The University of Newcastle, Australia

Explosive and Ballistic Protection for Defence Infrastructure. We provide risk-based safety advice on the siting of explosive ordnance, improvised explosive device reliability and counter-measures, force protection and weaponeering.

This includes security risk assessments for terrorism threats, vulnerability and modelling of blast and fragmentation damage to buildings, bridges, airports, airliners and other critical infrastructure.

Competitive advantage

  • Expertise in reliability and risk-based decision-making with direct utility to energetic materials and projectiles used by the Australian Defence Force (ADF)
  • Access to specialist ADF personnel, explosives and weapon ranges
  • Research higher degree training (PhDs) for Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) personnel
  • Staff have high-level security clearances (NV1 and PV)

Successful applications of research

  • Quantified Explosive Risk Assessment for weapons storage at Defence Establishment Orchard Hills
  • Assessed the risks and cost-effectiveness of the expedited passenger screening (TSA PreCheck) at US airports
  • Risk-based blast protective advice to infrastructure owners facing the threat of terrorism
  • Peer-review of blast-resistant design and security risk assessments

Partners

  • Australian Defence Force (Army, Navy, Air Force)

Impact

  • Store and maintain weapons that enhance safety or effectiveness while not being overly costly or conservative
  • Provide risk-based advice on cost-effective blast mitigating methods
  • Realistic assessment of terrorist threats to people and infrastructure
  • Blast-resistant design for built infrastructure

Capabilities and facilities

  • Internationally recognised experts in infrastructure risk, reliability and decision-making for Australian Defence infrastructure
  • Explosive blast load measuring and data acquisition system fully deployable anywhere in Australia
  • Ballistics data system for measuring projectile speeds from weapon to target (Doppler radar)
  • High-speed camera (Phantom v311, up to 500,000 frames-per-μs)

Further reading on: Material Sciences and Manufacturing