SUSI 2018 is the 15th International Conference in the successful series of Structures Under Shock and Impact. The first conference started in Cambridge, Massachusetts, (1989) and continued in Portsmouth, UK (1992); Madrid, Spain (1994); Udine, Italy (1996); Thessaloniki, Greece (1998); Cambridge, UK (2000); Montreal (2002); Crete (2004); the New Forest, home to the Wessex Institute (2006); the Algarve, Portugal (2008); Tallinn, Estonia (2010), Kos, Greece (2012); The New Forest, UK (2014); and Crete, Greece (2016).
The increasing need to protect civilian infrastructure and industrial facilities against unintentional loads arising from accidental impact and explosion events as well as terrorist attack is reflected in the sustained interest in the SUSI meetings over three decades. While advances have been made over this period, nevertheless many challenges remain, such as to develop more effective and efficient blast and impact mitigation approaches than currently exist. The primary focus remains the survivability of physical facilities and the protection of people, as well as reducing economic losses and impact on the environment, with emphasis on innovative protective technologies to support the needs of an economically growing, modern society. The application of this technology ranges from the safe transportation of people in several modes and the transportation of dangerous or combustible materials to defences against natural hazard threats such as flood, wind, storm, tsunami and earthquake.
Large scale testing is prohibitive and small scale laboratory testing results in scaling uncertainties. Continuing research is therefore essential to improve knowledge on how these structures behave under a variety of load actions, some of which interact making it even more complex and difficult to define. Consequently, more use of advanced numerical simulations for load and structural response calculations is common practice in industry and research. Such calculations can directly be used in design and risk assessment calculations, but also be applied as input to more simplified design tools and design codes. Whether numerical or analytical modelling techniques are employed, experimental validation is vital for there to be acceptance of the approach to be used. The SUSI meeting over the years has fulfilled many objectives, not least to provide a forum for exchange of research ideas and results to promote a better understanding of these critical issues relating to the testing behaviour, modelling and analyses of protective structures against blast and impact loading.
It is the objective of these meetings to bring together scientists and engineers from a wide range of academic disciplines and industrial backgrounds who have an interest in the structural impact and blast response of structures and materials. In this way, the major developments in different areas can be brought to the attention of the entire community.
All papers presented at the SUSI conference since 1994 are archived in the eLibrary of the Wessex Institute of Technology (www.witpress.com/elibrary), where they are accessible to the international community.