Professor Mahen Mahendran

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PhD (Monash University), BScEng(Hons.1) (University of Moratuwa)

I am a Professor of Structural Engineering in the School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, engaged in both research and teaching activities.

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS

  • BScEng. First Class Honours, University of Sri Lanka, Moratuwa, 1980                   Awards for the Best Student in Building and Structural Engineering and the Rex Croos Memorial Award for the Best Student in Civil Engineering Construction
  • PhD (Steel Structures), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia 1985  

 PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

  • Fellow, Engineers Australia (FIE Aust.)
  • Chartered Professional Engineer,Australia, CPEng. from 1986
  • Member (from 1986), and QueenslandDiv. Committee Member (from 1994), Australian Steel Institute
  • Member, National Association of Steel Framed Housing (NASH) Standards Committee
  • Member, Standards Australia Committees for Metal Claddings BD-014
  • Member, Standards Australia Committee for Cold-formed Steel Structures BD-082
  • Member, Australasian Association of Engineering Education
  • Member, The International Association for Fire Safety Science
  • Member, The Australasian Wind Engineering Society

RESEARCH GROUP I am the leader of an active research group at QUT:  Wind and Fire Engineering Lab. This group includes:

Senior Researchers

  • Dr Anthony ARIYANAYAGAM, ARC DECRA Fellow and Senior Lecturer
  • Dr Edward STEAU, Research Associate
  • Dr Thananjayan SIVAPRAKASAM, Research Associate

PhD Researchers

  • Rokilan Mahenthirarasa, PhD Researcher
  • Yunxiang (Gary) Tao, PhD Researcher
  • Jashnav Pancheti, PhD Researcher
  • Tung Vy Son, PhD Researcher
  • Indunil Erandi, PhD Researcher
  • Lisa Pieper, PhD Researcher
  • Mithum Peiris, PhD Researcher
  • Tharindu Abeysiriwardena, PhD Researcher
  • Sahani Hendawitharana, PhD Researcher
  • Akshay Mangal Mahar, PhD Researcher
  • Rebecca Zhao, PhD Researcher
  • Gopikrishna Athmarajah, PhD Researcher
  • Alexander Krossa, MPhil Researcher

International Collaboration with:

  • Professor Markus Knobloch, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
  • Associate Professor Herm Hofmeyer, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Professor Arul Jayachandran, IIT Madras, India
  • Associate Professor James Lim, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Associate Professor Hongxia WAN, Wuhan University of Technology, China
  • Dr Keerthan Poologanathan, Northumbria University, UK
  • Dr B. Janarthanan, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka
  • Dr S. Wanniarachchi, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka

Industry Collaboration with:

RESEARCH  FACILITIES We have developed advanced structural, fire and wind testing facilities at QUT, including full scale testing facilities for low-rise buildings under wind loads, air-box facilities to test cladding systems, and fire testing facilities for columns, walls and floors. W e also have advanced high performance computing facilities at QUT.

MY AREAS OF EXPERTISE AND SPECIAL INTEREST

  • Structural Engineering
  • Structural Fire Engineering
  • Structural Wind Engineering
  • Steel Structures : Cold-formed and Thin-walled
  • Steel Portal Frame Buildings
  • Steel Framed Housing
  • Hollow Flange Steel Sections
  • Thin Metal Roof and Wall Cladding Systems
  • Sandwich Panel Cladding Systems
  • Cyclone/storm Resistant Buildings and their Components
  • Fire Safety of Steel Structures
  • Full Scale Behaviour of Buildings under Wind Loads
  • Disaster Resilience, Structural Safety and Hazard Mitigation
  • Innovations in Building Industry
  • Advanced Analysis of Steel Structures
  • Use of Fibre Composites for Retrofitting and Rehabilitation of Structures
  • Greensmart Housing

 RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS

I have published more than 160 journal and 250 conference papers that dealt with both theoretical and applied research topics within my areas of research. Details can be found at: http://eprints.qut.edu.au/view/person/Mahendran,_Mahen.html.

COMPETITIVE RESEARCH GRANTS  More than 30 grants including 14 ARC Linkage and Discovery grants. These projects have been mainly in the areas of thin-walled steel structures, wind engineering and fire safety.

  • ARC Discovery Projects Scheme 2020-2022 Light steel roof and wall systems under combined bushfire actions $278,000
  • ARC Linkage Projects Scheme 2018-2020 Fire resistance of complex light gauge steel framed wall systems; $320,000
  • ARC Discovery Projects Scheme 2016-2019 Enhancing the Fire and Energy Ratings of Cold-formed Steel Frame Wall Systems; $310,000
  • ARC Linkage Grants Scheme 2015-2017  Innovative and safe design solutions for aluminium façade systems; $250,000
  • ARC Linkage Grants Scheme 2013-2016 Understanding the performance of cold-formed steel frame wall systems in fires to design for superior fire resistance $320,000
  • ARC Linkage Grants Scheme 2012-2015  Bearing Capacities of Cold-formed Steel Floor Systems; $235,000
  • ARC Discovery Grants Scheme 2012-2017 A study of pull-through failures of thin steel battens to improve building safety and resilience during extreme wind events, $320,000
  • ARC Discovery Grants Scheme 2009-2011 An Integrated Thermal and Structural Investigation for the Development of Innovative Lightweight Cold-formed Steel Wall and Floor Systems under Fire Conditions; $330,000
  • ARC Linkage Grants Scheme 2006-2009  Structural Behaviour of Innovative LiteSteel Beams, their Design Improvements and Applications, $280,000
  • ARC Discovery Grants 2005-2008 An Investigation into the Behaviour of Light Gauge Steel Structures under Fire Conditions $178,000
  • ARC Linkage Grants 2003 – 2005 Structural Behaviour of Innovative Hollow Flange Steel Members subject to Local and Lateral Distortional Buckling Effects –  $270,000
  • QUT ATN Small Grants 2001 – $12,000 “Local Buckling Behaviour of Cold-formed Steel Structures under Fire.
  • ARC – Australian Postgraduate Award (Industry) 2001-2003 – $84,000 for a Research Project entitled “Development of self-pierced rivet connections” in collaboration with Henrob Pty Ltd.
  • ARC – Australian Postgraduate Award (Industry) 1999-2001 – $84,000 for a Project “Development of a New Cold-formed Steel Building System” in collaboration with Modern Garages Australia Ltd.
  • ARC – Small Grants 2000 – $20,000 “Behaviour and design of lightly profiled sandwich panels subject to flexural wrinkling”
  • ARC – Small Grants 1999 – $17,000 “Local pull-through failures of high tensile steel claddings under wind uplift”
  • ARC – Small Grants 1998 – $15,000 for a Research Project entitled “Strength of screwed connections”
  • Australian Research Council – Australian Postgraduate Award (Industry) 1998-1999 – $54,000 for “Energy and Struct.Efficient Sandwich Panel Systems” in collaboration with James Hardie Building Systems
  • ARC – Small Grants Scheme 1997 – $17,000 for a Project entitled “Local failures in Profiled Steel Claddings”
  • Australian Research Council – Australian Postgraduate Award (Industry) 1997-98 – $54,000 for “Flexural wrinkling of Sandwich Panel Systems” in collaboration with James Hardie Building Systems
  • ARC-Small Grants Scheme 1996 – $17,000 for a Project “Stressed-skin Design of Profiled Steel Claddings”
  • Australian Research Council – Collaborative Grants Scheme 1996-98 – $101,000 for “The Behaviour and Design of the New Hollow Flange Beams” in collaboration with Palmer Tube Mills
  • Australian Research Council – Small Grants Scheme 1995  –  $15,000  for a Research Project entitled “Strength of Screwed Connections in Roof and Wall Cladding Systems under Wind Uplift”
  • Australian Research Council – Small Grants Scheme 1993  –  $12,850  for a Research Project entitled “Local Plastic Mechanisms in Thin-walled Structures under Axial Compression”
  • National Teaching Company Scheme Award 1993-95  –  $100,000 for a two-year Project: “Design Aids for Cold-formed Steel Trusses and Frames”  in collaboration with Textor Metal Industries
  • Australian Research Council – Small Grants Scheme 1992 – $5,800 for a Research Project entitled “Full Scale Tests of Steel Portal Frame Buildings”.  Palmer Tube Mills Pty. Ltd. also supported it.
  • Australian Postgraduate Research Award (Industry) 1991 – 1994  $91,000 for a Research Project entitled “A New Portal Frame Building System using the Recently developed Hollow Flange Beam Sections” in collaboration with Palmer Tube Mills Pty. Ltd.

Higher Degree Research Supervision 1991-2019 (as Principal Supervisor)  Many HDR students have completed their theses under my supervision. There were 37 PhD and 13 ME completions with me as the only principal supervisor (except three).

PhD Theses Completed

  1. Tim Heldt: The Use of Hollow Flange Beams in Steel Portal Frame Buildings, PhD 1997
  2. Phil Avery: Advanced Analysis of Steel Frame Structures Comprising Non-compact Sections PhD 1998
  3. Yaip Telue: Behaviour and Design of Cold-formed Steel Wall Frames lined with Plasterboard PhD 2002
  4. Dhammika Mahaarachchi:  Behaviour and Design of Profiled Steel Cladding Systems Subject to Localised Pull-through Failures, PhD 2003
  5. Narayan Pokharel:  Behaviour and Design of Composite Sandwich Panels subject to Local and Flexural Wrinkling Effects, PhD 2004
  6. Jung Hoon Lee:  Effects of Fire on the Local Buckling Behaviour of Light Gauge Steel Structures, PhD 2004
  7. Mat Humphreys: Structural Behaviour of Monocoque Fibre Composite Trusses, PhD 2004
  8. Zeng Yuan: Advanced Analysis of Steel Frame Structures Subject to Lateral Torsional Buckling Effects, PhD 2004
  9. Greg Darcy:  Behaviour and Design of a New Cold-formed Steel Building System, PhD 2005
  10. Wen-bin Zhao:  Structural Behaviour and Design of a new Cold-formed Steel Compression Member with Torsionally Rigid Flanges, PhD 2006
  11. K.S. Wanniarachchi, Behaviour and Design of a New Cold-formed Steel Beam subject to Local and Lateral Distortional Buckling Effects, PhD 2006
  12. Thanuja Ranawaka, Distortional Buckling Behaviour of Light Gauge Steel Structures under Fire Conditions, PhD March 2007
  13. Than Singh Sharma, Acceptable Use of Vertical Transportation Systems for Evacuation during Fire Emergencies, April 2008
  14. Yasintha Bandula Heva, Behaviour and Design of Cold-formed Steel Compression members at Elevated Temperatures, June 2009
  15. Poologanthan Keerthan, Shear Behaviour and Design of LiteSteel Beams, February 2010
  16. S. Jeyaragan, Flexural Behaviour and Design of the New Built-up LiteSteel Beams, April 2010
  17. Nirosha Dolamune Kankanamge, Structural Behaviour and Design of Cold-formed Steel Beams at Elevated Temperatures, May 2010
  18. Tharmarajah Anapayan, Flexural Behaviour and Design of Hollow Flange Steel Beams, June 2010
  19. Prakash Kolarkar, Structural and Thermal Performance of Cold-formed Steel Stud wall Systems under fire Conditions, May 2011
  20. Shanmuganthan Gunalan, Structural Behaviour and Design of Cold-formed Steel Wall Systems under Fire Conditions, Dec. 2011
  21. Balachandren Baleshan, Numerical and Experimental Studies of Cold-formed Steel Floor Systems under Standard Fire Conditions, March 2012
  22. Anthny Deloge Ariyanayagam,  Fire Performance and Design of Light Gauge Steel Frame Wall Systems Exposed to Realistic Design Fires, July 2013
  23. Kesawan Sivakumar, Fire Performance and Design of Light Gauge Steel Frame Wall Systems Made of Hollow Flange Sections, Nov 2014
  24. Varathananthan Jatheeshan, Numerical and Experimental Studies of Cold-formed Steel Floor Systems Made of Hollow Flange Section Joists in Fire, Nov 2014
  25. Manuvidhya Balarupan, Structural Behaviour and Design of Cold-formed Steel Hollow Section Columns at Elevated Temperatures, November 2015
  26. Mayooran Sivapathasundaram, Localised Pull-through Failures of Thin Steel Roof Battens Subject to Wind Uplift Loads, November 2015
  27. Lavan Sundararajah, Web Crippling Studies of Cold-formed Steel Channel Beams, Experiments, Numerical Analyses and Design Rules, October  2016
  28. Ropalin Siahaan, Structural Behaviour and Design of Rivet fastened Rectangular Hollow Flange Channel Beams, December 2016
  29. Janarthanan Balaubramaniam, Structural Beahaviour and Design of Cold-formed Steel Floor Systems, March 2017
  30. Mohamed Rusthi, Experimental and Finite Element Studies of Light Gauge Steel Frame Wall Systems under Fire Conditions, April 2017
  31. Maneesha DODANGODA, Improving the Fire Resistance of Cold-formed Steel Frame Wall Systems using Enhanced Plasterboards, June 2018
  32. Myuran KATHEKEYAN, Fatigue Performance and Design of Cold-formed Steel Roof Battens Under Cyclic Wind Uplift Loads, June 2018
  33. Nilakshi PERERA, Structural Behaviour and Design of Innovative Hollow Flange Steel Plate Girders, July 2018
  34. Imran AHAMED, Fire Performance and Design of CFRP Strengthened and Insulated Cold-Formed Steel Tubular Columns, October 2018
  35. Yomal Dias, Structural and Fire Behaviour of Gypsum Plasterboard and Steel
    Sheathed LSF Walls,  May 2019
  36. Thananjayan SIVAPRAKASAM, Structural Behaviour and Design of Aluminium Facade Mullions under Wind Actions, June 2019
  37. Edward STEAU, Behaviour of Cold-Formed LSF Floor-Ceiling Systems in Fire, June 2019
  38. Sayilacksha GNANACHELVAM, Fire and Energy Performance of Cold-formed Steel Frame Wall Systems, Jan 2020
  39. Magarabooshanam HARIKRISHNAN, Fire Performance of Complex Light Gauge Steel Framed Wall Systems, March 2020.
  40. Rokilan MAHENTHIRARASA, Cold-formed Steel Compression Members Exposed to Extreme Temperature Environments, April 2021.

MEng Theses Completed  

  1. M. Jeevaharan:  Local Buckling Behaviour and Design of Sandwich Panels, MEng 1996
  2. David Bell: Development of Cold-formed Steel Trusses, MEng 1996
  3. Anca Galatanu:  Behaviour and Design of Hollow Flange Beams in Axial Compression, MEng 1997
  4. Costin Moor:  Three-dimensional Modelling of Steel Portal Frame Buildings, MEng 1997
  5. S. Subaaharan: Improved Modelling and Design of Steel Portal Frame Buildings, MEng 1998
  6. Ruo Biang Tang: Local Failures in Steel Cladding Systems, MEng 1998
  7. Yahya Alsaket:  Benchmark Solutions for Steel Frame Structures, MEng 1999
  8. Duncan McAndrew: Behaviour and Design of Sandwich Panels for Flexural Wrinkling, MEng 1999
  9. David Luxmoore, Evaluation of Greensmart Homes, Under Examination, ME thesis, April 2005
  10. Cyrilus Win Kurniawan, Structural Behaviour of the New LiteSteel Beam Sections, Dec 2007
  11. Leo Gunawan, Development of Numerical Models to Simulate the Thermal Performance of LSF Walls, Oct 2011
  12. Edward Steau, Web Bearing Behaviour and Design of Hollow Flange Beams,  Sept. 2015
  13. Jimmy Kim, Development of Modular Building Systems Made of Innovative Steel Sections and Wall Configurations, November 2018.

RESEARCH QUALITY

Our research in the fields of thin-walled steel structures, cyclone/storm resistant buildings and fire safety is well recognised nationally and internationally as reflected by many awards, invitations to present research papers, seminars and workshops.

RESEARCH AWARDS

  • 2001Excellence Award – Research and Development, The Institution of Engineers, Australia (QLD)
  • 2015 Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Award
  • 2012 Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Award
  • 2011 Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Award
  • 2010 Dean’s Excellence Award for Research Publications 2010
  • 2005 Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering Postgraduate Distinguished Supervisior Award
  • Nominated for Stem Award for Supervisor Pedagogy 2010, 2011
  • One of the Finalists for the  Best Supervisor of the Year Award – QUT 1996, 1999 and 2001

TEACHING AWARDS

  • 2011 Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Award
  • 2008 Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Award
  • 2005 Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award
  • 2002 Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award
  • 2002 Australian Awards for University Teaching – Physical Sciences and Related Studies – One of the Three Finalists
  • 2000 Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering Teaching Excellence Award
  • Nominated for Vice Chancellor’s award for excellence 2009 & 2010
  • One of the six Finalists for the Best Lecturer of the Year Award – QUT 1995

PARTNERSHIP WITH INDUSTRY AND PROFESSION

We have very strong linkages with Australian steel industry and have worked closely with many of them, ex, James Hardie Building Systems, Smorgon Steel, Henrob, BHP & Stramit Industries, OneSteel, Boral & Australian Steel Institute.  This has enhanced the practical relevance of our research.  In addition, these strong relationships have created an environment where industry has adopted and benefited from our research An important contribution to research is the dissemination of new knowledge and awareness of new opportunities and implications of research results.  We have consulted widely, and presented workshops and continuing education courses in Australia & overseas to engineers and manufacturers, newspaper articles and radio and national TV interviews. We have assisted in improving the quality of steel design education for undergraduates and engineers

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

  • CONFERENCE CHAIR for the 5th International Conference on Thin-walled Structures held in Brisbane in 2008, which is one of the most prestigious conferences in this field
  • A REVIEWER for 10 international journals, a Scientific/International Advisory Committee member for over 10 well respected conferences, a PhD examiner for universities in Australia and overseas, and an Assessor for major Australian, UAE, Canadian & Hong Kong research grants
  • Member of Editorial Board of the International Journal of Steel Structures
  • INVITED to assist on postgraduate research projects at:  IIT Madras; Anna University, India; Clemson University, USA; Concordia Univ., Canada; Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands; Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, India; University of Technology Malaysia; City University of Hong Kong

MY ACADEMIC CAREER

Teaching

  1. Assistant Lecturer in Civil Engineering, Universityof Sri Lanka, 1980 – 1981
  2. Tutor in Structural Engineering, Monash University, Australia, 1981 – 1984
  3. Lecturer in Structural Engineering, Swinburne Universityof Technology, Australia, 1985
  4. Lecturer in Structural Engineering, HindustanCollege of Engineering, India, 1986
  5. Lecturer in Structural Engineering, James Cook University, Australia, 1989
  6. Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Associate professor in Civil Engineering (Structures), 1990- June 2002, QUT
  7. Professor of Structural Engineering, QUT July 2002 –

Research

  1. Ph.D. Research Student, MonashUniversity, 1981 – 1984        Thin-walled Steel Box-columns
  2. Research Engineer, James Cook Cyclone Testing Station, Townsville, 1987 – 1990
  3. Principal Supervisor of more than 50 HDR students during 1991-2021

 Academic and Research Leadership and Management

  1. Postgraduate Studies Coordinator,Schoolof Civil Engineering, 1996 – 2002
  2. Course Coordinator – ME (Research) and PhD (Civil Engineering), 1997 – 2002
  3. Course Coordinator – ME (Research) Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering 1997-2006
  4. Director, Physical Infrastructure Centre, QUT, 1997 – 2002
  5. Leader, Building and Infrastructure Systems, Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering 2003 – 2004
  6. Acting Chair, Research Degrees Committee (equivalent to Dean of Graduate Studies), QUT 2003 – 2004
  7. Director, Higher Degree Research, Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering 2005 – 2006
  8. Acting Head of School of Civil Engineering, several short periods during 1997-2004
  9. Acting Head of School of Urban Development, several short periods during 2007-2012

Projects