Contact William Fawcett-hirst

Areas of expertise


I attended Aston University where I was awarded a BEng in Mechanical engineering. I then enrolled in and completed the Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG) graduate scheme offered by the UK Ministry of Defence. During my time on the DESG scheme I completed an MSc in Explosives Ordnance Engineering at the Defence Academy with Cranfield University. My thesis work involved the leaching of explosive material (RDX) from a polymer bonded explosive (PBX) under controlled conditions to help understand the breakdown mechanisms in the environment.

After working on complex weapons projects within the MOD I took the opportunity to further my academic development by starting a PhD in a topic related to that I explored during my thesis.

Current activities

I am currently undertaking a PhD looking at the removal of energetic materials from IMX formulations from waste water. My current direction of research is using carbon from a variety sources to remove energetic materials and evaluate the potential of those sources for scale up to industrial use. A more complete list of my research activities is shown below:

  • Preparation of activated carbon from different sources
  • Carbon filtration of explosively contaminated water
  • In-situ detection of explosives in water
  • Waste water management and risk assessment processes


My work in sponsored by Rheinmetall Italia.


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