Professor Mikayel G. Melkumyan started his scientific and practical activity in 1973 carrying out both design and research work to study the behavior of various reinforced concrete structures under seismic actions.
After the Armenia earthquake of December 7, 1988, he conducted research on analysis of the reasons for extensive destructions of frame-panel buildings at the Institute of Industrial Science (IIS) at the University of Tokyo, Japan, where in 1990-1991 he created a new hysteresis model (named the Melkumyan Model) to describe the shear behavior of reinforced concrete structures. As is indicated in the certificate granted to him by the IIS, this model and the formula proposed by him for the calculation of horizontal stiffness of diaphragms (shear walls) were accepted in the Okada and Nakano Laboratory, and the model was incorporated in the computational software for earthquake response analysis of multistory buildings. It is also mentioned that this research work will have a considerable contribution to earthquake resistant construction and earthquake damage mitigation in the world.
In 1992-1996, as Professor of the American University of Armenia, he lectured on the non-linear behavior of reinforced concrete structures and design principles in earthquake resistant construction. At the same time he led the Earthquake Engineering Center of the National Survey for Seismic Protection and in 1997 defended his thesis for the degree of Doctor of Engineering Sciences. In 1995-1996 he developed two unique methods for earthquake protection of existing buildings using base isolation and isolated upper floor (roof isolation). His innovative technologies were successfully implemented in Armenia and Russia.
Mikayel has authored and co-authored 210 scientific works, including 17 books, 10 normative documents, codes and standards, and 12 inventions. 137 of his scientific works have been published in 32 countries across the world. As a structural engineer he has designed 93 earthquake-resistant residential, civil, and industrial buildings for construction or retrofitting in different regions of Armenia and of Nagorno Karabakh, Romania and Kazakhstan.
He is the President of the Armenian Association for Earthquake Engineering; the Vice-President of the International Association of CIS countries on Seismic Isolation; Academic Member of the Saint-Petersburg Arctic Academy of Sciences; Academic Member of the Athens Institute for Education and Research; an overseas Member of the Research Center of Earthquake Resistant Structures of the IIS; and a Member of the European Associations for Structural Dynamics and for the Control of Structures. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal on Civil Engineering & Urban Planning; the Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture Research; the Journal of Science and Technology; the Journal of Engineering and Technology; and the Journal of Architectural Research and Development. In addition, he was Guest Editor of the Special Issue "Advances in Seismic Performance Assessment and Improvement of Structures" of the Journal of Advances in Civil Engineering.
Mikayel is a World Bank Consultant and founder of the “Save the Yerevan Schools from Earthquakes” Foundation.