Dr Bill Proud

Reader in Shock Physics at Imperial College London


Reader in Shock Physics and Technical Director, Institute of Shock Physics, Imperial College London

Dr Bill Proud is a Reader in Shock Physics, and Technical Director of the Institute of Shock Physics, at Imperial College London. His main research interest is into high strain rate properties of material, both inert and energetic. There are two main thrusts to his research: to determine the fundamental behaviour of materials and processes occurring in shock waves and relate it to phenomena seen at lower loading rates; and a pragmatic approach to determining materials parameters to populate or validate materials models.

He has done recent work with the Fracture and Shock Physics Group at the University of Cambridge, including: shock response of a wide variety of material types; ignition and growth of reaction in energetic materials - sensitivity, hazard, performance; developing new diagnostic techniques / optimising established techniques; instrumentation on field trials; and the effect of damage on materials properties over a range of strain rates.

Dr Proud initially trained as a Chemist, moving into the field of Shock Physics during research undertaken at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge from 1994. This research initially concentrated on propellant combustion then expanded to include Shock Physics and a wider area of material response to stress. He was appointed Head of the Fracture and Shock Physics Group at Cambridge in 2003. During his time at Cambridge he performed research for QinetiQ, EPSRC, AWE and de Beers, amongst others. Bill has also been actively involved in educational and outreach projects, giving many public lectures, including the Cavendish National Science Week Lecture in 2005, and has been chair of the Cambridge Physics Centre and of the local branch of the Institute of Physics. He has received several prizes and awards including the UK National Award for High-Speed Photography and Photonics and the Schardin Medal for High-Speed Photography in 2004.