Professor Nelson Lam

  • Room: Level: 02 Room: B205a
  • Building: Engineering Block B
  • Campus: Parkville

Research interests

  • Performance modelling of infrastructure in extreme events (seismic impact collision)


Nelson Lam is Professor in Department of Infrastructure Engineering at The University of Melbourne. He has 35 years of experience in structural engineering, and has been working in the specialized field of earthquake engineering, impact dynamics and structural dynamics. He is member of the standing committee for future revisions to the Australian standard for seismic actions; member of the four experts panel commissioned to give advice over the drafting of the National Annex to Eurocode 8 on the seismic design of building structures for Malaysia, and also member of the Seismic and Dynamic Events Panel commissioned by the London Headquarter of The Institution of Structural Engineers. His achievement in research in this field was recognized by the award of the Chapman Medal (1999) and Warren Medal (2006) by Engineers Australia; the Best Paper Award (2004-2007) by the ISET Journal of Earthquake Technology; and Chapman Medal for the second time in 2010. He is also recipient of Award for Teaching Excellence given out by Engineers Australia in 2012 and Academic Staff Teaching Award by Melbourne School of Engineering in 2013. His early career as structural engineer was with Scott Wilson International throughout the 1980’s and attained British chartered engineer status during that period. He was awarded the degree of BSc in civil engineering with first class honours at the University of Leeds, England in 1981, MSc degree in concrete structures at Imperial College of Science & Technology, London in 1982 and PhD in earthquake engineering at the University of Melbourne in 1993.

Recent publications

  1. Pathirana M, Lam N, Perera S, Zhang L, Gad E, Aye L. High strength structural glass for walk-on photovoltaic modules. Proceedings of Zero Energy Mass Custom Home 2018. 2018.
  2. Tsang H-H, Wilson JL, Lam N. A refined design spectrum model for regions of lower seismicity. AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING. Institution of Engineers Australia. 2017, Vol. 18, Issue 1. DOI: 10.1080/13287982.2017.1297529
  3. Yacoubian M, Lam N, Lumantarna E, Wilson JL. Analytical modelling of podium interference on tower walls in buildings. Australian Journal of Structural Engineering. Institution of Engineers Australia. 2017. DOI: 10.1080/13287982.2017.1396870
  4. Tsang HH, Lumantarna E, Lam N, Wilson JL, Gad E. Annualised collapse risk of soft-storey building with precast RC columns in Australia. 24th Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials (ACMSM). 2017.
  5. Sun J, Lam N, Zhang L, Ruan D, Gad E. Computer Simulation of Contact Forces Generated by Impact. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STRUCTURAL STABILITY AND DYNAMICS. World Scientific Publishing Co. 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 1. DOI: 10.1142/S0219455417500055
  6. Pathirana M, Lam N, Perera S, Zhang L, Ruan D, Gad E. Damage modelling of aluminium panels impacted by windborne debris. JOURNAL OF WIND ENGINEERING AND INDUSTRIAL AERODYNAMICS. Elsevier. 2017, Vol. 165. DOI: 10.1016/j.jweia.2017.02.014
  7. Yacoubian M, Lam N, Lumantarna E, Wilson JL. Effects of podium interference on shear force distributions in tower walls supporting tall buildings. 2016 Australasian Structural Engineers Conference (ASEC). Elsevier Science. 2017, Vol. 148. DOI: 10.1016/j.engstruct.2017.06.075
  8. Perera S, Lam N, Pathirana M, Zhang L, Ruan D, Gad E. Probabilistic modelling of forces of hail. Natural Hazards. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2017. DOI: 10.1007/s11069-017-3117-7
  9. Pathirana M, Lam N, Perera S, Zhang L, Ruan D, Gad E. Risks of failure of annealed glass panels subject to point contact actions. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOLIDS AND STRUCTURES. Pergamon. 2017, Vol. 129. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2017.09.001
  10. Al Abadi H, Paton-Cole V, Gad E, Lam N, Patel V. Rocking Behavior of Irregular Free-Standing Objects Subjected to Earthquake Motion. Journal of Earthquake Engineering. Imperial College Press. 2017. DOI: 10.1080/13632469.2017.1342305
  11. Shahi R, Lam N, Gad E, Wilson J, Watson K. Seismic assessment of cold-formed steel stud bracing wall panels using direct displacement based design approach. BULLETIN OF EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING. Springer. 2017, Vol. 15, Issue 3. DOI: 10.1007/s10518-016-9980-x
  12. Shahi R, Lam N, Gad E, Wilson J, Watson K. Seismic Performance Behavior of Cold-Formed Steel Wall Panels by Quasi-static Tests and Incremental Dynamic Analyses. JOURNAL OF EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING. Imperial College Press. 2017, Vol. 21, Issue 3. DOI: 10.1080/13632469.2016.1160007
  13. Mehdipanah A, Lumantarna E, Lam N, Goldsworthy H, Tsang HH, Wilson JL, Gad E. Seismic vulnerability assessment of irregular reinforced concrete buildings in Australia. 24th Australian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials (ACMSM). 2017.
  14. Perera S, Lam N, Pathirana M, Zhang L, Ruan D, Gad E. Use of static tests for predicting damage to cladding panels caused by storm debris. JOURNAL OF BUILDING ENGINEERING. Elsevier. 2017, Vol. 12. DOI: 10.1016/j.jobe.2017.05.012
  15. Mehdipanah A, Lam N, Lumantarna E. Analytical Simulation of Limited Ductile RC Beam-Columns. 2016 Australian Earthquake Engineering Society Conference (AEES). Australian Earthquake Engineering Society. 2016.

View a full list of publications on the University of Melbourne’s ‘Find An Expert’ profile