Contact Dr Shaun Forth

Areas of expertise

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Computing, Simulation & Modelling
  • Explosives and Munitions
  • Operational Analysis and Simulation


Shaun started his career as an applied mathematician and was awarded his PhD on analysis of morphological and hydrodynamic instabilities in binary alloy solidification, by Bristol University in 1990.

He then spent 5 years at BAE Systems' Sowerby Research Centre developing computational fluid dynamics algorithms and software for transonic and supersonic aerodynamics with an emphasis on methods for shocks and adaptive meshing.

In 1994 Shaun joined Cranfield University as lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Shrivenham and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2007.

In 2020, Shaun transferred to an Education and Scholarship career pathway.

Research opportunities

After joining Cranfield University, Shaun built up an international reputation in the field of Algorithmic (Automatic) Differentiation (AD). Under EPSRC funding, Shaun and co-workers were the first to implement Griewank and Reese's vertex elimination algorithm for AD using compiler-like source transformation methods demonstrating how this approach could greatly improve the efficiency of automatically generated code for calculating Jacobians. From 2001, Shaun developed the MAD package for AD of computer programs written in the MATLAB programming language. MAD has featured in many publications and is commercially licensed by the University for distribution by the TOMLAB optimisation software company. Shaun also applied AD techniques to industrial computational fluid dynamics solvers for partners such as: QinetiQ, BAE Systems Ltd, Airbus UK. Shaun was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2007, largely for his research contributions to AD. Shaun co-edited the Proceedings of the AD2012 International Conference in AD. He co-chaired the AD2016 International Conference on Algorithmic Differentiation at Christ Church, Oxford and guest co-edited an associated special edition of Optimization Methods and Software. He has examined PhD thesis on AD for universities in the UK and Europe.

Between 1998 and 2006 Shaun supported colleagues Dr Peter Smith and Dr Tim Rose to develop the well known blast loading tools Air3D and Air3Dfft that has now been superseded by the commercialised ProSAir package. Shaun has worked with colleagues and insurers Pool Re and Guy Carpenter on developing the UK's first terrorism risk model for the insurance industry. As part of this project, Shaun and colleague Stephanie Burrows modelled the blast loading arising on buildings from truck bombs in central business districts of several cities to assess the maximum likely insurance loss from such an event.

Current activities

Shaun continues to support the ProSAir computational blast loading tool, a Cartesian Mesh CFD solver specialised for assessing blast loads on structures. ProSAir is available for both Commercial and Academic use and is a successor to the Air3D research code.

Shaun leads the Terrorism Risk Assessment, Modelling and Mitigation monthly virtual seminar series. The first virtual seminar was attended by over 60 participants from both universities and the security, engineering and insurance sectors and some 700 researchers, consultants, security service personal are on our mailing list.


Vardogyir - Terrorism Risk Assessment, Modelling and Mitigation

Insensitive Munitions European Manufacturers' Group (IMEMG) - validation of heating simulation.

Pool Re and Guy Carpenter - developing models for terrorism risk assessment.

Airbus UK and BAE Systems - use of Algorithmic Differentiation to develop an adjoint unstructured finite volume CFD solver.

BAE Systems - CFD tools for blast prediction.

TOMLAB Optimization (USA) - commercialisation of the MAD package for Algorithmic Differentiation in MATLAB.


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers