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Personal details

Dr Kesawan Sivakumar
Discipline *
Civil Engineering
+61 406 663 093
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Identifiers and profiles

PhD (Queensland University of Technology)

Professional memberships
and associations
  • Member, Engineers Australia (EA)
  • Member, IESL Sri Lanka Queensland Chapter
  • Member, ACS Toastmasters Club, Brisbane

Structural fire engineering, facade engineering, disaster resilient structural design, thin-walled structures, cold-formed steel, light gauge steel frame buildings, innovative built-up cold-formed steel sections, fire safety of light gauged steel buildings, post-fire behaviour of buildings

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


Kesawan Sivakumar is a research fellow actively conducting studies in the areas of structural fire and wind engineering. His main aim is to use his advanced research skills to contribute to the design of efficient, sustainable, economical and disaster resilient structures, while continuously contributing to the engineering innovations, and further to use his teaching skills to produce skilled engineers and researchers.

He is part of the QUT’s Wind and Fire Engineering Lab led by Prof. Mahen Mahendran. This group consists of 4 postdoctoral research fellows/ lecturers and more than 10 PhD students working on research studies funded by ARC, QUT, and industry grants.


Main Areas of Research

Structural fire engineering

Structural performance of façade systems subject to wind loading

Energy efficiency and fire safety of building envelopes

Thin-walled cold-formed steel design

Fire safety of light gauge steel framed buildings

Performance of ultra-high strength steel

Design of concrete structures (spiral reinforced concrete members and confinement effectiveness)


Structural Fire Engineering

Dr Kesawan has evaluated the structural fire resistance of load-bearing and non-load bearing Light-gauge Steel Frame (LSF) walls made of innovative cold-formed hollow flange channel sections. I have performed the following:

  • Conducted tests to determine the elevated temperature and post-fire mechanical properties of cold-formed steel sections
  • Conducted full-scale fire tests on LSF walls under standard fire conditions
  • Developed finite element models to predict both the thermal (time-temperature development during fire conditions) and structural fire performances of LSF walls
  • Proposed superior fire performing LSF walls
  • Proposed direct strength method equations to determine the structural fire resistance capacity of LSF walls. This has been adopted in the recent AS/NZS4600 (Australian cold-formed steel standard).

Furthermore, he also provides support to the fellow post-doctoral fellows and the PhD students on their structural fire engineering related research studies.


Structural Performance of Façade Systems Subject to Wind Loading

Dr Kesawan is currently undertaking a study on the structural performance of façade systems made of aluminium frame infilled glass panes, subject to wind pressure and suction.

Full details of the project can be found at,


As a part of this project, he is involved in,

  • Conducting large-scale tests of facade systems (4mx3m) to determine the structural behaviour of such mullion couple with and without a clip/with and without a hollow.
  • Developing simple and full-scale finite element models to predict the structural capacity of mullion couples.
  • Developing innovative superior performing facade systems.

This is the first comprehensive study performed on this subject around the globe.

Other than this, the façade related projects that he is working on are,

  • Investigated the section and member moment capacity of individual complexly shaped aluminium mullions
  • Evaluating the structural performance of the mullion to glazing connections (gasket and silicone sealant connections)
  • Evaluating the energy performances of façade systems/Adoptable façade systems
  • Fire Performance of façade systems/external cladding


Thin-walled cold-formed Steel Design

Dr. Kesawan has been involved in the following research studies:

  • Evaluating the structural performance of steel studs used in the light gauge steel framed buildings.
  • Investigated the structural performance of novel cold-formed sections such as welded and built-up hollow flange I- and channel- sections.

Design of concrete structures

Dr. Kesawan was engaged in determining the structural capacity of spiral shear reinforcement in concrete structures.

He has also co-authored a book with Prof. Dias on the design of concrete steel structures.



Dr. Kesawan has published 11 A*/A journal papers, 5 conference papers, and 8 research reports. These publications can be found at:,_Sivakumar.html

Dr. Kesawan co-authored a book on the design of concrete and steel structures with Prof Priyan Dias from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.

“Graded Examples of Design of Concrete Structures (to Eurocode 2)”

This information has been contributed by Dr Kesawan Sivakumar.


Subjects taught


EGB 376 – Design of Steel Structures

EGB 476 Advance Steel Design

EGB 477- Façade Engineering

BEB 801, BEB 802 – Undergraduate projects



DAB530 – Integrated Technologies 2 (School of Design – architecture)

ENB273 (Civil Materials)

Hydraulic design, Steel design

This information has been contributed by Dr Kesawan Sivakumar.


Jan 2016 – Research Fellow, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Feb 2015 – Jan 2016 Research Assistant, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Feb 2012 – Sessional Academic Staff (Tutor), Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Jul 2011 – Oct 2014: PhD Researcher, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Jan 2012 – Jun 2012: Study Assistant, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.

Oct 2010 – Dec 2010: Visiting Lecturer in Civil Engineering, Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka

Oct 2010 – Dec 2010: Tutor in Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.

Oct 2008 – Mar 2009: Trainee Design Engineer, Strad Consultants, Sri Lanka.

This information has been contributed by Dr Kesawan Sivakumar.


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


Awards and recognition

Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
Vice Chancellors Performance Award