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Computer Simulations Developed By Mu Researchers Help Predict Blast Scenarios, Also Have Crossover Appeal in Animation

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A recent building explosion in New York City.

Researchers at the University of Missouri have developed new computer-based methods for simulating building explosions.

Credit: Associated Press

University of Missouri researchers have developed computer methods for simulating building explosions.

Missouri professor Zhen Chen says the blast scenarios generated by the Material Point Method (MPM) software could help determine how building materials and designs will hold up. He says building designers will be able to use the data and analysis to validate the results with laboratory tests before pursuing full-scale construction with stronger materials and designs.

The team used a $400,000, five-year CAREER grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation to develop the MPM program. Disney has used MPM's computational methods to simulate snow sequences for its Oscar-winning animated film "Frozen."

The added bonus of using simulation-based engineering science in animation and popular media is exposure to children, Chen says. "We hope they'll get excited about [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] fields and that our methods will help shape and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineering researchers," he notes.

In addition, an interdisciplinary research team at the university is devising a multiscale MPM for generating alternative energy sources.

From MU News Bureau (MO)
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