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Explosives damage to heritage structures

Scientific team: Dr Lisa Mol (PI), UWE Bristol. Dr Charlotte Brassey (Co-I) Manchester Metropolitan University. Dr Emma Cunliffe (Co-I), Newcastle University. 

Blast damage to modern materials, especially in the context of protection of human life and weaponry, is a well-researched topic. Less is known about the impact of blasts on heritage structures, which have been exposed to deterioration processes often for centuries or even millennia. The response of these fragile structures to blasts in the vicinity is still not known, especially the potential relationship between pre-existing condition of the stonework and distance to the blast. A scientifically sound understanding of these effects could be a valuable asset in the prevention of damage and subsequent stabilisation and conservation costs. This in turn can redirect resources to humanitarian needs, as well as provide a ‘goodwill’ pathway to reconciliation with the local population. It also enhances our capacity to provide remote assistance to partners working in conflict zone, providing a more accurate interpretation of remote sensing imagery of damaged sites as well as photos taken in situ. 

This research has been funded by a Royal Society APEX award, which is supported by the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy and the Royal Academy of Engineering

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