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Understanding and predicting blast loading in urban environments

Event organised by Society for Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics

24 April 2024
18:00 - 20:30 BST (GMT+1)
Institution of Civil Engineers
One Great George Street
London, SW1P 3AA
United Kingdom
Add to Calendar 24-04-2024 18:00 24-04-2024 20:30 false Europe/London Understanding and predicting blast loading in urban environments Institution of Civil Engineers, London


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This lecture will be preceded by the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT) AGM and the Society for Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics (SECED) AGM.

Following the Beirut Port explosion on 04 August 2020, over 200 people lost their lives, upwards of $15B in property damage was caused, and an estimated 300,000 people were displaced. As a result, a global response emerged to spatially delineate and understand the cause of the resultant injuries and damage caused by the blast.

When a blast wave propagates in the presence of obstacles, the loading differs substantially from that of a free-air blast due to highly non-linear physical processes such as reflection, diffraction, coalescence of multiple shock fronts, shadowing, and confining effects.

While Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations can be used to capture the required event complexity, uncertainties persist due to scarce experimental validation data. Replicating large-scale events is often challenging and costly, and so leveraging blast scaling laws to gather empirical data from gram-scale charges provides a useful alternative.

Throughout this talk, the speakers will discuss how small-scale explosions can be used to develop insights into city-scale explosive events. Key findings are then used to critically interrogate the suitability of existing numerical solvers for assessing urban blast. This is presented alongside the development of Fast Running Engineering Models (FREMs) that will benefit from the findings made in both aspects of this work.

This evening lecture will be followed by a drink in the Westminster Arms. All attendees are invited to join the lecture chair and speakers at this informal get-together. 

Organised by

The Society for Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics

The Society for Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics

SECED promotes the study and practice of earthquake and civil engineering dynamics, including blast, impact, and other vibration problems.


Institution of Civil Engineers
One Great George Street


18:00 - 18:15


18:15 - 18:30


18:30 - 20:00

Evening lecture

20:00 - 20:30

Social event in Westminster Arms, Storey’s Gate


Adam Dennis

Adam Dennis

University of Sheffield

computational modelling research associate

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Adam Dennis

Dr Adam Dennis completed his PhD in the Blast and Impact Dynamics research group at the University of Sheffield in early 2024. His project, titled “Machine Learning Tools for Blast Load Prediction in Obstructed Environments”, explored a range of methods for developing rapid analysis tools that can assist with human injury prediction and structural damage estimations. He is now continuing this work within the group, whilst also acting as numerical modelling lead for commercial and academic research projects.

Dain George Farrimond

Dain George Farrimond

University of Sheffield

research associate in blast protection engineering

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Dain George Farrimond

Dr Dain George Farrimond is a research associate in Blast Protection Engineering at the University of Sheffield. Building on from his PhD, titled "Characterisation of Blast Loading from Ideal and Non-ideal Explosives” he focuses primarily on the development of novel experimental capabilities to continue this research. Particular interests consider the mechanisms behind detonation procedures, with an increasing focus on the complexity of shock wave dynamics within urban environments.

For more information please contact:

Shelly-Ann Russell

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