News Archive:


News 2010

ISWI 2010 Conference - The Shock and High Rate Properties of Matter

7th-10th September 2010: Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge

This meeting dealt with areas relevant to shock, both in the gas and condensed phases.  Subjects focused on new research areas, which are becoming increasingly relevant to the Shock Community, including new material types, medical physics, reaction pathways, granular materials and novel diagnostics.  Invited speakers provided keynote addresses in each of these areas.  Contributed papers formed the major part of the conference.

Plenary Lecture

April 2010: Dr Bill Proud - Reader in Shock Physics

Dr Proud gave the Plenary Lecture at the 13th International Seminar on New Trends in Energetic Materials which took place at the University of Pardubice in the Czech Republic.  The seminar is intended to be a world meeting of young people and university teachers working in the fields of teaching, research, development, processing, analysing and applications of all kinds of energetic materials, as well as explosions in gaseous, dispersed and condensed systems.

Research in the News

November 2010 : 1000mph Bloodhound Car - Dr David Chapman - PDRA Shock Physics

David Chapman has been assisting the research team for the design and development of the 1000mph Bloodhound Car.  Specifically the research is trying to identify the best alloy for the task resulting in firing pieces of grit at samples of metal using a gas gun at Cavendish Laboratory.  For further details see the BBC newsfeed by Johnathan Amos here.

March 2010: Dr Gareth Collins - NERC Research Fellow

Gareth Collins, an associate of the Institute working in the field of impact cratering within the Department of Earth Sciences and Engineering, recently collaborated on a Science paper, which has attracted media attention because it finally confirms that the extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by an asteroid impact... see press release

First Annual Meeting: 'From Static to Dynamic'

February 2010

The first annual meeting of the Institute of Shock Physics was held at the Royal Society in London.  It brought together those interested in Shock Physics from within the UK scientific community along with representatives from some key overseas institutions, including the Russian Academy of Sciences and US National Laboratories; Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Sandia. See further details of presentations.

New Staff

January 2010: Dr Daniel Eakins - Lecturer in Shock Physics

Dan has joined Imperial College from Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he studied optical diagnostics for laser-driven shock physics experiments, and investigated the kinetics of shock-induced phase transformations in silicon.  He was awarded his Ph.D. in May of 2008 from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he investigated dynamic metal plasticity at intermediate strain-rates, the shock compression of metal powders, and shock-induced reactions in nickel-aluminum powder mixtures.  Dr Eakins has been recognsied with several awards, including the National Defence Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG), and LANL Director's Postdoctoral Fellowship.

October 2010: Michael Lennon - Workshop Technician

Michael completes the team of three technicians dedicated to operating the gas gun.


Institute News: 2009

New Staff Appointments 

October 2009: Dr Bill Proud - Reader in Shock Physics 

Bill joined the Institute from the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge where he had been Head of the Fracture and Shock Physics Group since 2003.  He originally trained as a chemist and his research interests expanded to include Shock Physics and a wider area of material response to stress when he joined the Cavendish Laboratory in 1994.  Whilst at Cambridge he was actively involved in teaching and outreach, giving many public lectures, including the Cavendish National Science Week Lecture in 2005.  He was also chair of the Cambridge Physics Centre and of the local branch of the Institute of Physics. He received the UK National Award for High-Speed Photography and Photonics and the Schardin Medal for High-Speed Photography (German Physical Society) in 2004 and prizes at the Shock Compression of Condensed Matter meeting in Atlanta in 2001, the High Speed Photography meeting in Cambridge in 2000 and the Shock Compression of Condensed Matter meeting in Snowbird, Utah in 1999.   

September 2009: Dr Simon Bland - Lecturer / EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow

Simon is a Lecturer / Senior Research Fellow in Physics, working with the Institute of Shock Physics and the Plasma Physics Group at Imperial College London.  Simon received a MSci. Degree in Physics from Imperial in 1997 and in 2001 completed his Ph.D. dissertation on the Dynamics of Wire Array Z-Pinch Implosions within the Plasma Physics Group.  From 2001 until 2007 he worked as a Research Associate and then Research Fellow in the Group, taking charge of the day to day operations on the in-house 2MA MAGPIE generator.  In 2007 Simon was awarded an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship to pursue his studies of high energy physics experiments driven by the radiation and plasma produced by wire array z-pinches.  Over the course of Simon's career he has authored/co-authored more than 50 published journal papers, including several in PRL and MNRAS.  He has spoken at multiple conferences and science festivals and enjoys showing the public the Plasma Physics Group's work.

Best Conference Paper Award for Programme Director

October 2009: Dr Simon Philbin

Simon recently attended the 2009 Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM), held at Springfield, Missouri and received the Merritt Williamson Best Conference Paper Award for his paper on systems engineering and risk management. 

Institute Launch Event

June 2009

Guests included representatives from University College London, Sheffield and Cranfield Universities, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US, AWE, DSTL and QinetiQ.  Speeches were given by Professor Steve Rose (Institute Director), Professor Rip Collins (Visitin g Professor from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), Prof Sir Peter Knight (Senior Principal of Imperial College London), and Dr Daryl Landeg (AWE).  There was also a poster presentation session giving an overview of the Institute's programme development to date and including contributions from recent research collaborations, see examples: