The Advanced Materials for Protective Engineering Group: Blast and Ballistics research group (AMPEG) is UK- and world-leading in its research and development, contractual work and teaching in the field of protective engineering, CBRN, ballistic impact and blast, and both conventional and non-conventional munitions.

We focus on target response of both the person, PPE, vehicle armour and structures for military, police, NGOs, industry and government. We have expertise in tissue surrogates, glass, building materials, composites, and metals. We offer bespoke training courses on threats, advanced materials and PPE to several police forces across the country and, due to our reputation and credibility in this area, we are the ‘go-to’ group to provide this. The members sit on national and international working groups advising on policy to improve standards of protection. The group currently supports 16 research students and typically 15 MSc students per year, investigating all aspects of ballistics, blast and target response, including human vulnerability and survivability in these scenarios.

We have access to ballistic and explosive ranges, as well as high-performance computing facilities and post-impact material analysis. This enables us to investigate a wide variety of blast and ballistic related topics, ranging from custom made IEDs to military ordnance to domestic hydrogen leakage. AMPEG is able to draw on these resources and its collective expertise to deliver workshops on a variety of topics, such as a recent workshop tailored for law enforcement (excerpt from the feedback below) and hosting the 1st Security Services Symposium in London to link UK security, law enforcement agencies and academia.

“We thought the workshop was pitched at just the right level and pace and the material was superb, and eye opening! The way Kate, Rachael and Rich delivered was really engaging. As you probably gathered, we are a very down to earth bunch, and everyone has commented to me about how interesting they found the day.” Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police

Our areas of expertise

  • Advanced materials for protections specialising in PPE – Dr Rachael Hazael
  • Ballistics and terminal effects – Dr Katherine Hewins
  • Protective engineering and blast – Dr Richard Critchley
  • Explosive devices, C-IED, post-blast investigation – Mike Harris
  • Dynamic modelling of blast and material response – Dr Erik Pickering
  • Ordnance, munitions and explosives (OME), and explosive ordnance engineering (EOE) – Pete Norton
  • CBRNe, Advanced materials and PPE design for extreme environment operations – Dr Dave Crouch

Recent publications