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MAXAM Foundation

MAXAM Foundation - Press room - Interviews - MAXAM Bachelor’s and Master's Degree Dissertation Awards 2019

Daniel Cabrera
Premio Fin de Grado
Proyecto: Evaluation & characterization
of damages to brick infrastructure during terrorist attacks with improvised explosive artifacts
Santiago Gómez
Premio Fin de Máster
Solution & calibration of Blair's full model in the blasthole near rango

What have you learned most about the world of explosives, both academically and from a personal perspective, in the bachelor's/master's degree?

Daniel: From an academic point of view, I found the branch of defence and safety of explosives very interesting. From an engineering perspective, I am still fascinated, as on the very first day, by the precision required when blasting and the safety procedures that are involved. A minor detail can completely change all previous calculations and studies.
Santiago: From an academic perspective, that we can deal with this subject in much more depth, and personally that explosives are used even in the most mundane tasks.

What has been your most rewarding experience as a student?

Daniel: I could not answer that question with one specific aspect. I believe that coming to Madrid, and specifically to the School of Mines and Energy, was the best choice I could have made. I have been fortunate to spend 4 years at a place where I have learned a lot from many people and also grown as a person.
Santiago: I'd say the feeling of having finished my degree.

Could you briefly explain your bachelor's/master's degree dissertation?
Daniel: The main aim of this final dissertation is to evaluate, characterize and analyse the damage suffered by critical masonry infrastructure in terrorist attacks with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), using a range of construction solutions in order to assess whether they improve the safety of walls in the event of an explosion.The project included the tasks of designing and controlling tests with explosives on structures, analysing the measurements taken, characterizing, studying and analysing the construction solutions used in the tests, along with their numerical simulation.
Santiago: The project consists of calibrating an analytical model to predict vibrations and damage to the rock which can then be applied to contour control.

What were the main challenges you encountered along the way? How did you overcome them?
Daniel: The main challenge I faced was to discover the world of explosives, especially in defence. From preparing a home-made explosive, calculating the TNT equivalent of these improvised devices, to measuring the damage to infrastructure during the explosion.To solve it, I tried to learn as much as possible from my tutors and teachers, and to go as deeply into the subject as I could.
Santiago: The main challenge was the time I had available to complete it (3 months). I solved it with dedication and perseverance.

What are your plans now that you have finished your bachelor's/master's degree?
Daniel: After finishing my bachelor's degree in Energy Engineering, I am now in Paris doing a master's degree in Petroleum Economics and Management at the Institut Français du Pétrole, and I am about to start my professional career.
Santiago: I am currently looking to do a PhD, and in the short term I want to continue my research into the practical applications of the model.


Last update 2020.05.21
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