The Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) Professorial Forum held a scientific speech by Prof. Dr. Ir. Leonardo Gunawan at ITB’s West Hall on Saturday, March 16, 2024. Prof. Dr. Ir. Leonardo Gunawan, a distinguished professor in Structural Dynamics, delivered a lecture titled “Development of Flexible Body Dynamics Analysis Capabilities to Support Engineering Independence in Indonesia.”

Prof. Gun, a leading figure in the field, currently the Head of the Dynamics and Control Research Group at the Faculty of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (FTMD) ITB, has conducted groundbreaking research that has been published both internationally and nationally. His 60 papers in journals and proceedings and numerous prestigious awards are a testament to the significance of his work.

In his speech, Prof. Leonardo elaborated on two phenomena related to the flexible body dynamics. First, when an engineered product experiences moderate dynamic loads, it undergoes oscillatory responses, such as an aircraft wing vibrating due to air turbulence. Second, the body undergoes plastic deformation under significant loads, exemplified by the stress on a vehicle’s structure during a collision.

Discussing the dynamics of flexible bodies within the elastic region, Prof. Gun highlighted the development of models to analyze responses to disturbances like road or rail irregularities in vehicles such as cars or trains. This research involves aspects of mass, stiffness, and damping to understand dynamic responses to these disturbances. Examples of this research include the development of dynamic response models for trains in collaboration with students and PT INKA and the development of flutter analysis models for fighter jets involving undergraduate and doctoral students.

Research on the dynamics of flexible bodies extending into the plastic region has significant implications for developing models to analyze plastic deformation, especially in the context of vehicle crashworthiness. In modern vehicle design, crumple zones are specifically engineered to absorb kinetic energy during crashes. In contrast, the passenger cabin is designed to experience minimal deformation, protecting occupants from serious injury.

One notable study in this area is the development of blast-resistant floor structures. A research collaboration between ITB researchers and PT Pindad, funded by LPDP, aims to enhance the blast resistance of the Anoa-2 combat vehicle, particularly its under-track strength, to withstand up to 8 kilograms of TNT. This not only improves protection for personnel and equipment inside the combat vehicle during missions but also demonstrates the tangible and life-saving application of research in vehicle safety.

Another relevant research project involves Prof. Gun’s active participation in the development of the “Merah Putih” high-speed train model, alongside a team of dedicated researchers from FTMD and other universities. The FTMD ITB research team’s focus is on designing and analyzing the train body and bogie, considering crashworthiness at collision speeds of 10 m/s (in accordance with SNI 8826). Simulations and analyses of various crash scenarios are conducted, followed by crash tests using scaled models. This exemplifies the collective and ongoing research efforts to optimize transportation safety, with direct applications in developing safe and efficient public vehicles.

The research results and the development of flexible body analysis capabilities presented by Prof. Dr. Ir. Leonardo Gunawan will contribute to the engineering field, particularly in transportation, defense, and other areas in Indonesia.