Dr Jonathan (Phuong) Tran
Doctor Jonathan Phuong Tran has been working as a research fellow and lecturer in Structural Engineering at the Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne since 2012. He was awarded his PhD in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics from University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, USA and working as a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University, USA.
Dr Tran has contributed to number of successful competitive grants including Victorian CRC-Project on Advanced Manufacturing of High Performance Building Envelope Systems and ARC Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing and number of other ARC Linkage and Discovery projects. Dr Tran has served as co-supervisors of five PhD students with one completion and supervisors for a number of Masters by research. He has published one book chapter and 48 refereed papers in leading journals including Composite Structures, Thin Wall Structures, Construction Building Materials, Composite Part A: Science & Composite Part B: Engineering. Dr Tran and his PhD student were awarded a number of best paper prizes for their research on computational mechanics and shock and impact on structures.
He has been involved in coordination and teaching of three Structural Engineering subjects: Structural Theory and Design and Extreme Loadings and Engineering Materials. Dr Tran has served as a deputy Director for Advanced Protective Technology for Engineering Structures (APTES), convener of Research Network for a Secure Australia (RNSA) and member of Standards Australia committee on new standard for Fibre-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Bars.
Development of bio-inspired composite structure
Dr Tran is a pioneer in the area of developing biomimetic composite structure of force protection. In this project, a high-performance bio-inspired composite sandwich panels for novel armour materials will be developed through a combined multi-scale experimental/computational approach. In particular we will mimic mollusk shells, which exhibit superior strength, toughness, and lateral damage spreading capabilities upon impulsive loading. Several lightweight material systems will be used to mimic nacre hierarchical structure to resemble key toughening mechanism present in these nacreous shells. One particular material of interest is armour-graded Aluminium, which exhibits high strength-to-weight ratio, could be fabricated and assembled into nacre-like composite panel through interlayer polymeric bond. Another material system is based on GFRP with the introduction of interlaminate waviness to mimic interlocking mechanism of nacre. These developments will be informed by nano, micro, and macro characterisation of the deformation and damage-spreading mechanisms observed in natural nacre as well as multi-scale modelling.
Design optimisation of meta-materials and hierarchical lattice structures
In this project Dr Tran collaborated with Assoc Prof Tuan Ngo and Prof Priyan Mendis to develop and investigate the innovative sandwich panel subjected to impulsive loading. We develop equivalent sandwich panels composed of auxetic and conventional honeycomb cores and metal facets are analysed and compared for their resistance performances against impulsive loadings. The dynamic behaviours of these structures are numerically investigated, taking into account the rate-dependent effects. The Johnson-Cook model is employed to describe the dynamic responses of the composite sandwiches subjected to high strain-rate loadings. Analytical models are derived correlating unit cell geometrical parameters and crushing strengths of the representative panels at different impact velocities. Design optimisation approach is developed to achieve the optimum design of composite sandwich panels.
Composite structure underwater shock impact
In this project, I have conducted a Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI) experiment to investigate the behaviour of solid and sandwich panels subjected to underwater blast. The set-up is a highly instrumented scaled model designed to characterize the underwater blast impulsive loading of structures, and to identify their failure by means of real time measurements of deflection profiles, deformation histories, and fracture. In the FSI setup, a water chamber made of a steel tube is incorporated into a gas gun apparatus. A scaled structure is fixed at one end of the steel tube and a water piston seals the other end. A flyer plate impacts the water piston and produces an exponentially-decaying pressure history in lieu of explosive detonation. The pressure induced by the flyer plate propagates and imposes an impulse to the structure (panel specimen), which response elicits bubble formation and water cavitation.