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. Lam N, Yong ACY, Lam C, Kwan JSH, Perera JS, Miri Disfani M, Gad E. Displacement-Based Approach for the Assessment of Overturning Stability of Rectangular Rigid Barriers Subjected to Point Impact. JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING MECHANICS. ASCE - American Society of Civil Engineers. 2018, Vol. 144, Issue 2. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)EM.1943-7889.0001383
  2. Godbole S, Lam N, Mafas M, Fernando S, Gad E, Hashemi J. Dynamic loading on a prefabricated modular unit of a building during road transportation. Journal of Building Engineering. Elsevier. 2018, Vol. 18. DOI: 10.1016/j.jobe.2018.03.017
  3. 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.
  4. Lam C, Yong ACY, Kwan JSH, Lam N. Overturning stability of L-shaped rigid barriers subjected to rockfall impacts. Landslides. 2018. DOI: 10.1007/s10346-018-0957-5
  5. Perera S, Lam N, Pathirana M, Zhang L, Ruan D, Gad E. Probabilistic modelling of forces of hail. NATURAL HAZARDS. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2018, Vol. 91, Issue 1. DOI: 10.1007/s11069-017-3117-7
  6. Pathirana M, Lam N, Perera S, Zhang L, Ruan D, Gad E. Probabilistic modelling of Hertzian fracture of glass by flying objects impact in bad weather. International Journal of Impact Engineering. Pergamon. 2018, Vol. 118. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2018.03.010
  7. Tsang HH, Wilson JL, Lam N, Su RKL. A design spectrum model for flexible soil sites in regions of low-to-moderate seismicity. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering. Pergamon. 2017, Vol. 92. DOI: 10.1016/j.soildyn.2016.09.035
  8. 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
  9. 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, Vol. 18, Issue 4. DOI: 10.1080/13287982.2017.1396870
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  15. Menegon SJ, Wilson JL, Lam N, Gad E. RC walls in Australia: reconnaissance survey of industry and literature review of experimental testing. AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING. Institution of Engineers Australia. 2017, Vol. 18, Issue 1. DOI: 10.1080/13287982.2017.1315207

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