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PhD Studentship: Mechanisms and Characterisation of Explosions

University of Sheffield - Civil and Structural Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Sheffield
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 15th February 2019
Closes: 1st April 2019

Applications are invited for a fully-funded 3.5 year PhD studentship in the Blast and Impact Dynamics Research Group in the Department of Civil & Structural Engineering at the University of Sheffield. This PhD studentship forms part of and supplements the EPSRC project “Mechanisms and Characterisation of Explosions”, and is a fantastic opportunity to join a world-leading research group and gain first-hand experience of experimental measurement of blast loading at the University of Sheffield Blast Laboratory.

Project description

Analysis of the effects of high explosive blast loading on structures has applications in transport security, infrastructure assessment and defence protection. Engineers must utilise materials in efficient and effective ways to mitigate loads of extreme magnitudes, acting over milliseconds. But there is a fundamental problem which hampers research and practice in this field; we still do not fully understand the loads generated by a high explosive blast.

How does the magnitude of pressure on a target vary spatially and temporally, following a high explosive detonated at a range of distances from extreme near-field to far-field? What are the key mechanisms influencing these parameters?

This PhD will be focussed on developing a comprehensive conceptual model of blast loading, and will have access to world-leading blast-load data gathered from the EPSRC-funded “Mechanisms and Characterisation of Explosions” project. This will include collection and analysis of discrete pressure-time and impulse-time measurements, high-speed video measurements of fireball/shockwave topology, and a rigorous statistical analysis of far-field blast measurements to definitively quantify the typical variations to be expected from explosions.

The candidate

Suitable for candidates holding or anticipating an award of Distinction at MSc level, or 1st at undergraduate degree in an engineering or numerical/physical sciences discipline. Some experience in blast/dynamic analysis is preferred, as is experience in the design and running of experimental trials.

The successful candidate must start by October 2019.

Next steps

Please email a CV and covering letter to Dr Sam Rigby at with the subject “Expression of interest for MaCE PhD studentship”. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to apply through the university’s online application portal.

Home/ EU Fees & Standard RCUK PhD stipend (£14,777 p/a in 2017/18) for 3.5 years.

Additional project funding available for international travel during the PhD.

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