Dr Tatheer Zahra

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Representative, Early Career Researcher

Role in the Centre

Tatheer Zahra researches high energy absorbing auxetic materials and composites. As a structural engineer, she’s focused on developing, characterising and applying the protective benefits of high energy absorbing composites to civil structures. Tatheer is an investigator with QUT’s Centre for Materials Science, where she concentrates on harnessing 3D printing to develop innovative, low-cost auxetic materials and composites with a negative Poisson’s ratio. With a depth of experience characterising and manufacturing auxetic materials with high levels of energy absorption, shear modulus and indentation resistance, she is a valued contributor to transdisciplinary teams. Tatheer is passionate about the diverse industries that could benefit from products manufactured with auxetic materials, such as protective clothing manufactured to withstand impact, blast and other extreme loads. She is particularly enthusiastic about developing 3D-printable protective composites that use bio-plastics instead of conventional polymers to optimise the energy-absorbing properties of auxetic composites and protect structures against extreme loads.

Short Biography

Tatheer graduated with a civil engineering degree from NED University, Pakistan, in 2012, lecturing at the same university until 2014. During her tenure, she worked on properties of cement and high-strength concrete in extreme weather conditions. In 2014, she migrated to Australia to pursue her PhD in structural engineering at QUT. Tatheer’s research focused on developing strategies to improve the response of interlocking (mortarless masonry) to resist gravity loads. As part of her PhD she developed a new genre auxetic foams and rendering composites, applying them to mortarless masonry walls to improve the surface roughness of the blocks and the lateral load resistance. After completing her PhD in 2017, Tatheer was appointed to QUT’s School of Civil Engineering, reflecting the quality of her teaching and research. Here she has developed auxetic fabric renders that provide structural protection. She is now investigating applying mortar-auxetic fabric composites to protect masonry structures against impact. Tatheer is a member of the Standards Australia BD-004-19 committee developing guidelines for mortarless masonry. She collaborates with masonry industry and auxetic manufacturers to improve masonry and protective composites against extreme loads. Tatheer has published 23 research manuscripts including 14 high impact journal papers and 9 peer reviewed conference proceedings with a H-index of 5 (Google Scholar) with a total of 101 citations which have been exponentially increased since completing her PhD in the last two years.

Selected Publications

“Characterisation of cementitious polymer mortar – Auxetic foam composites” Zahra T.; Dhanasekar M. Constr. Build. Mater. 2017, 147, 143–159.

“Characterisation and strategies for mitigation of the contact surface unevenness in dry-stack masonry” Zahra T.; Dhanasekar M. Constr. Build. Mater. 2018, 169, 612–628.

“Characterisation of polymer cement mortar composites containing carbon fibre or auxetic fabric overlays and inserts under flexure” Asad M.; Dhanasekar M.; Zahra T.; Thambiratnam D. Constr. Build. Mater. 2019, 224, 863–879.

“A generalised damage model for masonry under compression” Zahra T.; Dhanasekar M. Int. J. Damage Mech. 2016, 25(5), 629–660.

“Modelling of auxetic foam embedded brittle materials and structures” Dhanasekar M.; Zahra T.; Jelvehpour A.; Noor-E-Khuda, S.; Thambiratnam, D. Appl. Mech. Mater. 2016, 846, 151-156.

49, 3423-3460