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Dr Igor Chaves

Research Academic

School of Engineering (Civil Engineering)

Career Summary


In a general form interest in science, particularly technological and scientific research, was always the main goal in my professional carrier plan. Allied to the need of specialized learning, I understand that academic research can provide a level of knowledge to face the professional challenges of the present world.

I am currently a research academic at the University of Newcastle - Australia, where I have been awarded a PhD for studies in corrosion analysis and prediction. I initiated my studies on steel structures as a research trainee in 2004 at the Federal University of Vicosa - Brazil, where I graduated as a civil engineer in 2007. My interest for engineering scientific research lead me to the EESC University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and as result of completing a master’s degree in structural engineering in 2008, design guidelines for cold-formed composite steel and concrete beams were added to the Brazilian Standard of Steel Design. Research interests include structural reliability and assessment of infrastructure.

Research Expertise
* Corrosion and Deterioration Modelling Defined as the destruction of a material due to its reaction with the environment, corrosion poses a serious threat to new and existing infrastructure. Understanding such phenomena is detrimental when considering long term prediction of structural service life. * Structural Reliability and Assessment of Structures Detecting the role of existent uncertainties in structural projects in terms of risk and structural failure has been proven to be a major step in modern engineering design, assisting adequate allocation of resources and decision making. * Numerical and Computational Methods Applied to Structural Engineering Once real life applications adopt differential equations for elements of scientific nature, engineering computational methods is a powerful tool for approximating accurate solutions for such complex engineering problems. * Experimental Methods and Material Analysis of Structures Understanding modern engineering experimentation including design, system calibration, data acquisition, analysis and presentation is a key skill for any academic engineer. * Structural Stability and Evaluation of Steel Elements and Composite Systems - Theory and Design The key to efficient structural design is the optimization of the mechanics, properties and behaviours behind the materials and shapes of structural elements. Understanding your structure in accordance with the applicable codes of practice a more reliable, efficient and durable structure can be built.

Teaching Expertise
Teaching is a special calling and for the strong hearted, encompassing many values such as: achievement, compassion, creativity, duty, excellence, growth, knowledge, leadership, perseverance, courage and vision. To teach is to reflect to the younger generation such values so that high standard professionals can have a solid moral base in which to conduct their responsibilities towards society. Subjects of Expertise Include: * Statics and Engineering Mechanics Introduces basic principles of engineering mechanics, emphasising upon the gaining of real understanding of the laws and principles of mechanics and the ability to analyse and solve problems in mechanics. * Engineering Computations and Probability Understanding and implementing algorithms for a variety of problems where approximate solutions are obtained, the subject introduces the principles of engineering computations and probabilistic statistics, providing solid foundation for later year courses in water, structural and geotechnical engineering. * Theory of Structures Covers advanced methods of analysis for structural systems, emphasising principles of structural analysis of isostatic and hyperstatic elements, plastic design theory and bounding problems. Providing solid theoretical understanding and capability to solve a vast range of structural design challenges. *Steel Design Capacitate students with in-depth skills of assimilation of data, determination of load combinations and design of steel structures and elements by applying knowledge from previous courses, developing necessary professional judgement to produce articulate and concise documents which convey evidence-based understanding of structural steel design concepts. *Reinforced Concrete Design State of the art in-depth training of structural design skills for reinforced concrete and pre-stressed concrete members. Topics include efficient structural design optimisation of the mechanics, properties and behaviour behind the reinforced concrete material and shapes of structural elements in accordance with the applicable codes of practice.

Administrative Expertise
The combination of theory with practical knowledge makes a firm ground for the practice of engineering over a range of problems. The application of planning, designing, constructing, maintaining and operating infrastructure while protecting the public and environmental health were some of my responsibilities during the period of two years in which I was employed by a construction execution and consulting firm. Responsible for managing and coordinating several local and interstate sites, administrative skills were essential to ensure efficient, effective, secure and professional execution of the company's infrastructure projects. Duties involved: Technical supervision of all structure construction; Operative oversight of standard of quality required by the Standards and Norms in regards quality control; Operative oversight of standard of quality for all aggregates and reinforcement steel purchases; Quality control of all sites temporary instalments and supervision of working force; Operative supervision of all exterior finishing work, including insulation and roofing; Maintain daily records of each construction site and report back to office; Gather periodic photographic records of each construction stage and report to office; Development of several small town urban development plans; Assist in overall project legal aspects, design, budgeting, drawing and execution.

*Structural Engineering Department - Federal University of Vicosa, Brazil *SET School of Engineering - University of Sao Paulo, Brazil *StellTech BR - High Performance Light Structures, Brazil *A&R Engineering Consulting Ltd, Brazil *Amog Consulting, Australia


  • PhD (Civil Surveying & Environmental Engineering), University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), Federal University of Vicosa - Brazil
  • Master of Engineering (Structural), University of Sao Paulo


  • Civil Engineering
  • Corrosion Engineering
  • Engineering Computations
  • Probabilistic Modelling
  • Reliability and Risk Assessment
  • Structural Engineering


  • English (Fluent)
  • Portuguese (Fluent)
  • Spanish (Fluent)

Fields of Research

090506Structural Engineering75
091207Metals and Alloy Materials15
091507Risk Engineering (excl. Earthquake Engineering)10

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
16/05/2015 - 31/03/2016Research AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Engineering
29/07/2013 - 29/11/2013Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Engineering
27/07/2009 - 4/12/2009Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Engineering

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/11/2013 - CouncillorAustralasian Corrosion Association


DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2012 - 31/12/2013Membership - Australasian Corrosion Association - Welding, Joining & Corrosion Technical GroupAustralasian Corrosion Association - Welding, Joining & Corrosion Technical Group
1/01/2010 - Membership - The International Society of Offshore and Polar EngineeringThe International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineering
1/01/2009 - Membership - Australasian Corrosion Association - Newcastle BranchAustralasian Corrosion Association - Newcastle Branch

Professional appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2007 - 1/01/2009PG - ScholarshipUniversity of Sao Paulo
Structural Engineering Department
1/03/2005 - 1/07/2005Structural Engineer TraineeUniversity of Vicosa
Civil Engineering Department
1/07/2004 - 1/08/2004Civil Construction TraineeUniversity of Vicosa
Civil Engineering Department
1/04/2004 - 1/12/2004Structural Engineer TraineeUniversity of Vicosa
Civil Engineering Department


Research Award

2012Marshall Fordham Research Paper Award
Australasian Corrosion Association
2011Young Corrosion Professional Award
Australasian Corrosion Association
20113 Minute Thesis Faculty Competition - Winner



YearTitle / Rationale
20133 Minute Thesis - Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment
Organisation: University of Newcastle Description: Judge Research Higher Degree student's ability to explain their research to an intelligent but non-specialist audience in three minutes.


YearTitle / Rationale
2013Science and Engineering Challenge – Central Coast, NSW
Organisation: The University of Newcastle Description: Provide a broad overview of the University of Newcastle research output along with specific overview of field of expertise, engaging technical and non-technical specialist audience, encouraging rural communities to tackle science and engineering challenges.
2012Corrosion and Risk Management – ACA 2012 Newcastle Road Show Seminars
Organisation: Australasian Corrosion Association Description: Provide a broad overview of corrosion related issues in which Industry must deal with on a daily basis. Where content is not highly technical and suitable for a technical level audience. Focus of presentation was in long term risk management of localized corrosion in marine pipelines.
2011Leadership Workshop: Excellence in Higher Education – Newcastle, Australia
Organisation: The University of Newcastle Description: As a research student, lead table discussion with University of Newcastle Deputy heads of faculty, Directors and controlling entities about improvements and needs for a higher level of excellence in research higher degree.


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Journal article (6 outputs)

2014Chaves IA, Melchers RE, 'Extreme value analysis for assessing structural reliability of welded offshore steel structures', Structural Safety, 50 9-15 (2014) [C1]

Natural deterioration of mild steel exposed to marine environment compromises the long-term integrity, serviceability and safety of new and existing infrastructure and increases the risk of structural failure. Welded structures are known to be prone to even higher risks as a result of adverse effects of pitting corrosion in weld-heated areas. A bi-modal model has been shown recently to be a better description for the long-term development of the maximum depth of pits. Also, the statistics of pit depth have been shown to be better represented, for long term exposures, by the Frechet extreme value distribution. Both new developments present challenges for structural reliability analysis. Herein a linearization is used to represent long-term development of pit depth. It is shown that data for maximum pit depths can be separated into those with Gumbel statistics and those for which a Frechet distribution is more appropriate. An example is given for the reliability analysis of a welded pipeline subjected to localized corrosion. The effect of random variable uncertainty is assessed using a sensitivity study. Results show the considerable influence on the probability of failure of pit diameter and the parameters describing the pitting corrosion model. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

CitationsScopus - 1
Co-authorsRob Melchers
2014Chaves IA, Melchers RE, 'External Corrosion of Carbon Steel Pipeline Weld Zones', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OFFSHORE AND POLAR ENGINEERING, 24 68-74 (2014) [C1]
Author URL
Co-authorsRob Melchers
2013Chaves IA, Melchers RE, 'Long term localised corrosion of marine steel piling welds', Corrosion Engineering Science and Technology, 48 469-474 (2013) [C1]

Localised or pitting corrosion can be detrimental for steel pipes and containment structures, since wall perforation may cause system failure. Herein maximum pit depth quantification and its development with time are considered for samples taken from longitudinal welds on 33-year-old tubulars exposed in Newcastle Harbour. Relationships between pit depth and material metallurgy and corrosion properties were investigated by means of standard macro-etching, rest potential and zero resistance ammetry techniques. It is considered that the observed results are the result of the lack of homogeneity at the corrosion interface caused by differences in grain size, grain structure and the potential for pitting to occur preferentially along boundaries. The results are compared to measurements for longitudinal welds obtained previously on samples of API X56 Spec 5L pipe exposed in similar waters for up to 3?5 years, showing a reasonable degree of consistency between the two sets of data. The reasons for this are discussed. © 2013 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

CitationsScopus - 1Web of Science - 1
Co-authorsRob Melchers
2011Chaves IA, Melchers RE, 'Pitting corrosion in pipeline steel weld zones', Corrosion Science, 53 4026-4032 (2011) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 27Web of Science - 17
Co-authorsRob Melchers
2010Chaves IA, 'Reliability Based Evaluation of Design Guidelines for Cold-Formed Steel-Concrete Composite Beams', Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mec. Sci. Eng., 32 442-449 (2010) [C1]
2010Chaves IA, 'Composite Steel and Concrete Beam Constituted of Filled Cold-Formed Section', Caderno de Engenharia de Estruturas, 12 79-96 (2010) [C1]
Show 3 more journal articles

Conference (10 outputs)

2014Melchers RE, Chaves IA, 'New results for the corrosion of reinforcement in marine environments', Annual Conference of the Australasian Corrosion Association 2014: Corrosion and Prevention 2014 (2014) [E1]

The apparently premature corrosion of steel reinforcement in reinforced concrete structures exposed to marine environments continues to be a matter of concern in practice despite decades of research effort and much research funding expenditure and despite much practical experience. Herein results are reported of a long-term (10 year) study of the influence of alkalis on the corrosion initiation and progression of 6mm diam. reinforcing bars centrally embedded in 40x40x160mm concrete specimens. These were made with seawater as mixing water and with a variety of mix proportions including some with added alkalis. All were equally well compacted by vibration. After 10 years continuous exposure in a fog-room only a limited amount of corrosion initiation was observed. These results are in stark contrast with those reported in the famous paper by Shalon & Raphael (1959) who found serious corrosion of reinforcement after only 1-2 years exposure for all mixes. It is shown herein that the corrosion loss trends in those tests are similar to those of steel exposed directly to seawater. This indicates that in the 1959 tests the concrete provided little protection against reinforcement corrosion. The reasons for this are considered herein and the practical implications discussed.

Co-authorsRob Melchers
2014Chaves IA, Jeffrey R, Melchers RE, 'The effect of cleaning procedures on corrosion coupon surface topography', Australasian Corrosion Association, Darwin - Australia (2014) [E1]
Co-authorsRobert Jeffrey, Rob Melchers
2014Melchers RE, Pape TM, Chaves IA, 'The long-term durability of reinforced concrete structures exposed to aggressive marine environments', Proceedings of the First International Conference on Infrastructure Failures and Consequences, Melbourne - Australia (2014) [E1]
Co-authorsRob Melchers
2013Chaves IA, Melchers RE, 'Reliability Based Evaluation Of Commonly Applied Corrosion Mitigation Techniques', Corrosion and Prevention 2013 Proceedings, Brisbane (2013) [E1]
Co-authorsRob Melchers
2013Chaves IA, Melchers RE, 'Probabilistic pitting corrosion risk assessment of welded offshore steel pipelines', Proceedings of the Twenty-third International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference, Anchorage, AK (2013) [E1]
Co-authorsRob Melchers
2013Chaves IA, Melchers RE, 'Reliability analysis of steel pipeline welds subjected to long-term seawater exposure', From Materials to Structures: Advancement through Innovation, Sydney, NSW (2013) [E1]
Co-authorsRob Melchers
2012Chaves IA, Melchers RE, 'Reliability analysis of long term pitting corrosion of welded marine steel pipelines', Corrosion Management for a Sustainable World: Transport, Energy, Mining, Life Extension and Modelling, Melbourne, Australia (2012) [E1]
Co-authorsRob Melchers
2012Chaves IA, Melchers RE, 'External corrosion of carbon steel pipeline weld zones', Proceedings of the 22nd International Ocean and Polar Engineering Conference, Rhodes, Greece (2012) [E1]
Co-authorsRob Melchers
2011Chaves IA, Melchers RE, 'Long-term marine corrosion of welds on steel piling', 18th International Corrosion Congress 2011, Perth, WA (2011) [E1]
Co-authorsRob Melchers
2010Chaves IA, Melchers RE, Fontaine E, 'A field investigation of pitting corrosion of welded pipeline steels', Proceedings of the ACA Conference: Corrosion and Prevention 2010, Adelaide, SA (2010) [E1]
Co-authorsRob Melchers
Show 7 more conferences

Thesis / Dissertation (2 outputs)

2013Chaves IA, Development of Behaviour Models for Pitting Corrosion of Mild Steel Pipeline Welds in Marine Environment, The University of Newcastle (2013)
2009Chaves IA, Composite Steel and Concrete Beam Constituted by filled Cold-Formed Steel Section, The University of Sao Paulo - EESC (2009)

Grants and Funding


Number of grants1
Total funding$1,500

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

1 grants / $1,500

The 25th International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference, Hawaii USA, 21-26 June 2015$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment
Project TeamDoctor Igor Chaves
SchemeTravel Grant
Funding Start
Funding Finish
Type Of FundingInternal

Dr Igor Chaves


Research Academic
Centre for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability
School of Engineering
Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

Focus area

Civil Engineering

Contact Details
Phone(02) 4921 2006
Fax(02) 4921 6991


RoomES 314
BuildingEngineering Science - ES
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308