Dr H Alicia Kim

Alicia Kim

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Division: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Cardiff
Tags: Cardiff University, Fellowship: Early Career, Researcher
Related theme: Engineering

Biography

Dr H Alicia Kim received her BEng (Aeronautical) and PhD from the University of Sydney, Australia and was a Royal Academy of Engineering Anglo-Australia Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Warwick, UK before joining Bath in 2001 as a Lecturer. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow at Cardiff University. Her interests are primarily in computational mechanics and optimisation with over 130 international publications, a book and several book chapters. She is an affiliate of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and has an extensive international network of collaborators.

My Fellowship

This fellowship is at the heart of developing sophisticated computational methods to design material and structures at the same time such that material is tailored to specific needs of the overall system. This is going to be applied to design aircraft configurations that have not been considered before. The majority of the current methods analyse how a given material or structure responds to the external environment. What is different about the methods in this research is that they are inverse of the analysis methods: They will determine the best combination of advanced material and structural configuration based on the external environment and hence design the optimum wing for the given flight conditions.

My research approach is to represent the design problem as a set of mathematical functions and develop computational methods to find the optimum solution. The methods will therefore, find the optimum design for both materials and structural configuration at the same time. The outcome of this fellowship will provide engineers with a sophisticated tool to design complex aircraft structures. The tools will be developed and disseminated in a way that they can be used on a range of other complex engineering systems.

The aim is to tailor material design for specific structural needs by developing a multiscale multiphysics optimisation method. This mathematical optimisation approach properly considers the design requirements and constraints of complex engineering problems beyond human understanding. This is important because the fellowship provides the opportunity for me to open up the new horizons for the multifunctional structures that will revolutionise engineering and lead to the better and greener future.

Motivation to Apply

The primary motivation for the fellowship is that I feel so passionate about the long term vision of integrating material and structure design and yet this is so far from the current practice and the research is at its infancy. The fellowship allows to take the leap forward in terms of the technical research and also enable me to take the leadership in this field to create the new interdisciplinary community and motivate more focus and growth. I believe the potential benefit is huge and that the fellowship will bring this future forward by decades.

Career benefits of Fellowship

The fellowship allows me to think less about funding and short-term deliverables and provides me with time to focus on making the scientific advances to demonstrate the potential benefits and communicate them with other researchers to build the community internationally. Such efforts place me at the forefront of the research field and I can be directly involved in shaping and influencing the future research directions. This establishes my international research leadership and I am excited to be making changes to the future of the engineering and ultimately the society in this way.