Dr. Maes' expertise lies in the fields of engineering risk analysis, civil engineering reliability-based design and stochastic modeling. Key aspects of his research include the development of dedicated probabilistic models, the study of the effects of statistical and model uncertainties, and the application of both classical (statistical) reliability theory, as well as structural (model-based) reliability analysis. The practical applications of his research are mostly related to civil engineering systems marked by a need to manage, assess, and/or minimize risks. To date, particular emphasis has been given to offshore installations, arctic engineering, deep-ocean systems, oil-and-gas activities, drilling operations, stochastic modeling of environmental risks, transportation of hazardous materials (pipelines, shipping, trucks), foundations, environmental problems, and a probabilistic treatment of the robustness and durability of engineering systems.
In the field of reliability-based design, Dr. Maes has been responsible for the development, the calibration (1986) and the re-calibration (2003) of a limit states design code for fixed offshore structures, which is presently used in the Canadian Standard S471, as well as for the development of a reliability- based framework for the design of oil and gas tubular goods, which is now used internationally by industry. He is a chief contributor to ISO technical committee TC98 and to its several working groups. Among other standards, this working group developed the ISO 2394 standard on General Principles of Reliability-Based Design. He is a member of, and chairs, several national and international professional societies and code committees. He is also a member of the Joint Committee of Structural Safety. He is a founding member and the vice chair of the International Forum on Engineering Decision Making (IFED).
Current research activities focus on consequence and utility modeling and development of new techniques; reliability and performance measures for aging and deteriorating systems; the role and the effect of model uncertainty and tail modeling on risk analysis and stochastic design; the probabilistic modeling of loads; the modeling of random fields; high risk applications of extreme value analysis; life cycle utility optimization (models and techniques); specialized Monte-Carlo methods; geotechnical limit state development; probabilistic ice loading; and, reliability-based maintenance planning, deterioration and structural optimization.
Industrial experience includes 5 years employment with Det norske Veritas and 1.5 years with Mobil Research and Development USA. Dr. Maes was responsible for the selection of ice, ship impact, wave, and wind load factors, and geotechnical resistance factors for the Confederation Bridge. He introduced and developed a new reliability-based design procedure to the design of tubular goods used in oil and gas drilling. He has served a specialist consultant in engineering projects involving important structural, environmental, and operational risks.
Dr. Maes is founder and Principal of ALEATEC Advisory Services, Calgary, which has provided specialist services for a variety of clients including Stantec Ltd, J. Muller International, Regie des Installations Olympiques Montreal, N.R.C.B Alberta, N.E.B. Canada, Institute for Risk Research, Public Works Canada, Enron Corporation, Sandwell, Golder, Blade, ExxonMobil Research Company, EnCana Corporation, Chevron Canada Resources and a wide variety of Oil and Gas companies in Canada and the United States.