Civil engineering professor James Davidson and his students are currently using advanced modeling and simulation techniques to analytically characterize the blast resistance of a new construction form – foam insulated concrete sandwich panels – so that building design methodologies and criteria can be developed. Davidson began working in the area of protective structures and security engineering technology development more than 15 years ago – shortly after the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996 that killed 19 U.S. servicemen and injured more than 300 others. This tragedy alerted the nation to the need for design and construction technologies that better protect our servicemen.
Davidson and his students will present their studies at two upcoming international conferences: the International Symposium on the Interaction of the Effects of Munitions with Structures in Potsdam, Germany, and the International Conference on Shock and Impact Loads on Structures in Singapore, as well as at the Research and Development session of the 2013 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Convention in Grapevine, Texas. Davidson’s protective structures research has been supported by a wide range of agencies and collaborators, including the National Science Foundation, Engineer Research and Development Center of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Air Force Research Laboratory, National Concrete Masonry Association and Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute.