Department of Engineering / Profiles / Dr Benat Gurrutxaga-Lerma

Department of Engineering

Dr Benat Gurrutxaga-Lerma


College Research Fellow (Trinity)

Academic Division: Mechanics, Materials and Design

Research group: Materials Engineering

Telephone: +44 1223 7 48523



Research interests

My research focuses primarily on the study of plasticity and failure mechanisms under shock loading (high strain rate and high magnitude impacts), in particular through the use of computational modelling techniques such as discrete dislocation dynamics or molecular dynamics, with view to designing better constitutive models of materials for their use in industry.

Shock loading generates fast moving wave fronts on materials. The rate at which the material is shocked–the strain rate–is often so high that the effect of shock loads could conceivably be studied using atomistic models such as molecular dynamics. However, these techniques are still limited in size due to their computational cost. Because of this, this field remains poorly understood from the point of view of the evolution of the microstructure.

I have been focusing on the development of novel continuum models of dislocation dynamics for the study of plastic relaxation at the shock front. This involves considerable mathematical modelling as well as sizeable code development. 

The aim of this work is to be able to gain a better understanding of the evolution of the crystalline microstructure in crystalline materials under shock loading, and to develop adequate mathematical models and computational tools to that end. I have close ties with the Departments of Physics and Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London, where I am currently an academic visitor.