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:
- Original design and management of full-scale experiments at a specialist UK MOD blast facility.
- Analysis of novel experimental results and verification of advanced numerical modelling techniques.
- Spatial and temporal blast loading characterisation using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).
- Transient nonlinear dynamic structural response modelling of steel columns using Finite Element Analysis (FEA).
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.
Over the last four years, Jack has formed a multidisciplinary research agenda and developed an international network to explore the blast injury and protection research challenges associated with explosive violence and 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. Work within Jack's IBRN agenda has expanded to include Sri Lanka and Beirut.