Dr Sonya Brown
Senior Lecturer

Dr Sonya Brown

Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

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 is currently seeking motivated PhD candidates in the areas of multifunctional composite materials and composite manufacturing process optimisation.

Students must be competitive for UNSW scholarship rounds. If you are a high performing student and interested, please contact Dr Sonya Brown: sonya.brown@unsw.edu.au

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 NewsRadio)
  • Pratt & Whitney 4000 uncontained engine failures on Boeing 777 aircraft 2021 (ABC News)
  • Flying Cars 2021 (Print: Daily Telegraph, DriveNow, Fassifern Guardian & Tribune, Executive Traveller, MSN News, Gizmodo Australia; Radio: ABC Canberra, ABC Illawarra, ABC Regional SA, 2GB, 2SM, 2CC, 4CA, 2DU, 98five Sonshine FM, Alive 90.5 FM, 88.6 Plenty Valley FM, RhemaFM, Joy 94.9)
  • Aircraft Storage and Return to Service 2021 (Print: The Guardian; Radio: ABC NewsRadio, ABC Radio National, ABC Sydney, ABC Melbourne, ABC Darwin, 3AW)
  • China Eastern Airlines Flight MU5735 aircraft crash in China 2022 (Print: BBC 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)

Ainsworth Building (J17) Kensington Campus
  • Journal articles | 2022
    Charles ADM; Rider AN; Brown SA; Wang CH, 2022, 'High aspect ratio galfenol flakes for high strain efficiency and sensing performance of magnetostrictive polymer composites', Journal of Materials Chemistry C, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d2tc02572h