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Dr Jack W Denny BEng(Hons), PhD, CEng MIMechE, FHEA

EPSRC Doctoral Prize Research Fellow

Dr Jack W Denny's photo

Dr Jack Denny is an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Research Fellow and Chartered Engineer at the University of Southampton. As an applied blast engineer, Jack's research investigates the effects of explosions (across structures, protection and blast injury) where he has acquired over 5 years of expertise through advanced computational modelling and full-scale experiments.


Jack completed his PhD in 2017 at the University of Southampton, researching blast loading on structures. His PhD investigated 'long-duration' blast effects on steel columns and examined the influence of column section orientation and cumulative damage through experimental testing and advanced numerical modelling (sponsored by EPSRC & AWE plc). Jack's PhD research involved:

In 2017, Jack was awarded the EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship, allowing him to diversify and undertake applied blast engineering research within the broader contexts of structural engineering, protective design and blast injury sciences. During his post-doctoral career, Jack has established a multi-institutional consortium including the Faculties of Engineering and Medicine at the University of Southampton, Cranfield University, the University of Cape Town and University of Sheffield, plus formed relationships with a number of defence and humanitarian organisations including Dstl, US DoD, The HALO Trust and Action on Armed Violence.

In collaboration with Cranfield University and the University of Cape Town (UCT), Jack's experimental work has investigated the performance of shock tubes, shock propagation through soft tissue simulants and diagnostic methods for quantifying blast load transfer. In 2018, Jack joined UCT as a Visiting Academic to undertake a further programme of experiments with UCT's Blast Impact and Survivability Research Unit (BISRU), utilising their unique blast testing facilities. Improved understanding of blast phenomena and reliable modelling approaches are vital for the development of protective equipment and clinical treatments.

Over the last three years, Jack has formed a multidisciplinary research agenda and developed an international network to explore the blast injury and protection research challenges pertaining to explosive violence and legacy landmines. In 2019, Jack co-founded the International Blast Injury Research Network (IBRN), a trans-disciplinary initiative launched by the UoS (Faculties of Engineering & Medicine) in collaboration with BISRU at UCT. Taking an applied multidisciplinary approach, the IBRN has established a unique evidence-base on the global blast research portfolio. As part of this project, Jack has led international stakeholder engagement and sustained links with UCT through organising two international workshops held in Cape Town during 2019, funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). Work within Jack's IBRN agenda has expanded to include Sri Lanka through a project funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng)


Research interests

Jack’s applied research investigates the characterisation of explosive loading and blast wave interaction through computational modelling and experimental testing.

Jack’s research continues to demonstrate the importance of accurately characterising blast loading to ensure reliable prediction of structural-mechanical responses and injury outcomes. His interests include:

  • Blast effects on steel structural elements
  • Spatial and temporal characterisation of complex blast interaction
  • Blast injury modelling techniques
  • Blast engineering experimental frameworks
  • Shock wave transmission through soft tissue simulants and protection
  • Characterising ‘complex environment’ blast scenarios
  • Research investment analysis
CFD Modelling
Shock Tube

Research group

Bioengineering Science

Affiliate research group

Infrastructure Group

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- Tutor, FEEG2005, Structures
- Tutor, FEEG1002, Dynamics


The International Blast Injury Research Network (IBRN) is a trans-disciplinary network launched by the University of Southampton in collaboration with the Blast Impact and Survivability Research Unit (BISRU) at the University of Cape Town. This initiative aims to facilitate ongoing research cooperation between the fields of engineering and medicine to address the humanitarian aspects of blast injury and protection research and to promote wider collaboration between academia, industry, defence, clinicians and humanitarian organisations.

With a disproportionately high number of civilian blast casualties and a research field that is predominantly driven by defence, the IBRN aims to transform the effectiveness, impact and relevance of blast injury & protection research. Taking an applied multidisciplinary approach (blast engineering and public health), our work is establishing a unique evidence-base that can be utilised to inform future research methodologies and investment to improve protection and health outcomes.

To achieve this, we are:

  1. Building a Global Investment Map
  2. Undertaking systematic Scientific Reviews
  3. Organising International Workshops and Research Forums

Preliminary research activities have provided insight into the field, the distribution of investment, highlighted knowledge gaps and raised awareness of the civilian harm caused by explosive violence. This work has gained considerable attention from global defence and humanitarian organisations including the US DoD, The HALO Trust, AOAV and Save The Children.

As part of this project, a series of international workshops have been organised and held in South Africa, with a third event planned to be held in Sri Lanka in 2021. These events have brought together multidisciplinary experts from across the world to discuss the issues of explosive violence and the research challenges and opportunities for blast injury and protection research.

Dr Jack W Denny
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom

Room Number : 5/2019

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