Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

COE/Structural Mechanics Seminar


Mesoscale Modeling of Explosives at Sandia National Laboratories: Past and Future Directions


Dr. David Kittell


Sandia National Laboratories


Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 11:00:00 AM


GTMI Building, Room Auditorium 101


Min Zhou


Beginning in the late 1990s, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) began using continuum hydrocodes to explicitly resolve microstructures and to investigate the response of explosives at the so-called “mesoscale”. This work has continued to the present day, and is now expanding in scope to include new and novel data analytics as well as the application of probability density function (PDF) methods and stochastic calculus. Current efforts are providing insight into how different microstructures lead directly to experimentally observed sensitivity and detonation wave profile phenomena. Mesoscale models of actual microstructures are shown to be able to capture possible physical mechanisms, and a path forward for the homogenization of the mesoscale shock response to the continuum level is suggested.


David Kittell earned his bachelor’s degrees in aerospace engineering, mechanics, and mathematics from the University of Minnesota. He holds a master’s in aerospace propulsion and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Purdue University. He has a diverse engineering background, studying everything from navigational flight computers to solid rocket motors, explosives engineering and computer programming. His current research focus at Sandia is in the fields of energetic materials and shock waves, where he is a collaborator on research projects (experimental and computational) that seek to unravel some of the challenges associated with multiscale modeling and simulation.


Refreshments will be served.