Research at the University of Cape Town in the field of blast, impact and survivability began in the mid 1970's and gained momentum in the mid 1980's. These types of loading situations occur on a daily basis - car, train, aircraft and shipping accidents, explosions in industrial plants, humanitarian and military injury due to land mines. The effects of these situations cause thousands of deaths and many thousands of life changing permanent injuries per year.
Since 1985 the focus has been multi-facetted and has
- exposed scholars and students to the effects of impact related problems,
- promoted the study and understanding of impact dynamics through student projects in the final year mechanical engineering curriculum,
- encouraged research activities through post graduate studies at Masters, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral levels,
- facilitated national and international collaboration.
In 2003, BISRU was established in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cape Town. BISRU has also developed collaborative links with industry and academia on both national and international levels.
The objective of the research work during the past 25 years has been and continues to be to strive to reduce risk of injury and save lives through fundamental principles of science and engineering, using experimental, analytical and computational tools and techniques to understand the mechanics and dynamics of blast and impact loads.