Contact Roland Alford

Areas of expertise

  • Counter-IED
  • Defence manufacturing
  • Test and Evaluation
  • Explosives and Munitions
  • Structures and Materials
  • Weapons Engineering


Roland is a part-time PhD student and is also the CEO and Chief Technical Officer of Alford Group. He obtained his first degree at UCL in Mechanical Engineering and is a chartered engineer. He has been an explosives engineer since 2002 although his exposure to explosives dates back to his childhood when we learned from his father, Dr Sidney Alford.

Roland's fields of expertise include designing explosively driven tools for EOD, IEDD, explosive breaching and demolition which are widely used by police and militaries around the world. He has been actively involved in industrial demolition since 2016 when his company successfully demolished the remaining boiler house at Didcot following a tragic industrial accident. He has since undertaken other major demolition work including the explosive demolition of Hazelwood Power Station in Australia.

Current activities

Current research is experimentally developing a better understanding of how tamped explosive charges work when in direct contact with targets. It has been previously proposed that the propulsion of mass occurs in two phases; an initial brisant propulsion phase which occurs during the detonation of the explosive and a second gas propulsion phase. Experiments will be carried out to measure and characterise this.

This will be developed further to study the effect of varying the explosive, tamping material and charge geometry are planned to allow better estimates of the impulse produced by charges for both explosive breaching and demolition.

A novel design of ballistic pendulum which is scalable and modular has been constructed to allow experiments using explosives from a few grams to over half a kilogram to be conducted.