Visitors from KIT

Mr Simone Pupeschi and Mrs Marigrazia Mascardini are visiting us from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany from Jan to April, 2017. They have previously visited us in 2015, with the photo attached from their last visit. 

Simone and Mari are two final-year PhD students at KIT and have been working on thermo-mechanical behaviour of tritium breeder materials under extreme loading conditions (high temperature and neutron irradiation) for nuclear fusion reactors (i.e., ITER and Fusion for Energy projects). 

Photo from a Thai dinner taken on 1/2/2017, from left: Simone, Ratna, Yixiang, Mari and Simon.

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Inaugural Sydney Research Accelerator (SOAR) Fellows launch

Last week, Dr Gan attended the launch event of the Inaugural Sydney Research Accelerator (SOAR) Fellows. The fellows from the University’s new Sydney Research Accelerator (SOAR) program came together last week for a networking morning tea with the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Duncan Ivison.

In its first year, the program will enable 10 early-career and 10 mid-career researchers to further their research in important areas such as preventing melanoma, preparing for the next global pandemic, building more powerful batteries for electric cars and helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds access education.

Group photo (from left): Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Duncan Ivison with SOAR Fellows Associate Professor Xiaoke Yi, Associate Professor Karl Maton, Dr Yixiang Gan, Associate Professor Chris Ling, Dr Wojciech Chrzanowski, Associate Professor Tara Murphy, Dr Stefanie Schurer, Dr Jane Lê, Associate Professor Paulo Ferreira, Associate Professor Michael Valenzuela, Associate Professor Anne Cust, Associate Professor Susan Park, Associate Professor Anika Gauja.

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A few photos from the event (1/12/2016).

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IWMEM2016 workshop

International Workshop on Mechanics of Energy Materials (IWMEM2016) has been successfully hosted at The University of Sydney, 14-15 November, 2o16.

The workshop contained 22 presentations, regarding a wide range of research on challenging engineering problems in energy systems, and 40 participants from Germany, China, India, USA and Australia. After the presentations, an open discussion session has been carried out for variety of questions faced in the current trends in energy systems, and the plan to host the next IWMEM in Suzhou, China, 2017.

The group photo is taken in front of The University of Sydney Quadrangle.

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Also, there are some photos during our open discussion sessions:

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Mingchao awarded Endeavour Research Fellowship

Our previous visiting PhD student, Mr Mingchao Liu,from Tsinghua University has been awarded with Endeavour Research Fellowship from Australian Government. This prestige fellowship will support him to conduct a six-month research project at The University of Sydney in 2017.

Congratulations to Mingchao.

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More details about Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships (link):

The Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are the Australian Government’s competitive, merit-based scholarships and fellowships providing opportunities for Australians to undertake study, research or professional development overseas and for overseas citizens to do the same in Australia.

The Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships build Australia’s reputation for excellence in the provision of education and research, support the internationalisation of the Australian higher education and research sectors and offer high-achieving Australians opportunities to increase their knowledge and expertise in their field.

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Dr Gan selected as Sydney Research Accelerator fellow

Dr Gan has been selected as one of the inaugural Sydney Research Accelerator (SOAR) fellows at The University of Sydney. The news has just been announced by the University.

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SOAR stands for Sydney Outstanding Academic Researcher program.

Extracted from the announcement (link):

The first cohort of fellows of the University’s new Sydney Research Accelerator (SOAR) program has been announced.

In its first year, the program will enable 10 early-career and 10 mid-career researchers to further their research in important areas such as preventing melanoma, preparing us for the next global pandemic, building more powerful batteries for electric cars and helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed in education.

As part of their two-year program, fellows are awarded $50,000 per year to support their research, innovation and development plans. They also benefit from a personalised program of research development support and structured mentoring.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Duncan Ivison said the program recognises and develops the University’s most talented researchers as part of the University’s 2016-20 unprecedented investment in research.

“Through SOAR, we will support up-and-coming research leaders to build momentum and increase the scale and impact of their research.”

“At the University of Sydney, we want to celebrate and nurture high-performing researchers to realise their full potential and SOAR is just one of the many new programs we are developing to do just that.”

Professor Ivison said the program would allow our best and most promising researchers more opportunity to fast-track their career development and position them as pioneers in new fields. It will help them build leadership skills and aid the development of new partnerships with industry and other leading academics around the world.

Dr Andrew Black, Director of Research Development and Collaboration, said the program received an overwhelming level of interest.

“The volume and calibre of the applicants was extremely high, which highlights the University’s ability to attract leading researchers across a variety of disciplines. With the demand and early success of the program, we hope to increase the number of fellowships offered in 2018.”

Highlighting the University’s commitment to gender equity, 50 percent of the fellowships were awarded to women.

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Saba won 1st Prize in Civil Poster Presentation 2016

Congratulations to Mrs Saba Gharehdash, who won Annie B Wilson 1st Prize in Civil Engineering Poster Presentation 2016 last Friday. The presentation is entitled “Mechanical and Hydraulic Behaviour of Blast Induced Fractured Rock”. She is a PhD candidate supervised by A/Prof Luming Shen and Dr Yixiang Gan.

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Professor Marc Kamlah is visiting the lab

My former PhD advisor, Professor Marc Kamlah from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) Germany, is visiting the lab for four weeks. Marc is the group leader and now acting as the head of Institute of Applied Materials – Mechanics of Materials and Biomechanics (IAM-WMB) where over 60 Scientists work experimentally and theoretically in the field of the mechanics of materials and bio-mechanics. More details about IAM-WMB via https://www.iam.kit.edu/wbm/index.php

He will attend later the International Workshop on Mechanics of Energy Materials (IWMEM 2016) at The University of Sydney.

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Chongpu presented at IEEE Holm Conference and won Young Investigator Award

Mr Chongpu Zhai (a PhD candidate) presented our work on “Stress-dependent frequency response of conductive granular materials” at The IEEE Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts (9-12 October, 2016, Florida USA) and won the Young Investigator Award.

Well done and Congratulations, Chongpu.

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The paper was co-authored by Chongpu Zhai, Dorian Hanaor, Gwénaëlle Proust, and Yixiang Gan, at The University of Sydney.

Conference website: http://www.ieee-holm.org/

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Mr Oleg Birkholz is visiting the lab

Mr Oleg Birkholz from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany is visiting us at The University of Sydney. Oleg is working on the numerical aspects of modelling lithium-ion battery systems, via the discrete element method and resistor-capacity (RC) network. He will stay with us for two months and working on modelling electro-mechanical properties of granular energy systems.
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Conference presentations (ICTAM and SOFT)

Recently, two previous visitors (Mingchao and Mari) have presented their work at two conferences.

(1) In August, Mr Mingchao Liu (Tsinghua University, China) attended the 24th International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (ICTAM2016) in Montreal, Canada, presenting “Surface effect on the adsorption-induced deformation of ordered porous materials”.

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(2) In September, Mrs Marigrazia Moscardini (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany) attended the 29th Symposium on Fusion Technology (SOFT 2016) in Prague, Czech Republic, presenting “Discrete element modelling of ellipsoidal particles for fusion applications”.

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Manuscript accepted (Langmuir)

A manuscript has been accepted by Langmuir on a theoretical analysis of capillary penetration in porous media: 

Liu, M., Wu, J., Gan,Y., Hanaor, D., Chen, C. (2016). Evaporation limited radial capillary penetration in porous media. Langmuir. in press.

DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b02404

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Figure: (a) Schematic illustration of an annular porous medium fed by inner and outer reservoirs. (b) Calculated phase diagram of evaporation limited radial capillary penetration in an annular porous medium.

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Ms Yi Zhang submitted MPhil thesis

Ms Yi Zhang has just submitted her MPhil thesis, on “Static and Dynamic Behaviour of Inter-granular Liquid Bridges: Hysteresis of Contact Angle and Capillary Forces”, at School of Civil Engineering, The University of Sydney, and this is our research group.

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Manuscript accepted (FED)

A manuscript has been accepted by Fusion Engineering and Design, summarising Simone’s work during his stay at The University of Sydney, funded by a Go8-DAAD project. Simone is working at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany.

Pupeschi, S., Knitter, R., Kamlah, M., Gan, Y. (2016) Numerical and experimental characterization of ceramic pebble beds under cycling mechanical loading. Fusion Engineering and Design. in press.

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Paper online, TAML

Liu, M., Jin, P., Xu, Z., Hanaor, D.A.H., Gan, Y., Chen, C.Q. (2016)  Two-dimensional modeling of the self-limiting oxidation in silicon and tungsten nanowires. Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Letters. in press. [DOI]

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Abstract: Self-limiting oxidation of nanowires has been previously described as a reaction- or diffusion-controlled process. In this letter, the concept of finite reactive region is introduced into a diffusion-controlled model, based upon which a two-dimensional cylindrical kinetics model is developed for the oxidation of silicon nanowires and is extended for tungsten. In the model, diffusivity is affected by the expansive oxidation reaction induced stress. The dependency of the oxidation upon curvature and temperature is modeled. Good agreement between the model predictions and available experimental data is obtained. The developed model serves to quantify the oxidation in two-dimensional nanostructures and is expected to facilitate their fabrication via thermal oxidation techniques.

Keywords: Self-limiting oxidation; Finite reactive region; Kinetics model; Nanowires

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Paper online, IJMMD

Flores-Johnson, E.A., Wang, S., Maggi, F., El Zein, A., Gan, Y., Nguyen, G.D., Shen, L. (2016) Discrete element simulation of dynamic behaviour of partially saturated sand. International Journal of Mechanics and Materials in Design. in press. [DOI]

 

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Abstract
The discrete element method (DEM) together with the finite element method (FEM) in LS-DYNA was employed to investigate the dynamic behaviour of sand under impact loading. In this approach, the partially saturated sand was modelled in DEM with capillary forces being taken into account through an implicit capillary contact model, while other solids were simulated using FEM. A slump test was first performed with dry sand to calibrate the contact parameters in DEM. Low velocity impact tests were then conducted to investigate the effect of water saturation on the shape and height of sand piles after impact, and to validate the simulations. It was found in the experiments that an increasing water saturation (in the range between 10 and 30 %) affected the height of sand pile for a given drop height due to an increasing cohesion between particles. The simulations captured the experimental ejecta patterns and sand pile height. Finally, a low confinement split Hopkinson pressure bar test from earlier literature was modelled; the DEM–FEM simulations could reproduce the trends of experimentally observed stress–strain curves of partially saturated sand under high strain rate loading, indicating that it was feasible to model dynamic behaviour of dry and wet sand with low saturation (<20 %) in LS-DYNA; however, a number of questions remain open about the effect of grain shape, grain crushing and viscosity.

Keywords: Partially saturated sand; Impact; Capillary force; Discrete element method; DEM–FEM simulation; LS-DYNA

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Call for Abstracts: International Workshop on Mechanics of Energy Materials (IWMEM2016)

Dear colleagues,

Please consider submit an abstract (maximum 2 pages) for your talk at the coming International Workshop on Mechanics of Energy Materials (IWMEM2016, Sydney). The deadline for the abstract submission is 15 August, 2016. You can also consider to include one figure in the abstract to highlight your research.

Time and Location: 14-15 November 2016, The University of Sydney, Australia

Also the registration is open via the conference website, and please note that the early-bird registration is now available. More information can be found via the IWMEM2016 webpage:
http://sydney.edu.au/engineering/civil/research/scigem/workshops/iwmem2016.shtml

Look forward to having you here in Sydney.
Best regards,
Yixiang

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Accepted manuscripts

Last week, two manuscripts have been accepted by International Journal of Mechanics and Materials in Design and Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Letters, respectively.

[1] Flores-Johnson, E.A., Wang, S., Maggi, F., El Zein, A., Gan, Y., Nguyen, G.D., Shen, L. (2016) Discrete element simulation of dynamic behaviour of partially saturated sand. International Journal of Mechanics and Materials in Design. in press.

[2] Liu, M., Jin, P., Xu, Z., Hanaor, D.A.H., Gan, Y., Chen, C.Q. (2016) Two-dimensional modeling of the self-limiting oxidation in silicon and tungsten nanowires. Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Letters. in press.

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Mr Mojtaba Nazemi joined the group

Mr Mojtaba Nazemi started his PhD programme in Semester 2, 2016, and he will work on the mechanics of degradation and healing in cemented granular materials. Mojtaba graduated with MSc(Eng) from the School of Civil Engineering, Graduate University of Advanced Technology, Iran 2015 and BSc (Eng) from the School of Civil Engineering, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman,Iran 2008.

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Paper online, Int J. Engineering Science

Mingchao’s recent paper on pore-load modulus of coated porous media is now online.

Liu, M., Zhang, Y., Wu, J., Gan, Y., Chen, C.Q. (2016) Analytical solutions for elastic response of coated mesoporous materials to pore pressure. International Journal of Engineering Science. 107:68-76.
[DOI][PDF: 037_IJES_2016]

Abstract
Pore fluid adsorption-induced deformation of mesoporous materials is an important physical phenomenon. Experimental results show that the adsorption-induced elastic deformation can be quantified in terms of pore-load modulus (i.e., the radio between pore pressure and overall strain). In practical applications, most mesoporous materials are functionalized by post-fabrication processes such as surface coating. In this paper, we develop a theoretical model to predict the adsorption-induced deformation of ordered mesoporous materials with uniform and functionally graded coatings. Closed-form solutions of the pore-load modulus are obtained as a function of porosity, elastic properties of bulk materials and coating phases, thickness of coating, and geometrical arrangement of pores. Deformation of a coated triangular lattice of cylindrical pores representing the mesoporous materials with inner fluid pressure is also simulated by the finite element method, showing excellent agreement with the established theoretical solutions. The proposed model provides a general description of the elastic response of heterogeneous mesoporous materials subjected to the inner pressure loading.

 

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Figure: The normalized pore-load moduli varies as a function of relative Young’s moduli for the mesoporous materials with (a) uniform coating and (b) functionally graded coating.

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ACCM2015 conference papers online

In the Proceedings of ACCM2015:

[1] Kazzaz, A., Einav, I., Proust, G., Gan, Y. (2016). Effect of ground mineralogy on energy pile performance in dense sand. The 2nd Australasian Conference on Computational Mechanics (ACCM 2015), Switzerland: Scientific.Net. [PDF: AMM.846.325]

[2] Dai, W., Gan, Y., Hanaor, D. (2016). Effective thermal conductivity of submicron powders: A numerical study. The 2nd Australasian Conference on Computational Mechanics (ACCM 2015), Switzerland: Scientific.Net. [PDF: AMM.846.500]

[3] Zhai, C., Gan, Y., Hanaor, D. (2016). Numerical Analysis of Normal Contact Stiffness of Rough Surfaces. The 2nd Australasian Conference on Computational Mechanics (ACCM 2015), Switzerland: Scientific.Net. [PDF: AMM.846.300]

[4] Gharehdash, S., Shen, L., Gan, Y., Flores-Johnson, E. (2016). Numerical investigation on fracturing of rock under blast using coupled finite element method and smoothed particle hydrodynamics. The 2nd Australasian Conference on Computational Mechanics (ACCM 2015), Switzerland: Scientific.Net. [PDF: AMM.846.102]

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