The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) may expand its research focus into smart composite technologies for space applications following a successful meeting between a USQ academic and NASA scientists in the USA.
USQ Centre of Excellence in Engineered Fibre Composites (CEEFC) Director, Professor Alan Lau, visited the NASA Glenn Research Centre in Cleveland, Ohio, earlier this year to discuss future collaboration in energy composites.
Professor Lau said NASA scientists had shown interest in the CEEFC projects in this particular field: Composites Wind Turbine Blade Design and Delamination Detection of Smart Composite Structures using Embedded Sensor and Actuator Technology.
“Many topics, like modelling skills on sandwich structures, life prediction of space composite structures and fibre-optic sensor technology were placed on the table to find any commonality to further extend the research scope in the future,” Professor Lau said.
“We also discussed the issue of the life reliability measure for composites and their related structures based on a generic mapping system for smart composite wing, developed by the CEEFC using an embedded fibre sensor network.”
Professor Lau said the centre was now working with NASA on developing a scholar/research exchange scheme, a joint PhD supervision scheme and joint research and development centre scheme in Toowoomba.
Currently, Professor Lau and two key CEEFC researchers, Dr Jay Epaarachchi and Dr Mainul Islam, are working with different research and development sectors on smart technologies for composite materials.
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