Materials and structures

Many of the big questions facing our society today - including those relating to energy technology, food technology, human health and environmental sustainability - can only be addressed with an advanced understanding of materials, structures and their performance under various conditions.

Materials are key enablers of much of the technology that will resolve these issues. But for materials to be valuable, they must ultimately be used in structures that are of use to society. We therefore need to integrate our understanding of materials and their behaviours with our knowledge of structural design and analysis, in order to combine these two fields in practical applications that will benefit society.

The Materials and Structures research cluster was established in July 2012 as a means of supporting and encouraging multidisciplinary research into materials and structures science at the University of Sydney. It integrates the strengths and expertise of researchers from across the various schools of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, and facilitates collaboration with other researchers both within and beyond the faculty and the University.

Its ultimate purpose is to develop and design new materials and structures to address the key issues facing society now and into the future.

The research team

The core research team, led by Professor Simon Ringer, includes Professors Tim Langrish, Yiu-Wing Mai, Kim Rasmussen, Andrew Ruys, Liyong Tong and Lin Ye.

As well as conducting their own research, these team members support more than 30 postdoctoral fellows and 60 PhD students, each of whom benefits from the opportunity to undertake cross-disciplinary research with access to internationally recognised senior researchers with specialised expertise in their field.

Networks and collaborations

The Materials and Structures research cluster interacts and collaborates with other research clusters within the faculty as well with the Faculty of Science and the Sydney Medical School.

It also has connections with the Australian Institute of Nanoscience, and with industry in the fields of advanced manufacturing, mining, biomedical science, water filtration, technology licensing, energy and communications.

Research

The cluster's research focuses on three interrelated areas:

  • materials
  • structures
  • the interface between these two components.

Current research in each of these three areas includes the following.

Materials Materials fabrication, testing, characterisation and processing, nanomaterials (nanocomposites, wires, tubes, membranes), molecular sieves, multifunctional materials, self-healing and self-sensing materials, smart materials, metals, polymers, granular materials, cellular materials, bio-materials
Structures Structural systems, metal structures, composite structures, nanostructures, bone structures, lightweight structures, multifunctional structures, continuum mechanics, structural stability and dynamics, structural design, topology optimisation, structural reliability
Interface Multiscale analysis (macro, meso and micro scales), constitutive modelling (crystal plasticity, fracture, fibre reinforcement, delamination), numerical methods (FE, FSM, ISFSM, DEM, MD), pre- and post-processing

Given the pervasive role of materials and structures in contemporary technological platforms, the Materials and Structures research cluster has enormous potential to establish the University of Sydney as a world-class hub of research and engineering in this important field.

More information

Professor Simon Ringer
T +61 2 9351 4215
F +61 2 9351 7682
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