Current Research Interests and Project

My current research interests are related to measurement and characterization of compacted snow properties which is a project funded by the Center for Tire Research. As a part of the project, I completed an extensive review of literature to understand the various types of devices that are commonly used for snow property measurement and their limitations in the domain of compacted snow. I plan on further studying and identifying the more prominent properties of snow that are responsible for affecting the traction of winter tires in testing performed according to ASTM Standard F1805.

Prior Research Contributions

Master's Thesis

The title of my master’s work was ‘Comparative Study of the Effect of Tread Rubber Compound on
Tire Performance on Ice’. As a part of the project, experimental testing of 16 tires of 8 different rubber compounds was performed and modeling of the effects in contact patch for temperature rise, water film height, and the friction coefficient (dry, wet and avergae friction). Significant findings of the work were:

  • Rubber compound effect is more prominent in the low slip region
  • Magic Formula Tire Model was parameterized using a genetic algorithm
  • Ambient temperature affects tire stiffness and peak value factor
  • Tire aging affects stiffness factor and angle at the origin
  • Benchmarking of in-house models against three classical models were performed
  • Classical models can predict transition point and slip for melting of ice

Other contributions to research

Revising the ISTVS Standards

I was a part of a collaborative effort between TMVS Laboratory (Virginia Tech) and Vehicle Dynamics Group (University of Pretoria) led by the co-PI’s Prof. Corina Sandu and Prof. Schalk Els. As a part of this research, we updated the ISTVS Standards in 2020 with the addition of 123 new terms and an update of 135 terms.

ISTVS Resource Initiative

Currently, I am also volunteering to develop the ISTVS Resource Initiative, an open-source yet controlled effort to developing a ‘Wiki’ oriented towards the Terramechanics field and possibly expansion into the Vehicle Dynamics field. It is an attempt to strengthen the knowledge-base of aspiring as well as current researchers in the field.

Testing of Tires on Soft Soil

I had contributed to the testing of tire on soft soil at the TMVS Laboratory. This work focused on the traction mode, towing mode and the multi-pass effect for mobility on soft soil which was the primary project of Dr. Rui He. It led to the finding of a previously unknown effect related to the multi-pass effect and ripple formation in soil.