An aerospace engineer whose work supports the safe operation of the Australian Defence Force air fleet has become the first Australian to receive the international Jaap Schijve award for young aeronautical researchers.
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon today congratulated Dr Chris Wallbrink from the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) on winning the prestigious award sponsored by the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory and the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
The Jaap Schijve award recognises young researchers for outstanding contribution to advancing scientific knowledge about fatigue and damage tolerance in aircraft. It is named after Delft University veteran and structural integrity expert Professor Jaap Schivje.
“Dr Wallbrink is a talented young scientist whose research has directly benefited the structural management and airworthiness of Defence aircraft such as the C-130 Hercules and P-3 Orions,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Scientific understanding and mastery of airframe fatigue is a critical feature of support to the Royal Australian Air Force and Dr Wallbrink’s analytical studies have enabled Defence to maximise the availability of aircraft for operational use while reducing downtime.”
Dr Wallbrink said he was humbled by the international recognition and appreciated the opportunity to have made a worthwhile contribution.
“I have been able to contribute to the development of new and improved techniques for predicting fatigue and fatigue crack growth in aircraft structures and these techniques are critical to maintaining aircraft within the safe bounds of operation,” Dr Wallbrink said.
Dr Wallbrink will deliver the Jaap Schijve lecture at the 27th Symposium of the International Committee on Aeronautical Fatigue and Structural Integrity (ICAF) in Jerusalem on 7 June, when he will receive a medal and cash prize of €5000.
“Dr Wallbrink has not only done Australia proud by his achievement but also maintained DSTO’s long-established reputation as a world class leader in aeronautical fatigue research,” Mr Snowdon said.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20130254.
Minister Snowdon’s office: Lidija Ivanovski (02) 6277 7820 or 0407 108 935
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999