Dr. Karthik Ram Ramakrishnan is a researcher with demonstrated skills in mechanical characterisation and structural analysis of polymers and composites, excellent communication skills and a proven track record in conducting research projects. His research focus is in mechanics of materials, with emphasis on the dynamic behaviour of composite materials.
Karthik worked in a wide range of projects with materials varying from cellulose based nanocomposites to Kevlar sandwich composites; experimental techniques from Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar (SHPB) to biomechanical kick energy assessment; and numerical models from brittle cracking in acrylic to multiscale modeling of plant fibre composites. His experience spans different aspects along the product chain, starting from single fibre testing, to composites manufacturing, mechanical characterization and finite element analyses.
He has authored 29 publications in journals such as Composites Part A and Composites Part B. He has also co-authored publications in other disciplines: Material Chemistry A, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Tribology international and Sports engineering.
Karthik's postdoctoral fellowship at Tampere was awarded for an independent project proposal that he wrote to the University President (equivalent of the Vice-Chancellor’s Fellowship). The funding was worth approximately €120,000 towards his salary and indirect costs/overheads.
He was awarded the prestigious Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and Top-up Scholarship from UNSW Australia to pursue his PhD. He was rewarded for strengthening the scientific collaboration between Australia and France with highly competitive grants by the Australian Academy of Science ($5000) and Scientific Mobility program of French Embassy ($5000).
The development and integration of experimental and numerical methods for studying the dynamic behaviour of polymers, composites and sandwich panels
Karthik's research focused on overcoming the scientific obstacles to the development and widespread adoption of sustainable composites made of natural fibres in structural applications in automotive, biomedical and other industries
His research focused on investigating nano-scale reinforcements based on self-assembling block copolymers to improve the impact resistance of sandwich composites.
Karthik is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Impact Engineering Laboratory (100% research role). He is responsible for the ballistic impact testing of composite components for engine casing of Rolls-Royce's next generation Ultra High Bypass Ratio (UHBR) civil gas turbines.
This project, funded by Innovate UK, allows Oxford together with partners Rolls-Royce and National Composite Centre (NCC) to manufacture the world’s largest carbon fibre composite fan case and is a key enabler for future UHBR engines.