Tech Students Present Research at Explosives Conference

SOCORRO, N.M. February 23, 2015 – Five New Mexico Tech students attended the 41st annual International Society of Explosive Engineers conference in New Orleans in late January, with three of them presenting research posters.

Andrew Matejunas and Christian Sorensen presented a poster related to their senior design clinic project in the Mechanical Engineering Department.

ISEE 0027---andrew-and-christian

Andrew Matejunas (left) and Christian Sorensen with their poster at the ISEE conference in New Orleans.


 ISEE 0026---steven

Steven Mathe presenting his research at the ISEE conference.



Steven Mathe presented a poster detailing his graduate research in mineral engineering.

Stephen Sweeney and Phillip Baldovi also attended.

Mathe presented a poster titled “Acceleration and Deformation of an Explosively-Driven Flat Metal Plate.” He is working with research advisor Dr. Seokbin Lim.

Matejunas and Sorensen presented “Explosively Loaded Vessel for Dynamic Experiments at the Advanced Photon Source [APS].” 

Matejunas and Sorensen are working on designing a vessel that can be re-used quickly to test how well certain materials respond to the pressure applied by explosions. The currently used vessel requires at least 30 minutes to set up a test.

“There are lots of operational problems with using a normal vessel design at APS,” Sorensen said. “Most are operated by hand. It takes 30 minutes just to get into the room and with experimental time at the lab being booked long in advance we want to make our design as efficient as possible. We want the ability to do experiments quickly and most experimental tasks remotely. Doing that with explosives is difficult because you have to work with things that aren’t destroyed with each test. You have to put a sample in the vessel, x-ray it and look at the location. If the sample isn’t in the right place, you have to move it micrometers. We have to be able to do that remotely.”

Matejunas and Sorensen have designed a vessel that satisfies the requirements. Now, they are working on fabricating a prototype.

Mathe is interested in aerospace applications of explosives, such as rocket fuels and linear shape charges that could be used in stage-separation equipment on spacecraft.

He said he is early in the development stage of designing a new model that would aid in the design of linear shaped charges.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech

CAPTION: Christian Sorensen, Phillip Baldovi, Andrew Matejunas, Stephen Mathe and Steven Sweeney attended the ISEE Confeernce in New Orleans in January.