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Structures Research Group



My scientific interests revolve around the development of elegant, efficient and sustainable structures. I am passionate about developing innovative solutions for the built environment, bridging between academia and industry.

I was previously a Structural Engineer at Ove Arup & Partners.

I hold a Diplôme d'Ingénieur from École Spéciale des Travaux Publics, du Bâtiment et de l'Industrie de Paris (ESTP), a Master's Degree from Politecnico di Milano and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. I also attended Stanford University as a visiting researcher.


My current research focuses on the development of a new theory of reinforced concrete based on 'shear compliance', and the optimisation of reinforced concrete structures with respect to their mechanical and environmental performance.

My wider research interests include the 'riddle of shear failure', functionally graded concrete, high-performance cementitious composites, seismic engineering, tall building design, forensic engineering and failure analysis.


Key publications: 

Mak, M.W.T. and Lees, J.M. (2023) Carbon reduction and strength enhancement in functionally graded reinforced concrete beams. Engineering Structures, 277:115358

Mak, M.W.T. and Lees, J.M. (2023) Arch action in reinforced concrete subjected to shear. Engineering Structures, 274:115096.

Mak, M.W.T. and Lees, J.M. (2022) Bond strength and confinement in reinforced concrete, Construction and Building Materials, 355, 129012.

Mak, M.W.T., Desnerck, P. and Lees, J.M. (2019) Corrosion-induced cracking and bond strength in reinforced concrete, Construction and Building Materials, 208, 228–241.

Other publications: 

Weerasinghe, H.C., Mak, M.W.T. and Lees, J.M. (2022) Shear behaviour in slender reinforced concrete beams without stirrups. Proceedings of the fib Congress 2022, Concrete Innovation for Sustainability. 12-16 Jun 2022, 1-9. Oslo, Norway.

Mak, M.W.T. and Lees, J.M. (2022) Shear design in concrete beams without transverse reinforcement – A comparative study. Proceedings of the IABSE Symposium – Challenges for Existing and Oncoming Structures. 25-27 May 2022, 1374-1381. Prague, Czech Republic.

Mak, M.W.T. and Lees, J.M. (2021) Effectiveness of arch behaviour in reinforced concrete beams subjected to shear. Proceedings of the 2nd fib Italy YMG Symposium on Concrete and Concrete Structures. 18-19 Nov 2021, 1-8. Rome, Italy.

Mak, M.W.T. and Lees, J.M. (2021) Assessment of corrosion-induced bond deterioration in reinforced concrete: Towards a splitting crack-based approach. Proceedings of the IABSE Congress – Resilient Technologies for Sustainable Infrastructure. 3-5 Feb 2021, 62-69. Online, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Mak, M.W.T., Sheasby M.P. and Lees, J.M. (2020) Effects of anchorage deterioration on the shear behaviour of reinforced concrete half-joint beams. Proceedings of the fib Symposium 2020, Concrete Structures for Resilient Society. 22-24 Nov 2020, 1786-1792. Online, Shanghai, China.

Anouna, J.A., Baratta, A., Convertino, L., Gast, L., Giustini, G., Grimaldi, P., Mak, M.W.T. and Mazzaglia, C. (2020) Science, policy and the public in Italy 2019: Poster abstracts, Cambridge Journal of Science & Policy, 1(2):137–141. University of Cambridge, UK.

Mak, M.W.T. and Lees, J.M. (2019) Bond degradation and reduced cover in concrete with transverse reinforcement. Proceedings of the 1st fib Italy YMG Symposium on Concrete and Concrete Structures. 15 Oct 2019, 247-254. Parma, Italy.

Mak, M.W.T. and Lees, J.M. (2019) Development of a novel bond test set-up for concrete with transverse reinforcement. In Derkowski, W., Gwoździewicz, P., Hojdys, Ł., Krajewski, P., Pańtak, M. Editors, Proceedings of the fib Symposium 2019: Concrete – Innovations in Materials, Design and Structures. 27-29 May 2019, 560-567. Kraków, Poland.

Mak, M.W.T., Desnerck, P. and Lees, J.M. (2018) Correlation between surface crack width and steel corrosion in reinforced concrete. In Alexander, M.G., Beushausen, H., Dehn, F. and Moyo, P. Editors, MATEC Web of Conferences – 5th International Conference on Concrete Repair, Rehabilitation and Retrofitting (ICCRRR 2018). 19-21 Nov 2018, 199:04009. Cape Town, South Africa. EDP Sciences.

Toniolo, G. and di Prisco, M. (2017) Reinforced Concrete Design to Eurocode 2 (English Edition by Michele Win Tai Mak). Springer.

Nezosi, D. and Mak, M.W.T. (2016) Jockey Club Innovation Tower – The Hong Kong Polytechnic University – Kowloon, Hong Kong. Arketipo Magazine, 104:64-77

Teaching and Supervisions


Part IA (1st year MEng) – Structural Design Course, principal demonstrator

Part IA (1st year MEng) – Dimensional Analysis Lab, demonstrator

Part IB (2nd year MEng) – 2P2 Plastic Collapse Lab, demonstrator

Part IB (2nd year MEng) – 2P2 Structures, college supervisor

Part IIA (3rd year MEng) – 3D3 Concrete Lab, demonstrator

Part IIB (4th year MEng) – 4D7 Concrete Structures Lab, demonstrator

Part IIB (4th year MEng) – Final Year Research Projects, co-supervisor

Research supervision: 

I have co-supervised 4th year MEng research students investigating the strength assessment of reinforced concrete infrastructure, functionally graded concrete structures and high-performance cementitious composites.

Michele Mak M.W.T. Mak

Contact Details

Civil Engineering Building
7a J.J. Thomson Avenue
Not available for consultancy