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Reuben Govender

Tel: +27 21 650 4526

Personal Details

Reuben matriculated from St Charles College, Pietermaritzburg in 1997. He began his engineering studies at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg in 1998. However, he succumbed to the siren call of the bright lights of the mother city (Cape Town). He graduated with a B.Sc(Mech)Eng with First Class Honours from the University of Cape Town in 2001.

Reuben worked as an Engineer in Training at Koeberg Nuclear Power Station in 2002, before returning to UCT in 2004 to pursue postgraduate studies. Reuben completed his M.Sc, entitled “A Numerical Investigation of Dispersion in Hopkinson Pressure Bars”, in December 2005. During his PhD research, Reuben investigated the response of various fibre reinforced polymers and laminated structures under high strain rate loading. In 2008, he spent several months at Imperial College London, as a Visiting Researcher. Reuben graduated with a PhD in December 2012, with a thesis titled "Characterisation of Glass Fibre Reinforced Polypropylene and GFPP based Fibre Metal Laminates at high strain rates".

Reuben is currently employed in the Department of Mechanical Engineering as a Senior Lecturer, in the field of Design.

Current Research

Impact loading of fibre reinforced polymers often leads to delamination failures. Delamination, being a subsurface failure, may not present any visible damage to the structure, while still weakening it significantly. Thus understanding delamination initiation and growth is of great importance to designers who use fibre reinforced polymers. A novel impact bend test apparatus, based on Hopkinson Pressure Bars, is being used to investigate impact loading of FRPs and the associated delamination. Conventional Split HPB apparatus is also being used to investigate the in-plane and through-thickness properties of FRPs.

Blast loading of structures leads to a non-uniform pressure transient on the surface of the target. Characterisation of the spatial and temporal distributions of blast loading is being investigated by means of a modified ballistic pendulum and pressure sensors.



Journal Papers

  • R.A. Govender, L.A. Louca, A.S. Fallah, A. Pullen and G.N. Nurick, “Determining the through-thickness properties of thick glass fibre reinforced polymers at high strain rates”, Journal of Composite Materials, DOI: 10.1177/0021998311415444, In Press

Published Conferences Proceedings

  • R.A. Govender, G.S. Langdon, G.N. Nurick and T.J. Cloete, “High Strain Rate Compression Testing of Glass Fibre Reinforced Polypropylene”, Accepted for presentation at 10th International Conference on the Mechanical and Physical Behaviour of Materials under Dynamic Loading (DYMAT) – September 2012, Freiburg, Germany
  • R.A.Govender, G.S. Langdon, T.J. Cloete and G.N. Nurick, "High rate delamination testing of fibre reinforced composites, using a Hopkinson Pressure Bar", 6th International Conference on the Fracture of Polymers, Composites and Adhesives, Les Diablerets, Switzerland, September 2011.
  • R.A. Govender, L. Louca, A. Pullen and G. Nurick, “High strain rate delamination of glass fibre reinforced polymers using a Hopkinson bar configured for spalling”, DYMAT 2009 - 9th International Conference on the Mechanical and Physical Behaviour of Materials under Dynamic Loading, Brussels, Belgium, DOI: 10.1051/dymat/2009064
  • R.A. Govender, T.J. Cloete and G.N. Nurick, "A numerical investigation of dispersion in Hopkinson Pressure Bar experiments", Journal de Physique IV, Proceedings DYMAT 2006, 8th International Conference on Physical and Mechanical Behaviour of Materials Under Dynamic Loading, 521-526, DOI: 10.1051/jp4:2006134080