Dr Andrew Barr

MEng, PhD

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

Research Fellow in Structural and Material Blast Characterisation

Close up of Andrew Barr
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Full contact details

Dr Andrew Barr
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building (Broad Lane Building)
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

My research aims to characterise blast loading and dynamic material behaviour, enabling the development of effective systems to protect lives and infrastructure

Dr Andrew Barr

Andrew graduated from the University of Sheffield with an MEng (Hons) in Structural Engineering and Architecture in 2012. He then joined the Geotechnical Engineering Group and completed his PhD in 2016, studying the behaviour of sandy soils at high strain rates. During his PhD he also worked as an engineer at university spin-out company Blastech, which provides commercial blast and impact testing services.

As a Research Fellow in the Blast and Impact Dynamics group, much of Andrew’s research to date has focused on the effect of strain rate on material behaviour. How quickly a load is applied to a material (the strain rate) can greatly affect properties such as stiffness and strength, and this effect is particularly important when investigating very rapid loadings such as explosions. His research on strain rate effects in soils is vital for understanding how to defend against buried explosive devices such as mines and IEDs, and has aided the development of soil-filled structures to protect people and infrastructure from ballistic threats.

The destructive nature of explosions makes them inherently difficult to measure and characterise, but a full understanding of their effects is vital to improve the life-saving ability of next-generation blast protection systems. Andrew’s research on the Mechanisms and Characterisation of Explosions (MaCE) project aims to develop a comprehensive model of the loading from explosions by investigating the pressure, temperature and chemical reactions in the blast wave as it develops.

Andrew maintains an interest in architecture from his undergraduate degree, and is Module Leader on CIV3207: IDP Part 2 for Architectural Engineering. This individual stage of the third-year Integrated Design Project involves the detailed design of a low-carbon building to a challenging brief, and requires the Architectural Engineering students to integrate the structural, mechanical and architectural aspects of building design.

Our Centenary. Our Research
  • MEng, Structural Engineering and Architecture, The University of Sheffield, 2012
  • PhD, The University of Sheffield, 2016
Research interests
  • Strain rate effects in soils
  • High strain-rate material behaviour
  • High pressure material behaviour
  • Hopkinson pressure bars for blast measurement
  • Dispersion effects in pressure bar measurements

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

  • Barr AD, Clarke SD, Tyas A & Warren J (2017) Particle breakage in partially-saturated sand under dynamic loading. 17th International Symposium on the Interation of the Effects of Munitions with Structures (ISIEMS) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Barr AD, Clarke SD, Rigby SE, Tyas A & Warren J (2016) Investigating high strain rate shear in soils using a split Hopkinson pressure bar. 3rd UK Defence Seminar on the High Strain Rate Properties of Soils and Granular Media. Dstl, Porton Down RIS download Bibtex download
  • Dirlewanger H, Pope D, Russell D, Landmann F, Haberacker C, Barr A, Tyas A & Stolz A () Enhancement of Hesco Bastion wall models to better predict magnitudes of response under far field loading conditions RIS download Bibtex download

Theses / Dissertations

  • Barr AD (2017) Strain-rate effects in quartz sand. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Blast and Impact Dynamics


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