Impact events affect all our lives and can have both human and financial costs. Mitigating the effects of these events requires an understanding of the response of materials to high strain rate deformation. Our research focuses on measuring this response through the design of novel testing methodologies supported by appropriate modelling. We have a particular interest in materials that are challenging to measure, in particular polymers and bio-materials, in which the relatively slow speed of sound leads to complex specimen behaviour that can mask the underlying material response. Our work often includes the design of novel experimental techniques, e.g. for very high temperatures, and we have a long-standing interest in the use of high-speed photography and advanced image analysis techniques to better understand material behaviour.
We are based in the Solid Mechanics and Materials Engineering group in the Department of Engineering Science, but collaborate with an number of labs in the UK and internationally. Within Engineering we work closely with the Impact Engineering Laboratory and the Dynamic Behaviour of Materials Group, among others, and we also collaborate with groups in Materials Science and Chemistry.