Tom Van Mele studied at the department of Architectural Engineering of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels). In 2008, under supervision of Prof. Marijke Mollaert, he received his PhD for a dissertation about the design and analysis of retractable roofs that have a moveable supporting structure and multiple stable roof-configurations.
Tom joined the Block Research Group in 2010 and is currently head of research. He also develops and maintains the framework that underlies all BRG web projects: this website, the eQuilibrium platform, the BLOCK blog and the soon to be launched Labs website for experiments with structural design in the browser.
His own research activities are focussed on the three-dimensional collapse mechanisms of vaulted structures in masonry, cable-net formwork for concrete shells, three-dimensional extensions of graphic statics and graphical design and analysis methods in general. In 2010, he received the Tsuboi Award from the International Shell and Spatial Structures for the "most outstanding paper presented and published" at the IASS conference in Shanghai.