Development of test methods to predict the environmental impact of

Lead Research Organisation: Cranfield University
Department Name: Cranfield Defence and Security


To better understand the environmental effects of the manufacture, testing and use of ammunition, this project aims to develop vigorous, standardised tools to assess the fate and transport of explosives and hazardous materials in soil and groundwater. This will be achieved by first investigating the reproducibility and validity of existing methods to support the development of this approach. A range of experiments will be carried out to compare laboratory methods with real environmental scenarios.
Particular attention will be given to the study of Insensitive Munitions (IM) explosives, which may support the adoption of these materials across the BAE Systems Land UK product range and their possible introduction into service with the UK Ministry of Defence.
The Student will produce a thesis by paper with at least three peer-reviewed publications. One of these is expected to be a literature review. The remaining two papers will report on laboratory work undertaken by the student which may include fate and transport data for explosives, recommendations for methods to experimentally determine fate and transport in the environment, and improve predictive modelling software for explosive fate and transport. The student will also present findings at at least one conference as mutually agreed between the Student, their Academic Supervisor and the Company. .
Expected outcomes and deadlines:
Year 1: Undertake a complete literature review on current experimental methods used to determine environmental contamination of explosives and other hazardous materials. In particular the literature search will focus on the efficacy of controlled laboratory experiments in determining fate and transport in real environments and the availability of experimental data for use in predictive modelling. The literature review will inform experiments to obtain missing data for prediction of fate and transport in representative environments e.g. environmental and engineering variables. Small-scale experiments based on literature methods will be conducted to investigate the reliability of fate and transport data.
Year 2: Larger scale experiments will be conducted to represent the real environment by testing a wide range of environmental variables such as soil type, climatic conditions and hydrological scenarios and compared to predicted behaviour. Results of the larger scale experiments will be compared to smaller scale laboratory experiments to ensure development of representative and reproducible methods. Results from these tests will enable the selection of the best methods so that the standardised tools can be established.
Year 3: Cranfield University and BAE Systems will mutually identify materials of interest (i.e. IM explosives) to optimise and validate the standardised experimental methods for prediction of fate and transport of explosives and hazardous materials. The optimisation process would


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S513623/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2232047 Studentship EP/S513623/1 01/10/2018 31/03/2022 Encina Gutierrez-Carazo