Executive Board | Off-site Construction Research Centre | UNB

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Off-site Construction Research Centre

Executive board members

Executive director, Office of Research Services, University of New Brunswick

Kelly Ashfield

Kelly is the Executive Director, Office of Research Services (ORS) at the University of New Brunswick (UNB). Kelly is a strong proponent of the UNB’s role in the economic and social well-being of the province. Kelly, along with the entire ORS team, provides a range of advice and administrative support services to faculty in developing and managing their research activity, in addition to providing support in disseminating their research results through knowledge and technology transfer.

Kelly joined UNB in 2011 after working in both the private and public sectors. She spent nine years working in economic development for the province of New Brunswick. Prior to her time in the public sector, Kelly worked in the engineering field in the provinces of British Columbia, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Her experience, understanding and appreciation for industry, academia and government allows her to effectively work with all stakeholders in advancing research opportunities.

Kelly holds a bachelor of science in chemical engineering and a master of business administration. Kelly is a current member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick (APEGNB). She currently sits on numerous University committees with a focus on supporting and advancing the university research enterprise.

Professor and M. Patrick Gillin Chair in Construction Engineering and Management, Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Brunswick

Jeff Rankin

Dr. Rankin is a professor and holds the M. Patrick Gillin Chair in Construction Engineering and Management in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of New Brunswick. Prior to joining UNB, Dr. Rankin was the Executive Director of the Construction Technology Centre Atlantic, an innovation broker for the region’s construction industry.

Dr. Rankin’s construction experience has included various project and construction management roles in many types of construction projects including high-rise buildings and larger infrastructure projects such as the Confederation Bridge. He received his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Rankin’s current research focuses on improving the performance of the construction industry through innovation: the appropriate adoption and implementation of advanced technologies and sustainable practices for the delivery of public infrastructure.

President, OSCO Construction Group

Hans O. Klohn

Hans is the president of OSCO Construction Group based in Saint John, NB. The group and its subsidiaries design, manufacture and install concrete and steel components used in structural steel, precast concrete and cast-in-place concrete framing systems. OSCO also provides specialty trade contracting services in the areas of civil, electrical, instrumentation and voice & data cabling.

Hans received his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from UNB. He has a master of engineering degree (civil) from the University of Alberta and a master of business administration degree from Western University. He has served on various community, educational and trade association boards including as governor of UNB and chairman of the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI).

Hans is a registered professional engineer in New Brunswick and was inducted as a fellow by the CPCI in recognition of outstanding service rendered to the industry.

He is individual life member of the Miramichi Salmon Association and enjoys salmon fishing and golfing in his spare time.

Vice president and general manager, OSCO Construction Group

Donald C. Isnor

Don is the vice president and general manager of OSCO Construction Group’s concrete sector based in Saint John, NB. The companies in OSCO’s concrete sector include Strescon and Precon which design, manufacture and install precast concrete components used in the construction of buildings, bridges and drainage infrastructure. In addition, the sector includes four ready mix concrete companies supplying concrete to various Maritime markets through 11 plants, as well as construction aggregates from two gravel pit operations.

Don received his bachelor of science in civil engineering from UNB. He has served as chairman of the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI) and as a member of CSA A23.4 Code Committee. Don is a registered professional engineer in New Brunswick and was inducted as a lifetime member.

President and co-founder, Iron Maple Constructors

Durck DeWinter

Durck is the president and a co-founder of Iron Maple Constructors, a general contractor that was founded by four leaders in the construction industry who have over 100 years of combined experience. Iron Maple has offices in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and operate with a mandate and objective to keep construction simple for their clients.

Durck advocates staying at the forefront of technology and bridging the gap between old-school culture and the new tech-driven one. He is an industry leader in design-build, public-private partnerships, modular and construction management projects. Previously a senior vice president for a nationally ranked contractor, Durck oversaw all operations and strategic development for the Atlantic and Manitoba regions. With over 30 years of construction experience, he brings an honest and energetic approach to every project.

Durck resides in Sussex, NB and enjoys staying active and cottage life with his wife and four daughters.

VP Sales, Fero International Inc.

Laurie Robert

Laurie Robert is Vice President of Sales with Fero International, an innovative volumetric modular construction company located in Hamilton, Ontario.

Laurie has been actively involved as an executive in Sales and Business Development in the modular construction industry for more than 35 years. She is a Past President of the Modular Building Institute (MBI), the industry’s International Trade Organization, a Past Chair and Trustee of the MBI Canadian Educational Foundation and was inducted into the MBI Hall of Fame in 2017. Laurie is also a Past Chair of the National Institute of Building Science’s Off-site Construction Council in Washington DC.

In addition to her role with Fero, Laurie works with the CSA Group on Technical Committees that develop standards and guidelines for the modular construction industry and sits on the Executive Board of University of New Brunswick’s Off-site Construction Research Centre. She is an experienced industry trainer and presenter on the subject of permanent modular construction.

Founder, president and CEO, Nomodic

Kevin Read

Kevin Read is the founder, president and CEO of Nomodic. Based in Calgary, Alberta, Nomodic is an industry-leading provider of integrated, sustainable building solutions, dedicated to strengthening and connecting Canadian communities through an innovative, flexible and holistic approach to off-site construction. Prior to founding Nomodic in 2012, Kevin spent years working in product design, quality assurance, process automation, corporate strategy, and business development in the construction and energy industries.

Since launching Nomodic, Kevin has grown to reach accolades such as being named one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 in 2018 and one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2017, while guiding Nomodic to being named one of Canada’s Top Growing Companies in 2019 and 2020 by the Globe and Mail and Report on Business Magazine. Kevin was voted in as chair of the Modular Building Institute’s (MBI’s) Canadian Council for 2020 and 2021.

Kevin has a bachelor’s degree in business & entrepreneurship from Mount Royal University, where he currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the faculty of business and communication.

President, Kilmer Infrastructure Developments Inc.

Wayne Carson

Wayne Carson is president of Kilmer Infrastructure Developments Inc. where he leads Kilmer’s business platforms in public-private partnerships (P3), real estate development and various concession related operating businesses and partnerships. He is an officer and member of the Board of Directors for the development and operating entities for Pan Am Athletes’ Village/Canary District, West Don Lands Purpose-Built Rental Developments, Port Credit West Village Partners, Indigenous Hub and Quickload Logistics. He was also the president of Host Kilmer Service Centres Inc.

Wayne has over 30 years of executive leadership and collaboration experience in the P3, infrastructure, development, real estate, and construction materials industries, serving all levels of government and segments of private industry. He has a strong business operations background and has spent most of his career leading various successful businesses. He has extensive experience in complex P3, corporate/commercial and real estate developments, privatization and design-build projects, mergers and acquisitions, construction law and contract negotiations.

Mr. Carson has a master of laws degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as a bachelor of laws degree and a civil engineering degree from the University of New Brunswick. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and a Registered Professional Engineer in Ontario and New Brunswick.

Principal, Montgomery Sisam Architects

Enda McDonagh

Enda joined Montgomery Sisam in 2010 and was made a principal in 2021. He is a skilled technologist with a broad range of experience in educational and athletic facilities, social and performance spaces, high-end residential, commercial/office, mixed-use and retail buildings. Enda brings a wealth of international building knowledge to our team from his work in firms across Ireland, Australia and the United States.

Enda has served as project manager on a number of notable projects, including the new Durham College Centre for Collaborative Education, Seneca College Magna Hall, the Greenwood College School Addition, the Cayman Islands Long Term Residential Mental Health Facility and the award-winning Southdown Institute redevelopment. He has also managed complex heritage renovations at Martin Luther University College and Phillips House Outpatient Treatment Services Centre.

With keen design sensibilities, technical acuity and strong communication skills, Enda acts as a mentor to junior staff, enhancing professional development within the office.

Building on his passion for energy efficient, highly sustainable architecture, Enda is a Certified Passive House Consultant.

Vice president of power generation, Black & McDonald Limited

Mark Healy

Mark Healy is the regional vice-president of Power Generation at Black & McDonald Limited. Mark has extensive experience in general management, regional leadership, project management, engineering and construction support and client services support in the nuclear, oil and gas and pulp and paper industries. In his current role, Mark applies his extensive experience to oversee the execution of business plans, sales management, marketing, planning, execution and conduct, all while keeping health, safety and environment at the forefront.

Mark holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of New Brunswick, as well as leadership development and financial management training from the Ivey School of Business at Western University. He has sat on many boards throughout his professional career including the Offshore/Onshore Technologies Association of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Offshore Resources Exhibition and School for Children with Learning Disabilities.

Ben Coles, M.Sc.E., MBA, P.Eng., FEC, Fire Protection Engineer

Ben Coles

Ben Coles is the president and a project coordinator at RJ Bartlett Engineering Ltd. in Fredericton, New Brunswick. A consulting engineer who has specialized in fire protection and building code consulting over the last 20 years, he has worked on projects and served clients in all Canadian provinces, several US states and Bermuda.

Ben is a licensed Professional Engineer in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Manitoba and Maine. He graduated as a mechanical engineer in 2003 from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and has also completed his M.Sc.E. in fire protection engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in 2009 and his MBA in engineering management from UNB in 2011.

Ben is a Fellow of Engineers Canada and has participated on a variety of committees with organizations such as the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick, the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies, both provincially and nationally, and recently served as board chair for the YMCA of Fredericton.

Jon Higgins

Jon Higgins has been instrumental in pushing the limits of modular construction in Canada with his work at Stack Modular and Bird Construction. He began his career at Bird in 2009 as a project coordinator, working as an estimator, project manager and construction manager.

Over the years, he has developed an extensive understanding of off-site construction processes and on-site installation that have elevated the company's modular project execution. His portfolio includes $100 million of executed modular projects, including the award-winning Aqsarniit Hotel and Cedar Valley Lodge.

Jon is working to bridge the worlds of construction and modular manufacturing. He also played a crucial role in keeping massive, complex modular projects on track during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating solutions to mitigate risks.

Director of Mass Timber at Bird Construction

Patrick Crabbe

Patrick Crabbe is the Director of Mass Timber at Bird Construction, a publicly traded commercial and industrial conglomerate, recognized as one of the top five General Contractors in Canada. With a dedicated career in developing markets for high-value structural wood products and collaborating with industry stakeholders, Patrick possesses a comprehensive understanding of construction contract methods and supply chain solutions for successfully executing large and complex mass timber building programs.

In addition to his role at Bird Construction, Patrick is also the leader of a $220 million Mass Timber Manufacturing start-up, known as the Mass Timber Company (MTC). Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, MTC is a sawmill-integrated, currently engaged in a $3 million feasibility effort to code-approve proprietary, high-performing mass timber products crafted from undervalued-commodity maritime spruce, pine, and fir (SPF). These innovations are set to expand North American mass timber product capacity and promote sustainable forestry practices. MTC has the potential to add structural systems for over 3,000 units annually by 2027.

Senior Vice President and Area Manager for Atlantic Canada with EllisDon Corporation

Shaun Stiles

Shaun Stiles is Senior Vice President and Area Manager for Atlantic Canada with EllisDon Corporation since 2007. Prior to EllisDon he spent several years with a large US general contractor in the Boston, MA area.

With over 20 years of experience in the construction industry with roles from Project Coordinator to Superintendent to Chief Estimator. Shaun has been involved in some of the largest construction projects in Atlantic Canada under various procurement models such as Design Build, Public Private Partnerships, Design Bid Build and Construction Management. He is well respected in the industry and has proven relationships with sub trades, owners and suppliers across the country.

Shaun is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick Civil Engineering program and well as a Licenced professional engineer and LEED accredited professional.