Talk 5: ‘Aircraft Composite Repair – Fundamental to Structural Health Monitoring’


Talk 5: Aircraft Composite Repair – Fundamental to Structural Health Monitoring

by Professor Alan Lau (Swinburne)

The fifth and last talk part of the 2021 SEAM Seminar Series entitled ‘Trustworthiness, reliability & Materials Science for Aircraft Structures’, aimed to lead the conversation from a significant perspective on the topic of knowledge gap and necessary Research & Development.

Moderator: Dr Andrew Ang (Swinburne)

Advanced composites have been widely used in all engineering sectors owing to their high specific strength to weight ratio, non-corrosive properties and ease of manufacturing components in a piece without excessive use of fasteners that introduce additional weight and possibly, risks of generating corrosion with metallic components. Many practical examples have proved that the composites can be used in safe, in terms of their better fracture resistance characteristics. However, damage inspection and repair scheme for composites remain a critical issue for the aircraft engineering industry. Lacking knowledge of frontline technicians and engineers on these materials have always caused human errors in handling and fabricating composite components. Special environments and proper handling and manufacturing procedures should be followed to minimize the introduction of internal flaws, like voids and micro-cracks. Subsequent structural health monitoring and onsite damage detection are important to accurately identify flaws or damage that could not be seen from the surface of composite components.

In this seminar, Professor Lau provided an overview on the applications of composites for different engineering sectors, as well as the key factors that affect the quality of composite repair, including the structural health monitoring of composites structures, after being repaired.


Professor Alan Lau is Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International and Digital Research) of Swinburne University of Technology, Australia since April 2016. Prior to this appointment, he was appointed as Alex Wong/Gigi Wong Professor in Product Design Engineering and Associate Dean (Industrial Relation) in the Faculty of Engineering of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Professor Lau has received numerous research and teaching awards since 2002. His published articles have received citations over 22,000 times with the h-index of 72. In 2008, he was appointed World Class University Chair Professor by the Ministry of Education, Korea. He is an Academician of the European Academy of Science and Arts and a Fellow of many professional organizations. He was elected as International Vice President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) (The first non-UK member is elected as Vice President in IMechE’s history) from 2013-2019. In 2019, he was named as Australia’s Research Theme Leader in Composite Materials.

Professor Alan Lau

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International and Digital Research)
Swinburne University of Technology


Event contact: 


Professor Alan Lau (Pro-Vice-Chancellor, International and Digital Research, Swinburne)


24 June 2021

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