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University of Southampton MalaysiaAbout us

Dr Khong Wui Gan BEng (Hons), MSc, PhD

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering Lecturer

Dr Khong Wui Gan's photo

Dr. Khong Wui Gan is Assistant Professor at the University of Southampton Malaysia. As a composite material researcher, his research aims to make composite materials more reliable and sustainable for high-value applications.

Dr. Gan graduated with a BEng (First Class Hons) in Mechanical (Aeronautics) Engineering from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in 2007. He was then awarded an Erasmus Mundus scholarship to further his postgraduate studies in the European Masters Course in Aeronautics and Space Technology (EuMAS), a two-year double MSc degree course offered jointly by Università di Pisa, Italy and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain. For his MSc thesis, he was placed with the A350 XWB belly fairing team at Airbus Spain in Getafe for 6 months. Soon after he was awarded a Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award to complete his PhD at the University of Bristol where he studied complex multi-axial loading in carbon-fibre reinforced polymeric (CFRP) composites at the Rolls-Royce Composites University Technology Centre (UTC) in Bristol.

Before joining the University of Southampton Malaysia as a lecturer, Dr. Gan worked on a 1-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project with Rolls-Royce plc at Derby and the Rolls-Royce Composites UTC at Bristol, funded by the UK EPSRC’s Impact Acceleration Award (IAA). He helped develop an analysis tool for the multi-scale damage tolerant design of tapered composite laminates for Rolls-Royce. 

Research interests

  • Composite materials
  • Smart/multifunctional composites
  • Composite mechanics and failure mechanisms
  • Material failure modelling

Research Areas:

  • Aerospace
  • Material and Polymer
  • Mechanical and Manufacturing

PhD studentships are available for candidates with good results and strong interests in composite materials and smart/multifunctional. Please contact k.w.gan@soton.ac.uk for information. 

 

Research project(s)

Integrated experimental and computational characterisation of advanced composite materials subjected to multiaxial loading

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Articles

Materials and Structures, Mathematics for Engineering and the Environment, Introduction to Aeronautics and Astronautics.

PhD projects:

Title: Generating pseudo-ductility in hybrid short/continuous fibre-reinforced composites using recycled carbon fibres (open for PhD application) 

Introduction:  

Despite their high strength, fibre-reinforced composites are known to be brittle, i.e. they fail catastrophically without warning. Pseudo-ductility can be generated in a composite by devising a gradual subcritical progressive damage process, such that it exhibits ‘strain-hardening’ similar to ductile metals, which can serve as a warning sign with detectable damage before final failure. 

Abstract: 

The project aims to reuse recycled carbon fibres to generate pseudo-ductility in a hybrid glass/carbon fibre composite with improved damage tolerance. Highly-aligned short carbon fibres will be embedded within continuous glass fibre composites as a mechanism to trigger a subcritical stable delamination damage process. The project will establish the effects of material parameters (e.g. thickness and length) of the recycled carbon fibres on the subcritical delamination growth rate and pseudo-ductility, via an extensive test programme of un-notched and open-holed hybrid composite specimens. Their subcritical damage development is investigated using digital image correlation.

 

Title: Laser-induced graphene for health monitoring of composite materials (open for PhD application) 

Introduction: 

Graphene is known to have high specific surface area and excellent thermal/electrical conductivity, which sees itself in applications such as wearable electronic and energy storage. Recently a graphenic nano-materials called laser-induced graphene (LIG) has been widely investigated due to its easy, cost-effective and scalable synthesis. LIG is produced through a one-step laser treatment of commercial polyimide (PI) film substrate under an ambient atmosphere. However, the potential of LIG for use in technological applications is limited by its weak adherence on the PI substrates. In order to realise the full potential of LIG, it is necessary to preserve the LIG flakes’ connectivity and robustness. One way is to infuse it with other materials such as plastic and rubber. 

Abstract: 

In this project we propose to embed LIG in fibre-reinforced composites as smart sensors for health monitoring. The excellent thermal and electrical conductivity of LIG offers an extremely versatile and wide-range sensing platform which can be exploited to detect various physical quantities in a composite structure such as moisture uptake, strain/stress, damage area, fatigue crack propagation, etc.

The scope of the project includes: (1) optimisation of the sensitivity of LIG’s properties to external environment, (2) integration of LIG in fibre-reinforced composites, and (3) testing and validation of the sensing system at the component level.    

Dr Khong Wui Gan
No. 3, Persiaran Canselor 1,
Kota Ilmu EduCity,
79200 Iskandar Puteri, Johor,
Malaysia

Room Number NNN: 193 USMC/4001

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