRP Tubes Dynamic Behaviour under Blast and Impact Loading. ASCE Journal of Stuctural Engineering. Vol 142, No. 2.
  • Qasrawi, Y., Heffernan, P.J., and Fam, A., 2015.  Dynamic Behaviour of Concrete Filled FRP Tubes Subjected to Impact Loading.  Journal of Engineering Structures.  Vol 100, pp 212-225, October 2015.
  • Qasrawi, Y., Heffernan, P.J., and Fam, A., 2014. Numerical Determination of Equivalent Reflected Blast Parameters Acting on Circular Cross Sections. International Journal of Protective Structures. In Press (December 2014).
  • Qasrawi, Y., Heffernan, P.J., and Fam, A., 2014. Performance of Concrete Filled FRP Tubes under Field Close-in Blast Loading. ASCE Journal of Composites for Construction. (online 29 Sep 2014) In Press.
  • Heffernan, P.J., Wight, R.G., and Erki, M.A., 2011. Research on the use of FRP for Critical Load Bearing Infrastructure in Conflict Zones (Invited Paper). ASCE Journal of Composites for Construction, Vol 15, No. 2, pp. 136-145.
  • Carriere, M., Heffernan, P.J., Wight, R.G., and Braimah, A., 2009. Behaviour of Steel Reinforced Polymer (SRP) Strengthened RC Members under Blast Load. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, Vol 36 No. 8, pp. 1356-1365.
  • DeJong, S.J., Heffernan, P.J., and MacDougall, C., 2009, Periodic Overload Corrosion-Fatigue of MMFX™ and Stainless Reinforcing Steels, ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 1-9. January 2009.
  • Kim, Y.J. and Heffernan, P.J., 2008, Fatigue Behaviour of Structures Strengthened with Fibre Reinforced Polymers: State-of-the-Art. ASCE Journal of Composites for Construction, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 246-256.
  • Chlistovsky, R.M., Heffernan, P.J., and DuQuesnay, D.L., Corrosion-Fatigue Behaviour of HSLA Steel and 7075-T6 Aluminum Subjected to Periodic Overloads, International Journal of Fatigue, Vol 29 (2007), pp. 1941-1949.

Statement of Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is rooted in the inquisitive nature of the students and their desire to learn. While I believe the responsibility to learn rests solely with the student, there is much we as teachers can do to facilitate and excite their learning experience. As a teacher of technical content, the methods used must be connected to both the material being delivered as well as the students learning styles. My experience has led me to focus on learning from first principles through engagement and critical analysis.  A found understanding of the theory must be backed up with rigorous practice through problem solution.  Solutions should both reflect and extend the applications covered in class.

Primary Teaching Areas

  • Critical Infrastructure and resilient design
  • Mechanics of materials
  • Structural Analysis
  • Reinforced Concrete Design
  • Repair and rehabilitation
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