About Us

Dr. Mohamed Attalla, P.Eng. FCSCE, Assistant Vice President & Chief Facilities Officer
Dr. Mohammed Attalla

Dr. Mohamed Attalla is a Professional Engineer who obtained both a Master’s and a Ph.D. degree in Construction Engineering and Management from the University of Waterloo, Canada.  He Possesses a wide array of professional experiences in areas such as construction management, facilities planning, project management, financial and human resources management, building sustainability, energy management, health & safety and strategic team leadership. Throughout his career, he held different positions leading of up to 500 union and management staff, and oversaw the delivery of different facilities management functions in large portfolio of buildings with an annual value of up to $250 million dollars.

Reporting to the Vice-President (Administration), Dr. Attalla supports and interacts with a diverse group of University executives, deans, chairs and managers to provide a proactive, service-oriented best practices approach to managing the facility and physical plant operations of the University.

Dr. Attalla provides strategic leadership to a team of about 300 staff to ensure the optimum performance of the University’s facility management operations. He is responsible for the strategic planning, financial accountability and human resources management for facilities operation in the areas of Design, Construction, Maintenance, Energy Management and Sustainability, Utility Services, Space Planning and utilization, Custodial Service, Grounds, Parking and Logistics and Mail Services.

He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at University of Waterloo, Ryerson University and McMaster Universities.  He delivers different construction and project management courses, serves on Masters and Ph. D. committees and supervises and co-supervises advanced graduate research.

Dr. Attalla also served in different academic and professional capacities such as the Chair of the Program Advisory Council - Department of Architectural Sciences in Ryerson University, Chair of the Construction Division, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE). He served as a member of the Productivity Advisory Committee for the Canadian Construction Sector Council. He also organized and chaired several international conferences such as the International Speciality Construction Conference (CSCE), 2005, 2011 and 2013. He is also an active member with the Ontario Association for Physical Plant Administrators (OAAPA) and Canadian Association of University Business Officers and a member of its 2013 conference organizing team.

Dr. Attalla published over thirty papers in international journals and international refereed conferences in a wide array of topics including Construction Management, Facilities Condition Assessment, Infrastructure Management and Sustainable Construction and Green Buildings. Furthermore, he contributes as a Peer Reviewer for publications in different technical magazines

He received different awards including Fellow of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and an Award of Excellence from the Ministry of Infrastructure Renewal. He also received the annual Engineering Medal in Management for the Association of Professional Engineers in Ontario, 2011 and the Cost Saving Award from the North York Board of Education.

Business Services

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Shari McHugh, CA, CPA, Senior Manager, Facilities Finance and IT Support
Dr. Mohammed Attalla

Shari joined the university sector at McMaster in August 2006. Shari has held multiple roles at McMaster, initially as a Manager in Internal Audit.  Her responsibilities covered managing process/financial audits and working with the external auditors.  Then she moved into the Senior Accountant/Financial Specialist Role where she was extensively involved in Capital and Research analysis for the University’s external reporting.  It is with this knowledge in Capital that allowed Shari to transition into her current position, leading the Business and Finance team within Facility Services.  Prior to McMaster, Shari spent 5 years in public accounting where she received her public accounting designation in 2005. 
Shari supports facility services in its journey to manage, control and report on its budgets both Capital and Operating in a time of financial pressures, increased accountability and complex reporting requirements.  Shari also provides financial guidance to facility services that ensures compliance to University and departmental policies.

Shari and her team are an integral part of succeeding the Facility Services goal of achieving service excellence delivered within an established budget. 


Design and Construction Services

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Ehab Kamarah, Director, Design and Construction

Ehab Kamarah is a Licensed Professional Engineer with extensive experience in leading major construction projects from inception to completion, through design, procurement, construction, and close out phases to ensure all projects goals are achieved.

Ehab completed B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Ryerson University and M.A.Sc. in Construction Management from University of Waterloo. Ehab has an excellent knowledge of current standards, techniques and tools in planning, budgeting, scheduling, tendering, contract administration, and project management. In his current role as Director of Design and Construction department at McMaster University, Ehab leads a team of Project Directors, Project Managers, and administrative staff to complete major capital and renewal projects.

Ehab exercises strategic and project management expertise in the planning and implementation of campus wide construction projects. He participated in developing McMaster's Project Management Methodology to ensure effective project management techniques and standards are utilized to deliver projects on time and on budget.

The Design and Construction team is responsible for the design, construction and project management for projects on campus and off campus. The team is responsible to deliver all capital construction projects for all faculties and departments of the University on behalf of the Board of Governors. This includes the yearly implementation of the University Capital Plan, the Deferred Maintenance Program, CFI initiatives as well as all building renovations and additions. Duties include implementing all projects using the Project Management Methodology. This manual specifies the planning, budgeting, architect and engineer selection, project design, bidding, and construction management processes. Our team work closely with the Planning & Resources Committee of the Board of Governors to assure that the best possible projects are delivered in terms of functionality, quality, maintainability, and energy & water efficiency. Our mission is to deliver the highest quality projects within budget and on schedule that meet the programmatic requirements of the projects while conforming to all University construction requirements, policies, procedures and all applicable codes and regulations.


Custodial Services

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Carlos Figueira, Director Custodial, Grounds, Logistics and Mail Services
Dr. Mohammed Attalla

Carlos came to McMaster University in 2006 and is our Director of Custodial Services. Over his tenure at McMaster his areas of responsibilities has expanded and is currently responsible for Custodial, Grounds, logistics and Mail Services, Campus Snow Removal and Waste Management.

Prior to coming to McMaster, he has spent over 20 years working in Healthcare and has held leaderships role as Assistant Director of Environmental and Patient Transport Services at the Credit Valley Hospital and Director Environmental and Patient Transport Services at North York General Hospital.

As a member of the leadership team at North York General Hospital and leading his team of Custodians and Patient Transporters during SARS and many other challenging public health related responses.

Facility Services' custodial team is responsible for the scheduled cleaning of classrooms, offices, hallways, entranceways, lounges, washrooms, and laboratories. In addition, a team of custodians is responsible for moving furniture and equipment within buildings and ensuring that setups for special occasions, such as exams and convocation, are implemented. Custodial staff are trained to meet McMaster University cleaning standards and are taught to use correct body mechanics and procedures. Custodians are routinely tested on their skills and inspections are carried out to ensure that staff meet the cleaning requirements that have been set for their area.


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McMaster’s outstanding grounds, situated adjacent to Cootes Paradise wetlands, and the Royal Botanical Gardens in the Niagara Escarpment, is a key factor in attracting students, staff, and visitors to campus. 

Facilities Services' Grounds Department is responsible for providing quality grounds management of approximately 300 acres of campus, including landscape design, turf maintenance, floral displays, forestry, special event set-up, litter control, and winter control operations (see SOP for Campus Snow Removal). Full-time staff, augmented by student gardeners and contracted services perform both ongoing landscape maintenance activities as well as landscape construction projects.  Grounds staff is proud to be honoured with the 2006 President’s Award of Excellence for outstanding service to the University. Click here to view Grounds service level standards.

Sustainability is a focus of management of the campus, with stewardship of natural lands, forest, watershed and the urban landscape of primary concern.  A haven of diverse ecosystems and wildlife, McMaster’s abundant natural lands provide a unique university setting, and opportunity for study.

Public safety is also a primary concern, with attention paid to creating year-round safe, accessible roadways, paths and open spaces for the campus community.

The Campus Master Plan emphasizes the creation of areas of “compelling spaces”, where people work, play, study and relax.  McMaster campus showcases a dynamic blend of vibrant, functional public spaces with many intimate, creative outdoor spaces for people to connect. 

Our grounds are renowned for their excellence in horticultural displays, which is a favorite attribute mentioned by summer conference visitors.  McMaster is truly a year round campus jewel. See our Grounds slideshow here.

Logistics and Mail Services

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Logistics and Mail Services provide support services both on and off campus in the areas of:

  • General Receiving and Shipping of goods and materials
  • Delivery of mail, parcels, Grand&Toy items and Audio Visual equipment
  • Office Moves and Special Event Setups

Click here  to view Logistics Service Levels

Click here to view Mail Services Levels and general information you require in the smooth delivery of your mail or parcel.

Maintenance Services

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Craig MacDonald, B.Sc., B.Eng, Director of Maintenace
Dr. Mohammed Attalla

Craig arrived at McMaster in September 1988, and has never left!  Completing both his B.Sc. and B.Eng. degrees at McMaster, he also completed the Building Maintenance Mechanic certificate program at Mohawk College.  Craig has progressed through various management assignments since being hired in Facility Services in 1993.  He has had responsibility delivering custodial, HVAC, and maintenance services at various points in his tenure, in all campus buildings including the residences.  Craig has been at the helm of the Maintenance division for the past decade. 

In his current role as Director, Craig oversees the delivery of the skilled trade functions on campus which include preventive and breakdown maintenance, small project estimations and renovations, and contracted services for the buildings.  These services are delivered through the centralized trade shops in the Campus Services Building, but also through satellite shops throughout the campus.  Craig's group consists of over 30 skilled trades in several building trades disciplines, and three managers.

The Customer Service function for the department also falls within Craig's portfolio.  The Facility Services Customer Service Centre functions out of the Campus Services Building, and acts as the central contact point for campus stakeholders seeking general information and service from the department.   The Service Centre also acts as the central payroll point for the department.  Three full-time Service Clerks and a manager operate the Centre under Craig's direction.
Craig actively monitors the 'health' of the campus buildings through condition assessments and updates the Asset Management Plan, the key planning tool for the University's deferred maintenance.  Craig is also responsible for the prioritization of the annual program of deferred maintenance projects for the campus.

Craig also supports the department as the Management Co-Chair on the Campus Services Joint Health and Safety Committee, is an active member on both the Central JHSC and the Risk Management Support Group.  He is also the qualified First-Aider for the Campus Services Building.

Maintenance Services:

Facility Services' trades staff are responsible for a wide variety of specialized functions, including carpentry, painting, locksmithing, electrical, and millwrighting. Trades staff meet the provincial standards required for their field of work and periodically attend health and safety training seminars to refresh their skills for prevention of health and safety risks. All University facilities are covered by a computer-based Preventive Maintenance program, under which facility components, equipment, and systems are inspected, tested, and serviced on a scheduled basis. Periodic tests of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems (HVAC), elevators, fire protection systems, boilers and pressure vessels, are performed in accordance with applicable codes and regulations to ensure good condition with minimal interruption in service. Deferred maintenance is defined as maintenance that could not be performed when determined by routine inspections, user complaints or outright service disruptions. Facility Services keeps a database of these requests and sets priorities for the work based upon asset risk modelling. As funding becomes available the work is completed.

Utilities Services

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Joe Emberson, Director of Energy Management and Utilities
Dr. Mohammed Attalla

Joe Emberson began his career at McMaster in 1996 as the Chief operating Engineer and now works as the Director of Energy Management and Utilities at McMaster University’s Facility Services.

In this role, he is responsible for monitoring energy consumption from the central plant to its end use, as well as measuring and monitoring other utilities on campus.

Joe manages a staff of sixteen trades, stationary engineers, building automation technicians and the Manager of Energy and Sustainability Engineer, who all work to manage the operation of the central plant and the distribution of all utilities on campus.

Joe has thirty one years of experience in managing utilities in the institutional sector. 

All building heating and cooling systems and services are provided by Utilities Services. The utilities include steam, heating hot water, chilled water, distilled water, air conditioning, electrical, sewer, gas and compressed air. Steam and chilled water produced at the central utilities plant are provided to most buildings, including the McMaster University Medical Centre. Domestic hot water is produced in all buildings by utilizing steam heat exchangers. Electric power is purchased from Horizon Utilities directly from the Ontario Hydro grid and distributed throughout the University by way of a University-owned hydro substation and overhead and underground distribution system. Domestic water and sewer services are provided by the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth. Localized campus service is provided through University water distribution and sewage collection systems. To maintain the integrity of McMaster's utilities systems, including distribution and internal building systems, alterations or connections can only be made by Facility Services employees or by contractors authorized under the direction of Facility Services. McMaster has an energy management program that includes long-range energy use goals, temperature and lighting standards, and a facilities improvement program to modify buildings and utilities systems to improve energy efficiency. Building occupants are encouraged to participate in the program by turning off lights and electrical equipment such as computers, when not in use.

Parking Services

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Terry Sullivan, Director, Security and Parking Services
Dr. Mohammed Attalla

Terry came to McMaster University in 2005 after retiring with 36 years of service, from the Hamilton Police Service.  He worked in many areas of operations and administration within the police department and was a Divisional Superintendent on his retirement.  Terry was awarded the 20 and 30 year Exemplary Police Service Medal by the Governor General as well as receiving the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.

As the Director of Security and Parking Services many organization changes have occurred.  Parking Automation was introduced which moved McMaster from a Kiosk based system to one of the best parking automated systems in Canadian Universities. This is reflected in improved customer service and increased revenue which has funded major infrastructure improvements in sidewalks and roads.  Security Services have seen the introduction of a new campus wide communications system, improved emergency phones, and a new integrated communications command centre. 

Campus safety has also been improved by the installation of emergency sirens, emergency notifications through cell phones, television monitors in key building areas and providing locks to classroom doors.

Terry is the president of the Ontario Association of Colleges and Universities Security Administrators and is a member of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Association.