Personal details

Professor Manicka Dhanasekar
Professor of Infrastructure Engineering
Science and Engineering Faculty,
Civil Engineering and Built Environment,
Civil Engineering
Discipline *
Civil Engineering
+61 7 3138 6666
+61 7 3138 1170
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Identifiers and profiles

PhD in Civil Engineering & Surveying) (University of Newcastle)

Professional memberships
and associations
  • MIE(India) Institution of Engineers

Level Crossing, Constitutive Modelling, Innovative Designs, Shear Wall Structures, Finite Element Modelling, Low Cycle Fatigue, Rail Stress Analysis, Joints in Structures, Structural Interface Behaviour, Structural Concrete Masonry

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Broad Area of Research: Infrastructure Main Areas of Research Professor Manicka Dhanasekar has defined three main research areas:   Structural Masonry Masonry has close association with human civilisation. Modern masonry is designed using advanced engineering principles, resulting in thinner and more economical walling systems. As several constituent materials are used in masonry, rational analysis is a challenge in masonry research. Furthermore the industry is pioneering with various innovative products to sustain the competitiveness of masonry against other building products. Structural masonry research group examines such novel systems using experimental and analytical/ numerical modelling methods with a view to standardising the products, which ensures safety. Rail & Rail Joints Rail is the most expensive component of track system and hence the industry spends much effort in improving the life of rails through advanced engineering analysis and field maintenance practices. Rail, perhaps is the most severely stressed structural member as heavy wheel loads pass over them routinely at varying speeds. Joints in rail suffer significant damage over a period of time that can affect the safety of the track structure and the train traffic. State-of-the-art finite element methods are used to determine the contact-impact scenario and damage plasticity theories are required to evaluate the ongoing plastic deformation and metal flow. Stresses are also managed through modifications to the contact patch and railhead shape optimisation. Innovative Infrastructure Infrastructure engineering projects are very large, expensive and complex; they require excellent problem solving skills underpinned by sound knowledge base, especially in structural mechanics, design and construction. At design stage innovative ideas on selection of materials, shape of components, design detailing must be thought through to assess the suitability of the alternate ideas and their cost effectiveness. Ideas that are not normally practiced in the field may have the potential to be good solutions; research is needed for examining the appropriateness of these ideas. Grants I secured $3,817,846 in research funding from the ARC and Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, CRC in partnership with colleagues in Australia and overseas; I personally secured an industry funding of $300,000 from the CMAA. Awards and Recognitions

  • Outstanding Research Higher Degree Students’ Supervisor, Nominee QUT, 2011
  • Invited by the Australian Council of Engineering Deans (ACED), to work as part of a team that has been empowered with ranking of journals and conferences for the ARC ERA 2010 project.
  • Editorial Board Member: Journal of Civil Engineering Science & International Journal of Mechanics & Solids
  • Chair, Scientific Committee – Conference on Railway Engineering, Brisbane, 2012
  • Chair, Scientific Committee – Australasian Masonry Conference, Queens Town, NZ, 2011
  • Best Research Paper Award in rail infrastructure, Railway Engineering Conf., London, June 2007
  • Best Research Supervisor in Engineering Award, CQU 2005
  • RW Chapman Medal for Best Contribution to Stuctural Engineering in Australia, IE Australia, 2004
  • Who’s Who in Computational Science & Engineering (2005 – 2006) Saxe-Coburg, UK
  • Fellowship, DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service, 2003

Career History 2007 – Present: Professor, School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, Queensland University of Technology, Australia 2001 – 2007: Associate Professor, Infrastructure Engg. & Director, CRE, Central Queensland University, Australia 1992 – 2001: Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer & Lecturer, Structural Engineering, Central Queensland University, Australia 1996: Visiting Professor in Civil Engineering, University of Calgary, Canada 1991: Senior Tutor, Architectural Structures, University of Sydney, Australia; Research Assistant in Fire Technology (50%), CSIRO, North Ryde, Australia 1985 – 1990: Lecturer & Associate Professor in Building Engineering & Management, School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi 1981 – 1984: Tutor in Civil Engineering, University of Newcastle, Australia 1980 – 1981: Assistant Engineer, Tamil Nadu Public Works Department, Chennai

This information has been contributed by Professor Manicka Dhanasekar.


Teaching Areas

  • Advanced Concrete Structures
  • Design of Masonry Structures
  • Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures
This information has been contributed by Professor Manicka Dhanasekar.


External Collaborators

  • Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure
  • Concrete Masonry association of Australia
  • AdBri/ Hanson/ Besser Masonry
  • Boral Masonry
  • Queensland Rail
  • CRC for Rail Innovations/ Rail CRC
  • Australian Rail Track Corporation
  • Rockhampton City Council

Professional and Community Service

  • OZReader, ARC
  • Elected Member, RTSA (Qld)
  • Chair – Technical Committee, CORE 2012, Brisbane
  • Chair – Scientific Committee, AMC2011, Queens Town, NZ

Editorial Board Member

  • Australian Journal of Structural Engineering (AJSE), Taylor & Francis
  • International Journal of Masonry Research and Innovation (IJMRI), Inderscience
  • International Journal of Civil Engineering Science, World Academic Publication

Reviewer for Journals

  • Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier
  • Engineering Structures, Elsevier
  • Structural Engineering Journal, ASCE
  • Transport Engineering Journal, ASCE
  • Materials Engineering Journal, ASCE
  • vehicle System Dynamics, Taylor & Francis
  • Rail & Rapid Transit Journal, Professional Engineering Publications, UK

Editorial Board / Scientific Committee Member, Conferences (2001 ~)

  • 16th International Brick and Block Masonry conference, Padova, Italy June 2016
  • International Conference on Railway Engineering, Chengdu, China Jul 2017
  • 10th International Masonry Conference, Portugal, June 2015
  • Australasian Structural Engineering Conference, ASEC, Melbourne, June 2008
  • 14IBMaC International Brick & Block Masonry Conference, Sydeny, February 2008
  • 19ACMSM Australasian Mechanics of Structures & Materials, Christchurch, NZ, December 2006
  • 5th ICCST (CST2006) Las Palms, Spain, September 2006
  • 7th Australasian Masonry Conference, Newcastle, July 2004
  • 4th ICCST (CST2004) Lisbon, Portugal, September 2004
  • 6th Australasian Masonry Conference, Adelaide, July 2001
This information has been contributed by Professor Manicka Dhanasekar.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.


Awards and recognition

Appointment to State/National/International Reference Group or Government Committees
Reference year
ERA 2010 Journal/ Conference Ranking Committee Invited by the Chair, ACED to be a member of the sub Committee Mechanical Engineering responsible for ranking journals/ conferences ERA 2010 with special responsibility on Railway engineering.
Appointment to State/National/International Reference Group or Government Committees
Reference year
BD/4 Australian Standards Committee Drafting/ Updating AS3700 Standards Australia This committee membership is based on invitation in recognition of expertise in structural masonry. The role of the membership is to provide impartial and valued input into the formulation of the design clauses for the design of masonry structures.
Reviewer for an Academic Journal
Reference year
International Journal of Vehicle System Dynamics Australian Journal of Structural Engineering American Concrete Institute Structural Journal International Journal of Engineering Structures International Journal of Construction and Building Materials
Membership of Review Panels on Prestigious Grant Applications
Reference year
ARC has consistently invited me to be their OZREADER. I have reviewed on average 10 applications for DP/ LP/ APF programs.
Committee Role/Editor or Chair of an Academic Conference
Reference year
Conference on Railway Engineering (CORE) 2012 Brisbane: Chair - Technical Committee & Editor: Proceedings Nineth Australasian Masonry Conference (AMC9)Queenstown, NZ; Co-Chair: Technical Committee & Co-Editor: Proceedings

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Mitigating the Severity of Level Crossing Accidents and Derailments
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Impact Dnamics; Level Crossing; Accident
Development of Thin Bed Concrete Masonry Structural Walls
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Structural Masonry; Thin Bed Joints; Failure Mechanisms; Bond Strength; Interface; Ductility;