Associate Professor Chris von Klemperer joined UCT's Mechanical Engineering Department in 2008. He was appointed as one of the two Deputy Heads of Department in 2013, and is responsible for the undergraduate programmes within the Department. His research focus is primarily on the manufacture of fibre reinforced polymeric composites. This research has resulted in the creation of a dedicated composite materials laboratory which was opened in March 2013. This laboratory has facilities for wet-layup, vacuum bagging and VARTM processing as well as post curing and CNC routing of FRP laminates. The new space has allowed relatively large (2.5m x 1.25m) panels to be manufactured.
Recent projects have involved studies of developed panel construction for "mould-less" composite manufacturing of marine structures and the response of fibre reinforced composites, including fibre metal laminates and sandwich panels, to explosive air blast. This blast work has been performed in collaboration with Professor GenevieveLangdon from the BISRU research unit. A new research direction is sailing boat rigid wing mast; design, construction and analysis. This work is being performed in collaboration with Professor ArnaudMalan’sCFD group.
Some previous topics of research:
• EMI shielding and conductivity of composite aerospace structures and materials.
• Resin Film Infusion Moulding.
• Design, analysis and optimisation of co-cured hollow fibre composite structures.
• Resin Transfer Moulding.
• Environmental degradation of composite panels.
• Solar-powered race car design and construction.
• The development of a carbon fibre intra-medullary nail for use in femoral fractures.
• Weight saving in low cost callipers for polio sufferers.
• Research and development of smart materials applications and sensors.