Assoc. Prof. Kenny Tan

Associate Professor
School of Engineering
+603 5514 6246
Room 5-4-31

Personal statement

Tan Boon Thong research interest include fluid structure interaction, aerodynamics, engineering design, thermal energy storage and heat transfer.  He has also worked on numerous industry related projects and strives to expose students to real world challenges. His mentoring of student teams in external design competitions such as the Shell Eco Marathon, Formula SAE and Weir-Warman design and build competition helps students to apply their technical skills while developing soft skills.

Academic degrees

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering, Monash University, 2000
  • Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Monash University, 1996

Professional affiliations

Member of International Professional Bodies

  • Institute of Mechanical Engineering (UK), Member

Research Interests

Sustainability has been the underlying thrust in a diverse areas of research. In the area of fluid structure interaction, structures excited by the galloping instability is studied for it’s potential for energy harvesting. In the area of engineering design, design frameworks are further developed to prioritize aspect of sustainability. Studies into improving thermal storage and enhancing thermal management systems are designed to increase energy efficiency.

Research Projects

Title: Enery Harvesting from fluid elastic galloping

Traditionally, wind or water flow induced vibration of structures is undesirable as it may lead to premature catastrophic failure or metal fatigue. Thus earlier work has focus on control and suppression. However, these vibrations are a potential source of clean energy. To that end, this project looks at harvesting energy from structures vibrating due the galloping phenomenon. This instability is broad band and rely on the asymmetry of separated shear layers to provide the favorable forcing. However, besides geometry, there are numerous other parameters such as mass ratios, stiffness and external damping that govern the system and detail understanding is required to achieve optimal power output. Further optimization can be done to the geometry so that it is more favorable to galloping.

Title: Thermal energy storage

Producing cold water is the most energy intensive operation in commercial air conditioning system. Thermal energy storage technology enables this process to occur at night where electricity tariffs are lower and electricity is generated from more efficient or cleaner sources. The simples of which is to store the cold water produced at night in an insulated tank. Cold water that is used during the day is replaced with returning warmer water and ideally, there are two stratified layers. However, when heat transfers through conduction and convection between these layers, some useful cold water is lost in the region between the layers known as the thermocline. This lost in energy can be minimized by ensuring the flow conditions within the tank does not promote convective heat transfer and minimizes conductive heat transfer. This is done carefully controlling the inlet and outlet flow condition and optimizing the aspect ratio of the tank.


Units taught

MEC2404 - Mechanics of Fluid

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Local grants

  • An Experimental Investigation into Aero-Elastic Galloping, B.T. Tan, Akib S. M., Leontini J., 2015-2017, FRGS/MOE, RM114,000

International grants

  • Computational Study of Culturing Environment in Bioreactors, B.T. Tan, K.Y.S. Liow, Hasan M., Ngoh G.C. & Thompson M.C., 2007-2010, e-Science/MOSTI, RM92,000

Completed supervision

Lim Sing Sheng

Development of a TRIZ Based Design Methodology for Innovative Eco-Efficient Products


Monash University Malaysia

Hewawasam Gamage Kasun Gayantha Jayatunga

A Study on the Energy Transfer of a Body Under Fluid-elastic Galloping


Monash University Malaysia

Afaq Altaf

A Study on Wake Vortex Alleviation of a Wing With a Reverse Delta Type Add-on Device Using Particle Image Velocimethry (PIV)


Monash University Malaysia

Jason Leong Yu Chuan

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of a Static Mixer for Production of Biodiesel


Monash University Malaysia

Tan Yee Ming

Development of TRIZ-based Design Model for Innovation in Offshore Cranes


Monash University Malaysia

Ng Ming Leong

Heat Transfer Enhancement in LED Cooling via Phase-Change Heat Transfer Assisted with Graphene-based Materials


Monash University Malaysia

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