Mr. Mayer Melhem

Dr. Mayer Melhem

Research Fellow
Department of Civil Engineering
Room 219, 21 Alliance Lane (B70), Clayton Campus

Dr Mayer Melhem is a structural engineering researcher and doctoral teaching assistant in the Department of Civil Engineering at Monash University. He received his PhD in Structural Engineering at Monash University, previously graduating with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Biomedical Science from the same university. Mayer has prior biomedical science research experience, but his current research interests lie in applying structural reliability methods in bridges, particularly for safety-based bridge design and assessment, and risk management of heavy vehicle access to existing highway bridge networks. He has presented at a number of international and national conferences on his research. As a structural engineer, he has worked on a number of highway bridge asset management projects including structural assessments and on-site performance monitoring. Apart from his research, Mayer is also passionate about engineering education, bringing a strong work-ethic towards his teaching and other associated roles within the Department of Civil Engineering.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Structural Engineering), Monash University
  • Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng) in the field of Civil Engineering, Monash University
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science (B.BioMed), Monash University

Awards

2021

  • Team Player Award – Department of Civil Engineering
  • Award for Best Teaching Assistant – Department of Civil Engineering (see Teaching)

2020

  • Award for Best Teaching Assistant – Department of Civil Engineering (see Teaching)

2018

  • Runner Up Three Minute Thesis – Monash University (see Research)
  • Best Young Researcher Award – 25th Australian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials (see Publications)

2017

Research Interests

  • Australian Standards
  • Bridge Assessment and Design
  • Structural Reliability
  • Network Risk Asset Management
  • Engineering Education

Three Minute Thesis

 


 

Research Projects

Current projects

Monitoring of bridge performance subject to extreme loads

Historical bridges occasionally service heavy vehicles and superloads (400+ tonnes) with loads not intended for the structure given its condition or age. Solutions for on-site and continuous performance monitoring of such bridges subjected to these extreme loads have been developed across Victoria. Tasks include preparation of different wired and wireless devices, data acquisition systems, and on-site software for data collection. Using python and other programming, data is then processed, analysed, published in reports on bridge performance. Additional tasks include project site management and ongoing inventory management of monitoring systems.

Probability-based assessments of critical network bridges

Following the findings from the past research project, probability-based bridge assessment has been implemented as a higher-order assessment for a range of critical assets in the transportation network. Assets including concrete roads bridges and steel railway bridges and are assisted by a computational bridge and structural engineering python package under development.

Safety of concrete bridge girders designed to Australian Standards

Design provisions in the Australian bridge standards (AS 5100, 2017), including some partial factors of safety have been selected to ensure the status quo or based on engineering judgement. The lack of any reliability-based code-calibration means the level of safety achieved by designs to AS 5100 is unknown. Focusing on the common style for new short-to-medium span bridges in Australia, the Super-T girder bridge, structural reliability theory has been adopted to explore the intended level of safety for different limit states for these prestressed concrete girders.

Using quantified bridge network risk for network access decisions on heavy vehicles

Decisions on permitting network access for new heavy vehicles are best informed from objective network level risk assessments. Such assessments require recognition of correlations existing within the network due to similar bridge attributes. Using a structural reliability approach, a python-based bridge network risk assessment methodology tailored for informing policy change decision-making is being developed. Value-at-risk is explored as alternative metric to the conventional expected risk.  Whilst the methodology focuses on the quantified risk of overloading, the proposed methodology can be extended to other risks and enables an holistic cost-benefit risk assessment of bridge assets on the basis for a vehicle network access policy change.

Past projects

Victoria's concrete bridge decks: Lateral distribution factors

Using finite element analysis, lateral distribution factors (LDFs) for different load effects from heavy vehicles travelling on existing Victorian bridges were determined for 23 different test vehicles on four concrete bridge families: I-girders, PSC planks, U-slabs, and flat slab bridges at different spans and skews. These LDFs allow a quick means for analysing the effect of such heavy vehicles without performing time-consuming analysis, improving decision making for heavy vehicle access on bridges.

Bridge assessment beyond the AS5100 deterministic methodology

Probability-based bridge assessment (PBBA) is explored as a viable option for bridge assessment beyond the current Australian deterministic methodology. First, the implied safety levels of a selected set of historical and contemporary bridges most prevalent in the Australian bridge inventory were obtained. Then, the current safety levels of these bridges under as-of-right road freight access were quantified. It was found that a reserve in safety exists compared to deterministic measures for some bridge designs. Further, rational asset management decisions can be based on the quantified safety metric. PBBA provides more fit-for-purpose assessments, better utilising bridge assets, thereby facilitating an optimally productive road transport network. Further discussions are found in the report and webinar.

Civil Engineering

Doctoral Thesis

Mayer M. Melhem (2020) A structural reliability approach for the management of heavy vehicle access on highway bridge networks. Monash University. https://doi.org/10.26180/5e5321f2d25c3

Book Chapter

Colin C. Caprani, Mayer M. Melhem (2021) Extreme Vehicles and Bridge Safety. In: Stewart, MG and Rosowsky (eds) Engineering for Extremes, in review

Journals

Colin C. Caprani, Mayer M. Melhem (2020) On the use of MCFT per AS 5100.5 for the assessment of shear capacities of existing structures, Australian Journal of Structural Engineering, 21(1), 53-63,. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13287982.2019.1664207

Mayer M. Melhem, Colin C. Caprani, Mark G. Stewart (2019) Reliability of Super-T PSC girders at serviceability limit state stresses across all span ranges, Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, 15(6), 812-821. https://doi.org/10.1080/15732479.2019.1581228

Colin C. Caprani, Mayer M. Melhem, Kanjana Siamphukdee (2017) Reliability Analysis of a Super-T prestressed concrete girder at serviceability limit state to AS 5100:2017, Australian Journal of Structural Engineering, 18(2), 60-72. https://doi.org/10.1080/13287982.2017.1332843

Conferences

Mayer M. Melhem, Colin C. Caprani, Shaohua Zhang, Andy Ng, Nicholas Hodgins (2021) Using structural reliability to decide on extreme loads accessing historical bridges, 10th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management, Sapporo, Japan, 560-567 https://doi.org/10.1201/9780429279119

Mayer M. Melhem, Colin C. Caprani, Mark G. Stewart, Andy Ng (2021) Bridge safety assessment beyond deterministic methods: an Australian perspective, 10th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management, Sapporo, Japan, 551-559 https://doi.org/10.1201/9780429279119

Shaohua Zhang, Colin C. Caprani, Mayer M. Melhem, Andy Ng, Nicholas Hodgins (2021) Use of structural health monitoring for assessing historical bridges under heavy loads, 10th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management, Sapporo, Japan, 543-550 https://doi.org/10.1201/9780429279119

Mayer M. Melhem, Colin C. Caprani, Timothy M. T. Lui, Andy Ng (2020) Lateral Distribution Factors in Heavy Vehicle Bridge Access Decision-Making. In: Wang C., Ho J., Kitipornchai S. (eds) 25th Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials, Brisbane, Australia (ACMSM25). Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering, vol 37. Springer, Singapore https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-7603-0_96

Mayer M. Melhem, Colin C. Caprani, Mark G. Stewart (2020) Model Error for Australian Code Shear Capacity of Concrete Structures. In: Wang C., Ho J., Kitipornchai S. (eds) 25th Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials, Brisbane, Australia (ACMSM25). Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering, vol 37. Springer, Singapore https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-7603-0_33

Mayer M. Melhem, Colin C. Caprani, Andy Ng (2018) Bridge Management in Australia and New Zealand: Current Approaches and Future Needs, 9th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management, Melbourne, Australia, 1845-1851 https://doi.org/10.1201/9781315189390

Mayer M. Melhem, Colin C. Caprani, Mark G. Stewart (2018) Performance of prestressed concrete girder in ultimate bending for AS5100:2004 and AS5100:2017, 9th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management, Melbourne, Australia, 2651-2657 https://doi.org/10.1201/9781315189390

Colin C. Caprani, Mayer M. Melhem (2018) Australian Bridge Assessment and Management Processes, 7th Workshop of COST Action TU1406, Wroclaw, Poland https://www.tu1406.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/TU1406_WROCLAW_eBook.pdf

Mayer M. Melhem, Colin C. Caprani, Dean Zhen Hua Kueh (2017) Influence of strand arrangement on the reliability of prestressed concrete girders under serviceability limit state, 12th International Conference on Structural Safety and Reliability, Vienna, Austria, 2161-2168

Reports

Mayer M. Melhem, Colin C. Caprani, Mark G. Stewart, Shaohua Zhang (2020) Bridge Assessment Beyond the AS 5100 Deterministic Methodology. Austroads Publications. https://austroads.com.au/publications/bridges/ap-r617-20

Colin C. Caprani, Mayer M. Melhem, Timothy M. T. Lui (2018) Victoria’s Concrete Bridge Decks: Lateral Distribution Factors – Report for VicRoads. Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University.

Press

Mayer M. Melhem, David Huggett (2021) On the level: developing best-fit solutions for Melbourne’s level crossing removal project. Bridge Design & Engineering. https://www.bridgeweb.com/issue/details/166

Biomedical Sciences

Journals

Jennifer P. Ngo, Bianca Le, Zohaib Khan, Michelle M Kett, Bruce S. Gardiner, David W. Smith, Mayer M. Melhem, Anton Maksimenko, James T. Pearson, Roger G. Evans. (2017) Micro-computed tomographic analysis of the radial geometry of intrarenal artery-vein pairs in rats and rabbits: Comparison with light microscopy. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 44(12), 1241-1253. https://doi.org/10.1111/1440-1681.12842

Darshini R. Ayton, Anna L. Barker, Renata T. Morello, Caroline A. Brand, Jason Talevski, Fiona S. Landgren, Mayer M. Melhem, Evelyn Bian, Sandra G. Brauer, Keith D. Hill, Patricia M. Livingston, Mari Botti (2017) Barriers and enablers to the implementation of the 6-PACK falls prevention program: A pre-implementation study in hospitals participating in a cluster randomised controlled trail, PLOS One, 12(2), e0171932. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171932

 

 

Teaching Commitments

  • CIV4280 / CIV5170 - Bridge Design and Assessment
Last modified: 12/07/2021