Although the award is primarily made to recognise outstanding academic achievement, other contributions and achievements are acknowledged and Dr Monali Dahale won the award in recognition of her research in Advanced Composite Materials, but also for the exceptional qualities she has shown in intellectual abilities, academic attainment, creativity and leadership.
Monali’s PhD thesis, entitled ‘Fundamental characterization of 3D woven carbon fibre reinforced composites for aerospace and automotive applications’, focussed on the development of novel 3D woven fibre reinforced carbon/epoxy composites for improving the mechanical and impact performance of these materials by microstructural modification, compared to traditional laminated composites for aerospace and automotive application.
During her PhD project, Monali particularly collaborated with researchers from German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Centro Ricerche FIAT, University of Limerick & University of Patras, and has presented her work at international conferences including the International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM), SAMPE-Europe (Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering), and others.
Monali is a highly cited researcher and author of more than 10 publications, with her research published in high impact journals.
Along with being a PhD researcher, Monali held the position of Early Stage Researcher for three years at Ulster University with the ICONIC project (Improving the Crashworthiness of Composite Transportation Structures).
The ICONIC project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement. It brings together leading academic and private sector participants to address the very important issue of improving crashworthiness in composite transportation structures.
Aside from her academic achievements, Monali is often pro-active in supporting and mentoring final year Engineering and Master’s students with their research projects. She was a STEM ambassador leading outreach activities to promote Engineering as a career choice, especially among young women. She reached out to different schools and colleges in the UK and India to promote STEM subjects to students.
On hearing of her award success, Dr Monali Dahale said:
“I am honoured and delighted to be awarded Allstate NI Convocation Postgraduate Student of the Year Award 2022. I would like to thank School of Engineering for their nomination and the Convocation committee for selecting me.”
Dr Edward Archer, Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering at Ulster University, who nominated Monali for the award, adds:
“I am delighted that Monali has been awarded the Convocation Postgraduate Student of the Year.
“Her Engineering research on advanced composite materials in collaboration with the industry partners will help to ensure that Ulster University remain at the forefront of research impact, delivering a positive and long-term benefit to societies and economies globally. Her efforts will help Ulster University to maintain our UK top 10% ranking for research impact and our preeminent position in Northern Ireland.
“We are especially honoured that Monali has decided to remain within the research group in the School of Engineering and continue her excellent work with us.”
Monali is now a reviewer for Journal of Industrial Textiles and the experience of reviewing several papers has improved her critical thinking ability. This experience led to the authorship of a book chapter in a new textbook on the subject. She has also been awarded a membership (MIMMM) for Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3).
The success of her doctoral research culminated in her securing a post-doctoral research associate position at Ulster University where she currently works on a project led by Artemis Technologies Ltd. developing zero emissions ferries with an aim to revolutionalise the future of maritime transport.
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