Areas oF Research
My research focuses on the mechanical behaviour of materials and structures. Current and previous interests include:
Electrochemically active materials such as Li-ion batteries and structural battery composites.
Soft materials and electroactive polymers which exhibit large deformation, mechanical instabilities, viscoelasticity, and charge transfer.
Sandwich composites, specifically their structural behavior, failure, and damage under indentation and impact.
My expertise lies in:
Continuum mechanics and thermodynamics. Constitutive modelling.
Computational mechanics. Finite element methods and numerical methods to solve boundary-value problems, coupling multiple physics.
I have also worked with experimentalists to develop applications for smart actuators, artificial muscles, energy harvesters, and soft robots.
Multi-physics modelling of batteries
Recent efforts have focused on modelling of energy storage systems, which include lithium-ion batteries and structural battery composites. Lithium-ion batteries, renowned for their high energy density and efficiency, serve as a cornerstone in modern energy storage solutions, facilitating a myriad of applications from portable electronics to electric vehicles. Structural battery composites are a type of multifunctional materials specially designed to bear mechanical loads while simultaneously storing electrical energy. Modelling batteries requires solving a complex multiphysics problem that involves an interplay between mechanics, electrochemistry, and thermal processes.
Current research interests include:
Coupling multiple physics in a finite element method to simulate these systems.
Developing aging models to understand the impact of degradation mechanisms and to predict the performance and lifespan of batteries over time.
Earlier work on stimulus-responsive materials and smart structures
We are interested in the mechanical behavior of stimulus-responsive materials and smart structures. These include soft active materials which deform in response to a variety of external stimulus, ranging from mechanical loads, electricity, temperature, and chemical conditions.
Why soft active materials: Ubiquitous in nature and daily life, soft active materials are also envisioned to be the building blocks for a new generation of soft machines and devices, such as wearable power generators, stretchable sensors, and soft robots. However these materials present new challenges in modelling and simulation, due to nonlinear mechanics, coupled fields, and multiple physics. They also exhibit large deformation and instabilities, manifesting in various interesting but complicated phenomena.
What are our aims:
– Developing theoretical models for various soft materials, such as elastomers which exhibit large deformation, instabilities, and viscoelasticity. Their behavior may often include multiple phenomena coupled together, such as electrical, mechanical, or chemical processes.
– Developing our modeling and simulation capabilities for these materials. Such efforts include: (1) implementing specialized numerical methods to solve boundary-value problems; and (2) executing finite element analysis using in-house codes and user-defined subroutines in commercial softwares.
– Exploring diverse engineering and biomedical applications for these soft materials.
Below is a gallery showcase of some projects on soft materials and smart devices with collaborators. Videos from collaborators are gratefully acknowledged.