Study level



Science and Engineering Faculty

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor David Thambiratnam
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty

External supervisors

  • Adjunct Professor Nimal Perera, Robert Bird Group


Transport tunnels have become indispensable to cater to the increasing transportation need of modern cities.

Due to large numbers of passengers and station staff in such tunnels they become vulnerable to terrorist bomb attacks.

This projects treats the response of transport tunnels to internal blasts and proposes strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of such explosions.

The credible blast loading is determined by the amount of explosive that could be taken (unnoticed) into a underground bus/train station and the location of the explosion.

Advanced modelling techniques will be used to model the explosion sequence and the response of the transport tunnel to the explosion.

New materials technology will be used to develop strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of these explosions with the view of reducing harm to people and reducing damage to property.

Research activities

As part of this research project, you'll be involved in:

  • reviewing transport tunnels and their vulnerability to bomb explosions
  • comprehensive computer modelling to capture:
    • the travel of the blast wave
    • the blast wave's impact with the tunnel
    • the response (damage)
  • investigating new materials to mitigate the adverse effects of the blast loading.


The outcomes of this project will include the use of new materials technology for blast mitigation, reducing the harm to people inside the transport tunnel and reducing property damage. We'll also develop best practices and guidance for safer transport tunnels.

Skills and experience

To be considered for this project, you should have an interest in structural dynamics. You must have skills in finite element modelling and some knowledge of new generation materials.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.