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Surfaces, Microstructure and Fracture Group


I was born and raised in Southport and attended Christ the King RC High School. In 2000 I began a 4 year course in Natural Sciences at King's College, Cambridge and completed two projects in the SMF group. The first of these was a research review on the used of image correlation techniques for measuring internal displacement fields. The second was a Part III project looking at the use of digital image correlation in mapping the deformation of projectiles undergoing the classic Taylor Test.

After graduating in 2004 I began a PhD in the SMF group sponsored by De Beers and Rio Tinto to look at the shock properties of geological materials. While this was laboratory based, the research output fed directly into a large scale modelling effort being run by a number of the world's largest mining concerns. After graduating again in 2009 I began work as a research associate in the group, investigating a wide range of phenomena, some of which are detailed in the research interests section below.

Outside of work I retain an active role in rowing (something I took up as an undergraduate), coaching for King's College Boat Club.


Following on from the research in my PhD I have retained an active interest in the shock behaviour of granular and geological materials, assisting with a number of projects in this area, either as the main investigator or in a supervisory role with PhD students. Much of the groups work on reactive metal formulations has been led by projects where I was the main researcher, and a brief summary of this research can be found in the research section of the website. In addition to these two main research themes, I have been involved in a number of smaller projects for a variety of sponsors, including for example of the early efforts the group made into the area of space penetrators.

As well as my own research themes I have also offered and supervised a number of undergraduate projects for final year students.

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Dr Chris  Braithwaite

Contact Details

Room 318a
+44 (0)1223 337208
Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy