Advanced Materials & Impact Dynamics


Using a synergy of our expertise regarding advanced materials and of their behaviour under dynamic impact loading conditions we focus on developing resilient materials and structures for engineering applications. Using experimental investigation, we test materials over a wide spectrum of strain rates ranging from 10-3 to 107 s-1.  

Our areas of expertise cover the study of advanced composite materials across: 

  • aerospace structures
  • automotive
  • civil infrastructure 
  • defence 
  • oil and gas industries 
  • marine industries 

Our research works to: 

  • maximise survivability by developing new protective structures for Defence to improve the performance of lightweight armour systems in defending against attacks from shape charged weapon systems and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
  • minimise the weight burden on the soldier by developing lightweight durable structures 
  • reduce injury by developing a better understanding of the behaviour of the human body to dynamic loading and ballistic impacts. 

Competitive Advantage

  • Advanced material manufacturing and testing capabilities 
  • The fastest gun in the Southern Hemisphere. A two-stage gun able to fire projectile packages to 4.5 km/s. 
  • Split-Hopkinson-Pressure-Bar for compression and tensile analysis 
  • Instrumented Drop Tower 
  • High-speed diagnostic capabilities 
  • Ability to combine high strain-rate testing with computational expertise 
  • Recognition of our expertise in advanced engineering simulations including blast and impact 

Successful Applications

  • Supporting Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) in their quest to understand the mechanical behaviour of a range of Defence materials at various strain rates 
  • Development of new resilient structures using advanced protective systems and new materials (High strength steel, Polymers, Ceramics, Auxetics, Fabrics) 
  • Probing the ballistic performance of a new fast-jet bunker design 
  • Development of constitutive models for armour materials 
  • Understanding the role of a bullet’s jacket during the penetration of hard targets 
  • Design and analysis of composite anisogrid lattice structures for aerospace applications 
  • Additive manufacturing of layered functionally graded metal matrix composites (jointly with CSIRO) 
  • Design and analysis of reinforced thermoplastic pipes for offshore oil and gas applications 
  • Development of validated numerical platforms and FEA codes, providing a wide range of consultation 

Our research topics and projects include the development of new structural design and analysis methods, experimental characterisation of new materials, studies of structural performance, and manufacturing effects.  

Study With Us

We offer several courses in both advanced materials and impact dynamics.  

We also sponsor several final-year undergraduate research projects in the field of composite structural engineering. These projects relate to real-world issues faced by contemporary and future Australian Defence Force (ADF) platforms. Students participating in sponsored research projects will work collaboratively with the highly recognised Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG). Students also develop professional career networks within our team and the wider ADF structural integrity community.