Professor Jones has made significant contributions to the fields of: railway engineering, aircraft structures, fatigue life extension, thermo-elastic stress analysis; fatigue assessment and fracture mechanics; computational mechanics; aging structures; repair technology; additive metal technology, where he holds several patents on its use to ensure structural integrity, and composite materials. Rhys is acknowledged as having played a pioneering role in the development of advanced composites to extend the operational life of Military and Civilian aircraft, i.e. F111, Mirage III0, B- 52, 747, 767, 727 and (Airbus) A-340, and played a leading role in transferring this technology to the US as part of the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Aging Aircraft Program. In 2008 his work on thermo-elasticity was chosen by the Australian Chief Defence Scientist as one of the top ten (Australian) Defence Science papers in the period 1907-2007. His tools for on assessing the fatigue performance of operational aircraft are now built into the RAAF approaches for the P3C (Orion), F/A-18 (Hornet) and PC9 (Pilatus Porter) fleets.
Professor Jones is a recipient of the (1982) Engineering Excellence award for his work on Mirage III aircraft, a recipient of the Inst. Engineers Australia’s Sir George Julius award, a Rolls Royce-Qantas Special Award for his work on the life extension of RAAF F111 aircraft, an Award from the RAAF Maritime Platform Project Office (MPSPO) for his work on Corrosion Inhibiting Compounds and numerous best paper wards. In 1994 he was presented, in Parliament House Canberra, with a TTCP award for his contributions to US-UK-Australia-Canadian Defence Science. Rhys consults widely and works closely with the RAAF, the US Navy, RUAG, Airbus Group Australia Pacific, Qinetiq, and the Australian Defence Science Technology Group.