Pathum Hewavidana


  • Doctoral Researcher

Research groups and centres


Pathum is a Stress Engineer with 10 years experience in the Aerospace sector. He graduated from Kingston University, London with a 1st class honors degree in Aerospace Design Engineering & winning the School of Aerospace & Aircraft Engineering award for the best performed student in Aerospace & Aircraft Engineering Faculty. After Graduation in Nov 2011 he joined Safran Nacelles UK as a Stress Engineer in December 2011.

Pathum worked at SAFRAN Nacelles from Dec 2011-Oct 2020 in the Research & Development team. In his most recent role at Safran he was the lead stress engineer in A330Neo metallic & Integration team responsible for planning & coordinating stress activities. Pathum is the customer (Airbus) Interface for Thrust Reverser Integration aspects & also responsible to perform static, fatigue & crack propagation analysis on metallic components subjected to optimization trade studies. His role further extends to support integrated multi-disciplinary teams (Design, Materials, and Manufacturing & Program) for ECR & configuration management process when technical input is required.

Whilst working fulltime Pathum continued with continuous professional development and postgraduate studies therefore started studying for my MSc in Aircraft Engineering at Cranfield University on a part-time study basis during Feb 2013-Feb 2016 period. His individual research project is on Impact damage analysis on composites using quasi static loading method in ABAQUS.

At Safran Nacelles Pathum contributed to several programs such as A380, A330CEO, A330Neo & Research & Development programs to develop new technologies and to enhance existing technologies. He has performed various technical tasks primarily related to finite element modelling of Air Inlet and Fan cowl composite structural components, design optimization studies, acoustic performance improvement trade studies, static & fatigue analysis of metallic & composite structures. Pathum was responsible for planning & leading IFEM interface development to integrate Air Inlet FEM with engine FEM & Thrust Reverser FEM. He was the Stress focal point in SAN UK site liaising with integration teams in Toulouse carrying out weekly meetings to discuss progression, risks & mitigations for technical issues related to IFEM development.

In October 2020 Pathum joined BAR Technologies. At present he is working as the stress engineering specialist responsible for optimization of wind assisted propulsion system-wind wing for BAR technologies. Responsible for research, develop, finite element modelling, developing load cases, detailed stress analysis & optimizing wind assisted Wing to provide maximum aerodynamic lift.

Pathum's Research currently focuses on the following areas:

  • Research single spar box beam & semi monocoque concepts with composite skin-stringers & metallic skins.
  • Finite element modelling & analysis to optimize composite skin-stringer design to reduce manufacturing cost whilst ensuring structural integrity.
  • Develop the Fatigue Structural guide line.

Title of thesis: Modelling of Dislocation-Microstructure Interaction at a Short Crack Tip for Nickel super alloy gas turbine blade

The application of cyclic loads results in fatigue damage that can propagate & cause catastrophic failures. The ambient conditions around a short crack tip has a dramatic effect on the life of a component as a part may survive millions of cycles in a vacuum and last only a few hundreds of thousands in air and much lower at higher temperatures combined with other factors such as corrosive environment, effects from surface treatment, etc. This project investigates on understanding the behavior of short crack growth in nickel super alloys, fundamentally the deformation mechanism influenced by the microstructure at the tip of a short crack. The research will focus on the influence of evolving local plastic zone, induced by dislocation dynamics at the crack tip.

Pathum's Research aim is to develop a multiscale finite element method & perform a non-linear elasto-plastic finite element analysis to identify the micro-mechanics based driving force for dislocation movement, interaction from local plastic zone & to analyze the displacement field in the vicinity of the crack tip. He aims to research both single crystal & polycrystalline Nickel super alloys which are currently use in turbine blades and turbine disks.

His research would benefit in the following areas:

  • Development of a new model & method using crystal plasticity to simulate micro-mechanics based driving force & the local plasticity in the vicinity of a short crack tip to estimate more accurate stresses & displacement than existing methods used in industry. Given the innovative nature of this project, it will represent a milestone in fatigue research & will likely mark a path towards implementing an efficient & accurate method for future crack propagation analysis.
  • Findings from this research could also be adapted to other heat resistant high strength ductile metallic material subjected to high temperatures & complex fatigue loading.