Coastal and River Engineering Facilities

National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Addresses engineering challenges in rivers, lakes and marine environments using physical model test facilities, numerical modelling tools and field trials.

Areas of expertise

Our comprehensive test facilities located in Ottawa address our clients’ needs by providing solutions to complex problems involving marine vessels, structures, and environments. Building on our competencies of physical and numerical modelling in harsh environments characterized by wind, waves, and ice, our team of over 90 professionals has extensive experience in advanced engineering to meet the challenges of climate change, and protect infrastructure, property and people from severe weather events and other environmental risks.

Our products and services give Canadian industry an international market advantage by reducing risk and improving the longevity and performance of marine based assets. In addition, our business professionals understand how to navigate and work with other government and industry regulations.

The National Research Council Canada (NRC) also offers complementary Ocean Technology Modeling Facilities, located in St. John’s.

Research services

Our technical, advisory and collaboration services include: 

  • Marine performance, evaluation and optimization services, including ocean energy technologies, wave and turbulence modelling, operability, sea-keeping, resistance and propulsion, ship model correlation, full scale trials;
  • Ice technologies and services including data mining, field work, and numerical models;
  • Water resources services including hydrological modelling, hydraulic and hydrodynamic modelling, water quality modelling, hydro energy resource assessment, environmental decision support systems and water resources data integration.
Sectors of application
  • Defence and security industries
  • Ocean industries
  • Professional and technical services (including legal services, architecture, engineering)
  • Transportation
Equipment Function
Multidirectional Wave Basin Used to assess the performance of fixed/floating marine structures in a wide range of wave, current and wind conditions
Large Area Basin Ideal for conducting large three-dimensional physical model studies of hydrodynamics in coastal waters and ports
Coastal Wave Basin Ideal for conducting two and three-dimensional model studies of wave and current interactions with structures
Design and Fabrication Facilities for Models Used to design and fabricate smaller scale models used in facility testing


  • Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador (PRNL)
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Equinor Canada
  • Royal Canadian Navy (RCN)
  • Canadian Coast Guard (CCG)
  • Department of National Defense (DND)
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Transport Canada
  • Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC)
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN)
  • University of Ottawa
  • Baird & Associates
  • United States Coast Guard (USCG)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Technip Canada Limited
  • ARUP Group Limited