Shelly Lissel

Shelly Lissel

Mentor of Distinction

Laura Hinz


Dr. Shelley Lissel has made great contributions to the field of engineering, both through her research and her teaching. Dr. Lissel has been one of the youngest members of the faculty, yet she has been the recipient of many awards and grants, including two NSERC awards. She has been innovative in her approach to teaching, by implementing on-line learning tools and by helping to organize study abroad programs. Her commitment and dedication have made her a favourite among her students and a promising researcher.


Dr. Lissel obtained her BSc in Civil Engineering With Distinction and Engineering Internship Programme in 1997 from the University of Calgary. She went on to obtain her PhD in Structural Engineering, also from the U of C. Her research focused on masonry structures, a somewhat uncharted field of engineering. As part of her graduate program she spent five months as a visiting researcher in the Department of Civil, Surveying, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Newcastle, Australia.


Dr. Lissel worked in the field as an internship student and engineer before joining the faculty at the University of Calgary as an assistant professor in 2001. Currently, Dr. Lissel teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes and supervises eight masters students. Dr. Lissel is the recipient of several grants, including a Canada Foundation for Innovation New Opportunities Fund Award and an NSERC grant. She has presented her research findings at numerous conferences and has published over twenty articles.


Despite being relatively new to the field, Dr. Lissel has made substantial contributions. She is on the leading edge of masonry research in Canada, and her research has led to increased sustainability of infrastructure, decreasing repair and replacement costs. Her development of longer lasting, corrosion free masonry structures is already garnering international recognition. In addition to her own research, Dr. Lissel has been instrumental in organizing several conferences, such as the first ever International Conference on the Performance of Construction Materials in the New Millennium held in Cairo, Egypt in February 2003. She also reviews papers from several sources including The Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering.


Dr. Lissel’s innovation carries over into her teaching duties, where she has introduced hands-on labs, guest lecturers, and developed an on-line evaluation system. Her contribution to the classroom was rewarded this year with the Faculty of Engineering Common Curriculum Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Lissel has been instrumental in expanding the study abroad program in her capacity as the Exchange Program Coordinator in the Department of Civil Engineering. Thanks to her efforts, the existing program has grown and two new exchange programs have been implemented.


Dr. Lissel has also impacted the community through her countless volunteer and committee positions. She has served as a United Way Representative for Civil Engineering, Calgary Science Fair Judge, Operation Minerva mentor, and as a member of the Engineering Faculty Council. She serves the engineering profession on two Canadian Standards Association technical committees and was recently appointed to the Board of Governors for The Masonry Society based in the USA. Her enthusiasm, dedication and ingenuity indicate that Dr. Lissel will continue to make substantial contributions to the field of engineering.