Sonya Brown

Aerospace Design
Senior Lecturer

Dr Sonya A Brown is a Senior Lecturer in Aerospace Design in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Dr Brown is an expert in aerospace design and carbon composite materials. Dr Brown is focused on education and research in aerospace design, from conceptual vehicle design to detailed structures and systems design. Additionally, Dr Brown's research interests include the continued advancement of high-quality carbon composite materials, and the manufacturing technologies to produce composite components reliably for the aerospace industry.

Research Projects

Examples of Dr Brown's research projects include:

  • Static and fatigue characterization of composite materials
  • Multifunctional composites for supercapacitors
  • Fibre-reinforced magneto-polymer matrix composites
  • Automated fibre placement (AFP) for complex curvatures
  • Carbon fibre composite manufacturing process optimisation

Dr Brown is collaborating with organisations including the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group, Axowind Holdings, and Quickstep Technologies.

PhD Opportunities

Dr Brown's is currently seeking a motivated PhD candidate to support the following project:

  • Multifunctional polymer composites modified with nanofillers to improve electrical conductivity

Students must currently be located in Australia, and able to commence Term 3, 2021 or Term 1, 2022. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Dr Sonya Brown:

Aerospace Expertise

Dr Brown has provided expertise in aerospace topics and aircraft incidents as follows:

  • Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Boeing 737 MAX 8 disaster in Ethiopia 2019 (ABC News, Sky World News, ABC Radio National)
  • Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 aircraft crash in Iran 2020 (ABC News, Sky World News)
  • C130 firefighting aircraft crash in NSW 2020 (SBS News)
  • Western Sydney Airport concerns regarding fuel dumping 2020 (Penrith Press)
  • Flying Cars 2020 (ABC News, ABC Radio)
  • Sriwijaya Air SJ182 aircraft crash in Indonesia 2021 (ABC Radio)
  • Pratt & Whitney 4000 uncontained engine failures on Boeing 777 aircraft 2021 (ABC News)

  • Doctor of Philosophy, School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, The University of Sydney, awarded 2012
  • Bachelor of Engineering - Aeronautical (Honours Class I and the University Medal), The University of Sydney, awarded 2007

Industry Background

Quickstep Technologies Pty Ltd, 2011-2017

  • Materials Research Engineer and Lab Manager (October 2015 - October 2017)
  • Research and Development Project Manager (November 2013 - October 2015)
  • Research and Development Engineer (October 2011 - November 2013)

Journal articles
Charles ADM; Rider AN; Brown SA; Wang CH, 2021, 'Multifunctional magneto-polymer matrix composites for electromagnetic interference suppression, sensors and actuators', Progress in Materials Science, vol. 115, pp. 100705 - 100705,
Sha Z; Huang F; Zhou Y; Zhang J; Wu S; Chen J; Brown SA; Peng S; Han Z; Wang CH, 2021, 'Synergies of vertical graphene and manganese dioxide in enhancing the energy density of carbon fibre-based structural supercapacitors', Composites Science and Technology, vol. 201, pp. 108568 - 108568,
Chen J; Liang J; Zhou Y; Sha Z; Lim S; Huang F; Han Z; Brown SA; Cao L; Wang DW; Wang CH, 2021, 'A vertical graphene enhanced Zn-MnO2flexible battery towards wearable electronic devices', Journal of Materials Chemistry A, vol. 9, pp. 575 - 584,
Huang F; Singer G; Zhou Y; Sha Z; Chen J; Han Z; Brown SA; Zhang J; Wang CH, 2021, 'Creating ionic pathways in solid-state polymer electrolyte by using PVA-coated carbon nanofibers', Composites Science and Technology, vol. 207, pp. 108710 - 108710,
Sha Z; Zhou Y; Huang F; Yang W; Yu Y; Zhang J; Wu S; Brown SA; Peng S; Han Z; Wang CH, 2021, 'Carbon fibre electrodes for ultra long cycle life pseudocapacitors by engineering the nano-structure of vertical graphene and manganese dioxides', Carbon, vol. 177, pp. 260 - 270,
Chen J; Zhou Y; Islam MS; Cheng X; Brown SA; Han Z; Rider AN; Wang CH, 2021, 'Carbon fiber reinforced Zn–MnO2 structural composite batteries', Composites Science and Technology, vol. 209, pp. 108787 - 108787,
Charles ADM; Rider AN; Brown SA; Wang CH, 2020, 'Improving the actuation performance of magneto-polymer composites by silane functionalisation of carbonyl-iron particles', Composites Part B: Engineering, vol. 196, pp. 108091 - 108091,
Charles ADM; Rider AN; Brown SA; Wang CH, 2020, 'Actuated dielectric-lossy screen for dynamically suppressing electromagnetic interference', ACS Applied Electronic Materials, vol. 2, pp. 3923 - 3935,
Sha Z; Han Z; Wu S; Zhang F; Islam MS; Brown SA; Wang CH, 2019, 'Low-temperature plasma assisted growth of vertical graphene for enhancing carbon fibre/epoxy interfacial strength', Composites Science and Technology, vol. 184, pp. 107867 - 107867,
Brown SA; Tong L, 2012, 'Validation and enhancements for the localised experimental-numerical technique', Composites Part B: Engineering, vol. 43, pp. 2359 - 2374,
Brown SA; Tong L, 2011, 'A localised experimental-numerical technique for determining mixed mode strain energy release rates', Composite Structures, vol. 94, pp. 132 - 142,
Book Chapters
Brown SA; Tong L; Gong X-J; Luo Q, 2011, 'Mixed mode energy release rates for composite joints', in Composite Joints and Connections Principles, Modelling and Testing, Woodhead Pub Limited, pp. 435 - 462,
Brown SA, 2005, 'Practical enhancement of engineering learning', in Dream It, Create It, Live it Young Engineers Australia : 2005 Year of the Young Engineer, The Institution of Engineers Australia, Australia, pp. 13 - 20
Conference Presentations
Brown SA; Tong L, 2010, 'A combined experimental-numerical technique for determining mixed mode strain energy release rates', presented at 15th Composites Durability Workshop, Kanazawa, Japan, 18 October 2010 - 20 October 2010

Aircraft, Aerospace, Aircraft Crash, Aeronautical, Aerospace Materials, Aerospace Structures, Aerospace Systems, Aerospace Engineering, Aircraft Design, Aerospace Design, Manufacturing, Crash Investigation, Composite Materials, Carbon Fibre, Carbon Composites, Multifunctional Composites