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Senior Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering, University of Sheffield

Sam graduated from The University of Sheffield with a MEng (Hons) degree in Structural Engineering and Architecture in 2006.

He then joined the Geotechnical Engineering Group and completed his PhD in advanced numerical modelling in 2009. During his doctorate studies Sam spent a number of periods working with Arup Geotechnics' Numerical Skills Team in London and the university spin-out company LimitState.

He spent a short period as a Research Assistant before taking up the post of Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering in November 2009.

Over the past decade Sam has spent much time investigating the role of soil in blast events. He works on the fundamental physics that govern the interaction between soil, air and explosive charges.

Soil is a variable material; unlike steel, its behavior is not easy to predict. Understanding the fundamentals enables Sam to make accurate predictions of what the effects of a blast in a particular environment would be.

Understanding the impact of blast on soil, buildings, transport and communication networks can contribute to the design of infrastructure that is more resilient to terrorism. Sam’s work also helps to protect troops, vehicles and structures in warzones.


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering, University of Sheffield