Neil Hoult

Associate Professor

Office: Ellis-251 C

Queen's University
Kingston, ON K7L 3N6
Tel: (613) 533-3436
Fax: (613) 533-2128

Professor Hoult graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science in 1999 from the University of Toronto. He did his master's research on the effect of confinement on reinforced concrete columns and graduated with a Master's of Applied Science in 2001 also from the University of Toronto.

He then spent a year working as a structural designer for Halsall Associates where he worked on a number of projects involving steel, concrete and masonry design.

He then travelled across the pond to conduct doctoral research under the supervision of Dr. Janet Lees at the University of Cambridge. He matriculated (it's a word, look it up) at Peterhouse in 2002. His research investigated the use of a carbon fibre reinforced strap system for enhancing the shear capacity of reinforced concrete beams (see Dr. Hoult's Publications for further details). He received his PhD in May 2006.

Dr. Hoult went back to work for Halsall Associates where he spent another year as a structural designer. He then crossed the pond for a second time and spent three happy years as a Research Associate under the supervision of Prof. Campbell Middleton. During this time he developed his interest in structural health monitoring using wireless sensor networks and fibre optic sensors.

Dr. Hoult came to Queen's in September 2009 where he has continued his research into structural monitoring among other things (see his research page). He is also the faculty advisor to the Conrete Toboggan Team and the Bridge Building Team as well as a reviewer for a number of international journals among other things.


2006 Ph.D., Engineering, 2006
University of Cambridge, UK
2001 MASc, Structural Engineering, 2001
University of Toronto, Canada
1999 BASc, Civil Engineering, 1999
University of Toronto, Canada


Professor Hoult will be teaching CIVL 231(Solid Mechanics II) and CIVL 431 (Infrastructure Rehabilitation) in the Winter term. CIVL 231 builds upon fundamental courses in mechanics and deals with concepts such as Mohr's circle and virtual work. CIVL 431 investigates the reasons for rehabilitation including increased demand, deterioration and extreme events as well as potential techniques for rehabilitation such as retrofitting and monitoring.

Professor Hoult teaches two graduate courses in alternating years: CIVL 831 (Assessment and Monitoring of Infrastructure) and CIVL 835 (Assessment and Monitoring of Infrastructure).

2016 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Invitation Fellowship
2016 August-Wilhelm Scheer Visiting Professor, TUM Munich
2016 Honourable Mention, Thomas C. Keefer Medal, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering
2015 Overseas Visiting Scholarship – St John’s College Cambridge
2014 Teaching Award, Department of Civil Engineering, Queen’s University
2014 Early Researcher Award (Ontario)
2011 Golden Apple Award, Engineering Society, Queen’s University
2011 Teaching Award, Department of Civil Engineering, Queen’s University
2010 Telford Gold Medal, Institution of Civil Engineers

Journal Papers (Published):

Davis M, Hoult N, Scott A. (2016). Distributed Strain Sensing to Determine the Impact of Corrosion on Bond Performance in Reinforced Concrete. Construction & Building Materials, 114, 481-491.

Hoult N, Dutton M, Hoag A, Take WA. (2016). Measuring Crack Movement in Reinforced Concrete using Digital Image Correlation. Proceedings of IEEE, 10.1109/JPROC.2016.2535157. 

Wheeler L, Take WA and Hoult NA. (2016). Measurement of rail deflection on soft subgrades using DIC. Proceedings of ICE Geotechnical Engineering, 10.1680/jgeen.15.00171.

Bentz E and Hoult N. (2016). Bridge Model Updating using Distributed Sensor Data. Proceedings of ICE Bridge Engineering, 10.1680/jbren.15.00030.

Michaud K, Hoult NA, Lotfy A and Lum P. (2016). Performance in shear of reinforced concrete slabs containing recycled concrete aggregate. Materials and Structures, 10.1617/s11527-016-0798-4.

MacDougall K, Hoult N, Moore I. (2016). Measured Load Capacity of Buried Reinforced Concrete Pipes. ACI Structural Journal, 113(1): 63-73.

Simpson B, Moore I, Hoult N. (2015). Experimental Investigation of Rehabilitated Steel Culvert Performance under Static Surface Loading. ASCE J. of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering: 04015076: 1-12.

DeRosa D, Hoult N, Green M. (2015). Effects of varying temperature on the performance of reinforced concrete. Materials and Structures. 48(1109-1123): 1-15.

Smith T, Hoult N, Moore I. (2015). Role of Grout Strength and Liners on the Performance of Slip-lined Pipes. ASCE J. of Pipeline Sys. - Engineering and Practice, 6(4): 04015007.

Murray C, Take W, Hoult N. (2015). Measurement of Vertical and Longitudinal Rail Displacements using Digital Image Correlation. Canadian Geotechnical J. 52(2): 141-155.

Simpson B, Hoult N, Moore I. (2015). Distributed Sensing of Circumferential Strain using Fiber Optics during Full-scale Buried Pipe Experiments. ASCE J. of Pipeline Systems - Engineering and Practice, 6(4): 04015002.

Murray C, Hoag A, Hoult N and Take W. (2015). Field Monitoring of a Bridge using Digital Image Correlation. ICE J. of Bridge Engineering. 168(1): 3-12.

Regier R, Hoult N. (2014). Distributed Strain Behavior of a Reinforced Concrete Bridge: a Case Study. ASCE J. of Bridge Engineering. 19(12): 05014007.

Hoult N, Ekim O, Regier R. (2014). Deterioration Detection for Steel Structures using Distributed Fiber Optic Strain Sensors. ASCE J. of Engineering Mech. 140(12): 04014097.

Regier R, Hoult N. (2014). Concrete Deterioration Detection using Distributed Sensors. ICE Structures and Buildings. 168(2): 118-126.

Mai V, Moore I, Hoult N. (2014). Performance of two-dimensional analysis: Deteriorated metal culverts under surface live load. Tunnelling & Underground Space Tech. 42: 152-160.

Dutton M, Take W, Hoult, N. (2014). Curvature Monitoring of Beams Using Digital Image Correlation. ASCE J. Bridge Engineering. 19(3): 05013001.

Mai V, Hoult N, Moore I. (2014). Effect of Deterioration on the Performance of Corrugated Steel Culverts. ASCE J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng. 140(2): 04013007.

Hoult N, Take W, Lee C, Dutton M. (2013). Experimental Accuracy of Two Dimensional Strain Measurements using Digital Image Correlation. Engineering Structures. 46: 718-726.

Lee C, Take W, Hoult N. (2012). Optimum Accuracy of Two-Dimensional Strain Measurements Using Digital Image Correlation. ASCE J. Comp. Civil Eng. 26(6): 795-803.

Roberts E, Lees J, Hoult N. (2012). Flexural Fatigue Performance of CFRP Prestressed Concrete Poles. Advances in Structural Engineering. 15(4): 575-588.

Hoult N, Lees J. (2011). Time-dependent behaviour of RC beams retrofitted with CFRP straps. ASCE J. of Composites for Construction. 15(1): 75-84.

Stajano F, Hoult N, Wassell I, Bennett P, Middleton C, Soga K. (2010). Smart Bridges, Smart Tunnels: Transforming Wireless Sensor Networks from Research Prototypes into Robust Engineering Infrastructure. Ad Hoc Networks. 8(8): 872-888.

Whelan M, Gangone M, Janoyan K, Hoult N, Middleton C, Soga K. (2010). Wireless Operational Modal Analysis of a Multi-Span Prestressed Concrete Bridge for Structural Identification. International J. of Smart Structures and Systems. 6(5-6): 579-593.

Hoult N, Fidler P, Hill P, Middleton C. (2010). Long-term Wireless Structural Health Monitoring of the Ferriby Road Bridge. ASCE J. of Bridge Engineering. 15(2): 153-159.

Hoult N, Fidler P, Hill P, Middleton C. (2010). Wireless Structural Health Monitoring of Bridges: Present and Future. International J. of Smart Structures & Systems. 6(3): 277-290.

Hoult N, Lees J. (2009). Modelling of an Unbonded CFRP Strap Shear Retrofitting System for RC Beams. ASCE J. of Composites for Construction. 13(4): 292-301.

Hoult N, Bennett P, Stoianov I, Fidler P, Maksimovíc C, Middleton C, Graham N, Soga K. (2009). Wireless Sensor Networks: creating ‘Smart Infrastructure’. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Civil Engineering. 162(3): 136-143.

Hoult N, Lees J. (2009). Efficient CFRP Strap Configurations for the Shear Strengthening of Reinforced Concrete T-Beams. ASCE J. of Composites for Construction. 13(1): 45-52.

Hoult, Sherwood, Bentz and Collins. (2008). “Does the Use of FRP Reinforcement Change the One-Way Shear Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Slabs?” ASCE J. of Composites for Construction, 12(2): 125-133.

Book Chapters:

Hoult N, Soga K. (2014). Sensing solutions for assessing and monitoring tunnels. Wang M, Lynch J, Sohn H. Sensor technologies for civil infrastructures. 1(2): 309-346. 

Conference Papers:

Hoag A, Hoult N, Take A, Le H. (2015). Monitoring of Rail Bridge Displacements using Digital Image Correlation. International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, United States.

Brault A, Hoult N et al. (2015). Field Monitoring of Reinforced Concrete Closure Strip Behavior with Wireless Sensors. International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, United States.

Brault A, Hoult N, Lees J. (2015). Development of a Relationship between External Measurements and Reinforcement Stress. Proc. of SPIE Vol. 9435. Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2015, San Diego, United States, 943519-1 - 943519-11.

Michaud K, Hoult N, Lotfy A, Lum P. (2015). Environmental Impact of Concrete Containing RCA And PLC. Proceedings of International Concrete Sustainability Conference, Miami, United States.

MacDougall K, Moore I, Hoult N. (2014). Assessing the design of reinforced concrete pipes. CSCE General Conference. CSCE General Conference, Halifax, Canada.

Regier R, Hoult N. (2014). Distributed strain monitoring for bridges: temperature effects. Smart Structures and Materials+ Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring, San Diego, United States.

Hoult N, Bao X, Bentz E, Collins M, Green M, Take W. (2013). Sensing and Analysis Techniques for Assessing Concrete Bridges. Structural Heath Monitoring for Infrastructure Sustainability 6, Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Murray C, Take W, Hoult N. (2013). The development of dynamic PIV for the assessment and quantification of railway foundation conditions. GeoMontreal. GeoMontreal, Montreal, Canada.

DeRosa D, Green M, Hoult N, Take W. (2013). Comparison of fibre optic sensors and digital image correlation for strain measurement in reinforced concrete beams. SMAR 2013, Istanbul, Turkey.

Scully K, Hoag A, Hoult N, Take W. (2013). Dynamic Strain Measurements Using Digital Image Correlation. 9th International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring. 9th International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, Stanford, United States.

Mai V, Moore I, Hoult N. (2013). Strength of Deteriorated Metal Culverts. International No-Dig. International No-Dig, Sydney, Australia.

Simpson B, Moore I, Hoult N. (2013). Experimental Investigation of a Rehabilitated Corrugated Metal Culvert under Surface Loading. NASTT No-Dig Show 2013, Sacramento, United States.

Regier R, Hoult N. (2012). Reinforced Concrete Beams Analyzed with Rayleigh Fibre Optic Strain Sensing. Proc. of NDE-NDT for Highways and Bridges: Struct. Materials, New York, United States.

Hoult N, Lees J. (2012). Long-term Tests on CFRP Shear Retrofitted Beams: Ultimate Capacity. Proc. of Adavanced Composite Materials for Bridges and Structures VI, Kingston, Canada.

Mai V, Hoult N, Moore I. (2012). Assessment of Corroded Corrugated Steel Culverts Using Field Data. NASTT No-Dig Show 2012. NASTT No-Dig Show 2012, Nashville, United States.

Mai V, Hoult N, Moore I. (2012). Use of CANDE and Design Codes to Assess Stability of Deteriorated Metal Culverts. Transportation Research Board 91st Annual Meeting. Transportation Research Board 91st Annual Meeting, Washington, United States.

Dutton M, Take W, Hoult N. (2011). Effect of imaging distance on image texture of sand in PIV analysis. Proc. of the 2011 Pan-Am CGS Geotechnical Conference. 2011 Pan-Am CGS Geotechnical Conference, Toronto, Canada.

Dutton M, Hoult N, Take W. (2011). Towards a Digital Image Correlation based Strain Sensor. Proc. of the International Workshop on SHM. International Workshop on SHM, Stanford, United States.

Hada A, Soga K, Middleton C, Hoult N, Fidler P, Bennett P, Leung K, Bachir A. (2011). Condition Monitoring System for Railway Structures in Hammersmith. Proc. of the 9th World Congress on Railway Research, Lille, France.

Hoult N, Fidler P, Bennett P, Middleton C, Pottle S, Duguid K, Bessant G, McKoy R, Soga K. (2010). Large-scale WSN Installation for Pervasive Monitoring of Civil Infrastructure in London. Proc. of European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring –V, Sorrento, Italy.

Leung Y, Hoult N, Klar A, Soga K. (2010). Coupled Foundation-Superstructure Analysis and Influence of Building Stiffness on Foundation Response. Proc. of the 2010 GeoShanghai International Conference, Shanghai, China.

Bennett P, Kobayashi Y, Hoult N, Fidler P, Soga K. (2009). Wireless Sensor Networks for Underground Railway Applications: The Light at the End of the Tunnel? Proc. of 7th International Workshop on SHM, Stanford, United States.

Hoult N, Bennett P, Soga K, Middleton C. (2009). Smart Infrastructure: Pervasive WSNs for a more Sustainable Europe. Proc. of the 4th International Conference on SHM of Intelligent Infrastructure, Zurich, Switzerland.

Hoult N, Bennett P, Soga K, Middleton C. (2009). Distributed Fibre Optic Strain Measurements for Pervasive Monitoring of Civil Infrastructure. Proc. of the 4th International Conference on SHM of Intelligent Infrastructure, Zurich, Switzerland.

Hoult N, Bennett P, Wassell I, Wu Y, Soga K, Middleton C. (2009). Challenges in Wireless Sensor Network Installation: Radio Wave Propagation. Proc. of the 4th International Conference on Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrast., Zurich, Switzerland.

Roberts E, Lees J, Hoult N. (2009). Fatigue Performance of CFRP Prestressed Concrete Lighting Poles. Proc. of FRPRCS-9, Sydney, Australia.

Hoult N, Fidler P, Middleton C. (2009). Wireless Structural Health Monitoring of Bridges: Current Challenges and Future Innovations. Proc. of the 7th AustRoads Bridge Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.

Hoult and Lees. (2008). Comparison of Finite Element Approaches for Modeling Unbonded FRP Shear Reinforcement. ACMBS-V, Winnipeg, Canada, 22 -24 September, 2008, 10 pp.

Hoult, Fidler, Middleton and Hill. (2008). Turning the Humber Bridge into a smart structure. IABMAS ’08, Seoul, Korea, 13 – 17 July, 2008, pp 1402-1409. (EPSRC)

Hoult and Lees. (2007). Approaches to Modeling an Unbonded CFRP Strap Shear Strengthening System for RC Beams. FRPRCS-8, Patras, Greece, 16 – 18 July, 2007, 10pp.

Hoult and Lees. (2005). Long-term Performance of a CFRP Strap Shear Retrofitting System. ACI Special Publication No. 230: FRPRCS-7, Kansas City, 6 – 10 November, 685-704.

Hoult, and Lees. (2004). Shear Retrofitting of Reinforced Concrete Beams Using CFRP Straps. Proceedings of ACMBS-IV, Calgary, 20 – 23 July, 2004, 8pp.

Professor Hoult's research interests include testing and modeling of reinforced concrete, deteriorated infrastructure performance, buried infrastructure, and structural monitoring. One of the challenges faced by society as a whole is how to use resources more efficiently and effectively. Reducing CO2 production is an important aspect of this challenge and as structural engineers our goal should be to optimize the use of these precious resources including reducing CO2 production. Dr. Hoult's research investigates the behaviour of complex structural systems so that new structures can be designed more efficiently and existing structures can be assessed more accurately.

Testing and Modeling of Reinforced Concrete

Research in this area includes the behaviour of shear critical structures, buried reinforced concrete pipes and the use of recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) for structural applications. By combining new sensor technoligies such as distributed fibre optic strain sensors and digital image correlation with full-scale experiments, research students working in this area are helping to develop a better understanding of how new and existing reinforced concrete infrastructure behave. 

Deteriorated Infrastructure Performance

Research in this area includes the behaviour of corroded reinforced concrete structures, corroded steel pipes, corroded steel members, and cast iron pipes. One of the most significant questions facing engineers today is "how much deterioration is too much deterioration?" This is not an easy question to answer as most structures are complex and highly redundant systems (there are a number of ways for a load applied to a structure to get to the ground).  Research students working is this area develop techniques for creating controlled yet realistic deterioration and testing these deteriorated structures to failure to determine what is too much deterioration.

Buried Infrastructure

Dr. Hoult works closely with colleague Dr. Ian Moore in this area to better understand the performance of both new and deteriorated buried infrastructure assets such as steel culverts and reinforced concrete pipes. Large-scale experiments are conducted using the unique Buried Infrastructure Lab, which enables the testing of pipes under shallow burial conditions while being subjected to additional surface loading. Here again, the use of cutting edge sensor technologies allows an understanding of pipe behaviour that is only possible due to the facilities available at Queen's.

Structural Monitoring

Dr. Hoult's research group takes advantage of cutting edge structural monitoring technologies in almost every research project. However, some projects focus on monitoring to help assist in the assessment of new and existing infrastructure assets. With recent advances in wireless sensor networks (WSNs), fibre optic sensing, and digital image correlation (where Hoult collaborates with colloeague Dr. Andy Take), monitoring technologies offer the opportunity to enable pervasive monitoring. These systems could give engineers the data required to both keep existing structures in service longer and to optimize the design of new structures. Dr. Hoult's research in this area investigates the use of WSNs for long-term monitoring of existing structures as well as the development of new sensors and analysis techniques. The use of fibre optic sensors to determine distributed strain profiles and overall structural performance is another area of ongoing interest.

Ongoing and Potential Projects

Please feel free to contact Dr. Hoult about potential projects in each research area.


Name: Jake Tetreault
Hometown: Kingston, ON
Education: B.Sc. (Eng) Civil Engineering, Queen's University (2014)
Co-supervisor: Dr. Ian D. Moore (Queen's University)

M.A.Sc. Research: Jake is undertaking full-scale laboratory experiments to understand the performance of rehabilitated metal culverts. Experiments include: the rehabilitation of two circular corrugated metal culverts using grouted sliplining methods, and the rehabilitation of a horizontal ellipse corrugated metal culvert using a paved invert method.

Dong Wang

Name: Dong (Joe) Wang
Hometown: Yangzhou, China
Education: B.Eng. Civil Engineering, South China University of Technology (2015)
Co-supervisor: Dr. Ian D. Moore (Queen's University)

M.A.Sc. research: Joe’s research is focused on non-destructive testing (NDT) for buried pipes. He uses total station and LiDAR systems to monitor pavements to infer the effect of frost-induced differential ground movement on small diameter cast iron water pipes. He will also be investigating methods to detect erosion voids next to culverts.

Titilope Adebola

Name: Titilope Adebola
Hometown: Kogi, Nigeria
Education: M.Sc. Materials Science and Engineering, African University of Science and Technology, Nigeria (2013); B.Sc. Petroleum Chemistry, American University of Nigeria (2011)
Co-supervisor: Dr. Ian D. Moore (Queen's University)

Ph.D research: Titi is investigating the long-term properties of a Cast-In-Place polymer composite liner used in water pipe rehabilitation. Experiment that she carries out will make it possible to relate the long-term properties to the key limit states experienced by the liner in-service and thereby develop QA/QC procedures.


Name: Jiachen (Joanna) Zhang
Hometown: Hangzhou, China
Education: B.Sc.(Eng) Civil Engineering, Queen's University (2015)

M.A.Sc. research: Joanna’s research aims to use distributed fiber optic strain sensors for structural health monitoring of the shear behaviour of reinforced concrete structures.


Name: Kyle Van Der Kooi
Hometown: St. Catharines, Ontario
Education: B.Sc.(Eng) Civil Engineering, Queen's University (2015)

Research: Kyle is investigating the behaviour of steel truss railway bridges and the feasibility of monitoring these structures through the use of distributed fiber optic sensors.


Name: Andre Brault
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Education: B.Sc. (Eng) Civil Engineering, Queen's University (2014)

Ph.D. Research: Andre's research focuses on the use of distributed fibre optic sensors for the purposes of structural optimization and structural health monitoring. His research involves the testing of new reinforced concrete structures in the field, the testing of several different reinforced concrete specimens in the laboratory, and the modeling of complex reinforced concrete building behaviour.


Name: Eric Pannese
Hometown: Milford, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
Education: B.Sc. (Eng) Civil Engineering, Queen’s University (2016)
Co-supervisor: Dr. W.Andy Take (Queen's University)

Research description: Eric is using dynamic distributed fibre optic strain sensing technology to monitor vertical railway track displacements in the field. The goal of this research is to expand upon our current knowledge of railway track behaviour when subjected to train loading in order to promote track maintenance strategies that minimize the risk of derailments.

Van Thien Mai

Name: Van Thien Mai
Hometown: Hochiminh City, Vietnam
Education: B.Eng. Civil Engineering, Ryerson University (2010), M.A.Sc Civil Engineering, Queen's University (2013)
Co-supervisor: Dr. Ian D. Moore (Queen's University)

Research description: Van performs small scale experiments, large scale experiment and numerical analysis to study the effect of erosion voids on the stability of deteriorated metal culvert. The objectives of his research are (i) to understand how erosion voids develop beside deteriorated metal culverts, (ii) to study the impact of unrepaired and repaired erosion voids on the stability of deteriorated metal culverts using large scale experiments, and (iii) to develop guidelines for culvert assessments.

Lisa Wheeler

Name: Lisa Wheeler
Hometown: Leduc, AB
Education: BSc Civil Engineering from the University of Alberta (2009)
Co-supervisor: Dr. Andy Take (Queen's University)

Research description: Lisa is measuring rail, sleeper, and ballast displacements using Digital Image Correlation in order to calculate track modulus before and after railway subgrade remediation as well as using distributed dynamic fiber optic sensing to measure rail strains and study the effect of gaps on the distribution of loading from the rail to the sleepers.

Lisa Wheeler

Name: Jane M. Peter
Hometown: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Education: B. Eng (Hons.) Civil Engineering, Heriot-Watt University (2013)
Co-supervisor: Dr. Ian D. Moore, Queen’s University (2013 - present)

Ph.D. research: Jane specializes in the response culverts in the presence of erosion voids to surface live loads using full-scale experiments. The objectives of her research include (i) replicating the effects of an erosion void adjacent to flexible and rigid pipes and exploring the responses under the action of unfactored and fully-factored vehicle loads, (ii) discerning the extent to which grouting (repairing) the erosion void restores the behaviour of the deteriorated system to the pre-void condition, (iii) testing the repaired culvert up to its ultimate limit state and establishing the failure mechanism, and (iv) investigate changes in the bending moment distribution due to voids of different sizes.