Dr Sam Clarke

Senior Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Mappin Street, Sheffield, S1 3JD

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 5703
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 5700

Email: sam.clarke@sheffield.ac.uk
Room: D103a




My research aims to understand the fundamentals of blast impact to save lives and infrastructure.

Dr Sam Clarke


Sam graduated from The University of Sheffield with a MEng (Hons) degree in Structural Engineering and Architecture in 2006. He then joined the Geotechnical Engineering Group and completed his PhD in advanced numerical modelling in 2009. During his doctorate studies Sam spent a number of periods working with Arup Geotechnics' Numerical Skills Team in London and the university spin-out company LimitState. He spent a short period as a Research Assistant before taking up the post of Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering in November 2009.

Over the past decade Sam has spent much time investigating the role of soil in blast events. He works on the fundamental physics that govern the interaction between soil, air and explosive charges. Soil is a variable material; unlike steel, its behavior is not easy to predict. Understanding the fundamentals enables Sam to make accurate predictions of what the effects of a blast in a particular environment would be. Understanding the impact of blast on soil, buildings, transport and communication networks can contribute to the design of infrastructure that is more resilient to terrorism. Sam’s work also helps to protect troops, vehicles and structures in warzones.

Sam’s research has led to many collaborations with the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory. He is currently investigating the high stress, high strain-rate response of geomaterials experienced in blast loading events as well as novel techniques for the quantification of the loading in such events. He is now a core member of the Blast and Impact Dynamics research group.

His main research interests focus on:

  • The role of soil in buried explosive events
  • Numerical modelling of soil in blast events
  • Quantification of rate effects in soils
  • Experimental techniques for the measurement of blast loading

Selected Publications

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

  • Clarke SD, Fay SD, Tyas A, Warren J, Rigby SE, Elgy I & Livesey R (2014) Repeatability of Buried Charge Testing. Military Aspects of Blast and Shock 23. Oxford, UK, 7 September 2014 - 12 September 2014. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download