Mechanics of materials and composites

Research conducted under the Centre of Advanced Composite Materials (CACM).

Synergy is the combination of two or more things to produce an effect greater than their individual effects. Similarly, composite material systems combine two or more materials with very different properties into a new designed material. Such engineered materials, produced in specific ways, have superior synergistic properties and performance based on combined action, and the interaction of the constituents and of the interfaces between them.

The success of composite materials is attested by the range of carbon and glass-reinforced materials in use today. Engineering these new materials for specific applications demands expertise found in mechanical engineering, theoretical mechanics, polymer science and materials engineering. Hence, the composites research group has a multidisciplinary approach to its research.

Our research is conducted under the umbrella of the Centre for Advanced Composite Materials (CACM) based in Auckland, with a mission to advance research and develop young engineers through theoretical modelling, practical application and informative publication.

Research areas

Students with interests in composites can consider research in the following areas:

  • Development of novel materials, such as bio-composites and nano-composites
  • Design and performance evaluation of fibre composite materials and soft-core laminates for marine automotive, aerospace and recreational applications
  • Development, simulation and control of cost-effective and robust manufacturing processes
  • Projects run in conjunction with companies such as Southern Spars, Rocket Lab and BMW
  • Research with emphasis on realistic analysis and applications
  • Product design and practical applications, such as composite wheelchairs, thermoplastic snow skis, ankle supports and other exciting and practical projects

Working with industry

Industrial partners and collaborators

C Tech Ltd | Globex Engineering Ltd | Southern Spars | TruTest | Blunt | BMW (Munich) | Galanti Plastics | Emirates Team New Zealand | Gurit (NZ) Ltd | AIM Altitude | Innova Composite Helicopters | AECOM | Galloway International | Fisher & Paykel Healthcare | SCION | Core Builders Composites | Advanced Aerospace Ltd | ONR 

Commercial services

  • Large scale Finite Element Analysis, including significant computational capacity
  • Design and performance evaluation of composite structures
  • Analysis of composite manufacturing processes