Ralph Abrahams

Assoc Professor

1986 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile


A/Prof Abrahams is in the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. His main research interests include:Laser cladding of rails and wheels, friction stir welding and processing, fracture and fatigue of aircraft structures, applying nano coatings and advanced techniques to improve wear fracture and fatigue properties of alloys and the structural integrity of aircraft structures. Improving fatigue properties of aluminium and magnesium alloys using friction-stir processing and thermo-mechanical techniques.

Whilst employed as a research associate at the UNSW, A/Prof Abrahams completed his PhD in Fracture Mechanics in 1990 from the same university. He spent the next two years at UNSW and Melbourne University as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (1990-1992).

A/Prof Abrahams' uninterrupted 27 year track record is evident from his academic distinctions, awards and recognition of research work through 220 top international journal publications in the areas of improving material properties (wear, fatigue and Fracture) of light alloys and steels using thermo-mechanical techniques, fracture mechanics, and structural integrity properties. At prestigious research institutions (Melbourne, UNSW and Monash) his research activities have always been directly relevant to industrial applications and in this time A/Prof Abrahams has been the Head of postgraduate Research for eight years in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Monash University. Over the past five years he has published 43 journal papers (34 of 43 journal papers are in high impact factor journals). He has attracted several ARC Discovery, Linkage and LIEF grants (cash commitment ~ $4.5m).

A/Prof Abrahams currently spends 60% of his time on research and the supervision of PhD students and 40% on undergraduate teaching. Other large industry-sponsored projects include grants from ANSTO, Hard Chrome Engineering, AWI, CSIRO, and grants from major alumina. His professional distinctions include: membership of the review board of prestigious international conferences (e.g International Congress of Fracture (ICF11), International conference of the International institute of welding (IIW), and International Congress on Mechanical behaviour of materials. Furthermore he has been regularly invited to present keynote lectures at several international conferences.

A/Prof Abrahams has also established an advanced material testing laboratory with dedicated facilities (a nano scale tensile testing rig) for evaluating material characteristics, interfacial fracture toughness and delimitation of carbon nano tubes and servo-hydraulic testing machines for fatigue and fracture toughness testing of nano materials and nano coating systems. In summary, these available resources give him a significant advantage in the field of avant-garde research.

Publications: Over 220 Refereed Journals; 170 Refereed Conference Proceedings

Patents: (1): Nano scale tensile testing and stress corrosion Cracking Test Rigs

Postgraduate supervision: 30PhD and 5 M.Eng students have completed their thesis under his supervision and he is currently supervising 7 PhD students in the areas of laser cladding of rails and wheels,  friction stir processing of magnesium alloys, interfacial fracture toughness evaluation of nano coatings, and fatigue and fracture of aircraft structures.

A/Prof Abrahams' publications have been published in world-class journals such as, Wear, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, the International Journal of Fracture, Metallurgical and Materials; A; Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science, Corrosion Science, the Electrochemical Society, and Materials Science and Engineering A.

A/Prof Abrahams has won a number of awards, including the Monash Engendering Research Award, and has been invited to give seminars at research institutions in Australia, USA, Singapore, Japan and UK.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Research area keywords

  • Fracture Mechanics
  • Laser Cladding
  • Nano coating
  • Coatings
  • Fatigue
  • rails and wheels
  • Magnesium Alloys
  • Friction-Stir Processing

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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