Project Studies Role of Soil in Landmine Damage

Oct. 20, 2011

UT Dallas has joined with four other universities in a research project aimed at gauging the damaging effects of the soil ejected by buried landmines and improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

These findings could lead to design of armored vehicles and body armor that are better able to withstand such blasts.

UT Dallas’ effort is headed by Dr. Hongbing Lu, holder of the Louis Beecherl Jr. Chair in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.

“The practical use of this work is to determine how the blast wave and impulse loading are generated by soil ejected by buried explosives,” Lu said. “Apparently, it’s important to determine the force these impacts have on people and vehicles.”

The award is a competitive Multi-University Research Initiative or MURI program, which supports basic science and engineering research at national universities related to long-term national security needs. It is administered by the Office of Naval Research and the Department of Defense.

“Our goal is to develop a computer model that accurately represents real-world explosive blast events that can correctly predict the impact of heterogeneous soil from a buried charge,” Lu said.

Dr. Mario Rotea

Dr. Mario Rotea called the funding a valuable resource for cross-disciplinary research.

The proposal, lead by Colorado University Boulder, was one of 27 MURI awards made to academic institutions in different research areas this year. The proposals are being funded with a total of $191 million over five years. The funding entities received a total of 332 papers, which were followed by 113 proposals selected on merit review by a panel of experts, according to the Department of Defense.

“The MURI program is the crown-jewel funding vehicle for cross-disciplinary research from the Department of Defense,” said Dr. Mario Rotea, professor and head of mechanical engineering at UT Dallas. “This is a big accomplishment for us.”

MURI awards are provided to accelerate progress in high-profile research areas by supporting multidisciplinary teams with larger and longer awards.

The grant provides $3 million to UT Dallas and co-investigators at the University of California, Berkeley, University of Tennessee Knoxville, and the University of Utah.


Media Contact: Katherine Morales, 972-883-4321, kmorales@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, 972-883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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Dr. Hongbing Lu

Dr. Hongbing Lu, an expert in the mechanics of materials, is heading up UT Dallas' part in the landmine study.

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