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Stephen Miller

Trials Conducting Officer/Explosives Consultant

At the age of 17, he joined the Territorial Army (UK Reserve Forces) and qualified as a Bomb Disposal Engineer, while still at school! Later becoming a high qualified EOD Engineer, Combat Engineer and Ammunition Specialist.

The Royal Armaments Research and Development Establishment (RARDE) – Part of the UK Ministry of Defence, recruited Steve as a research scientist in their warheads and terminal effects department at Fort Halstead, where he was involved with:

Defeat of Concrete, Anti-Armour Warheads, Large Calibre Kinetic Energy Penetrators, The ‘Old Fort’ in house high explosive facility, Explosives Technical Support to various projects, Explosives Competencies, Oil Rig Decommissioning and the development of Increased Performance Explosive Perforating Tools for the Oil Industry.

This personal and professional interest in explosives lead Steve to pursue membership of the Institute of Explosives Engineers. In 1996 he became a full Member of the Institute and was invited to join the Institutes Council, where he served until stepping down in 2005. Steve re-joined the Institute Council in 2017.

Membership of the Institute of Explosives Engineers gave Steve a wider view of many aspects of the explosives industry and related technologies, materials and techniques that he hadn’t previously been exposed to. This wealth of knowledge and understanding now means that Steve is regarded as an expert witness on explosives use and misuse, by the UK courts for whom he has written numerous reports in order to assist them in ensuring justice is served in Britain.

In addition to being called upon by the courts, Steve is also asked to delivered lectures and demonstrations on explosives and related subjects to various and varied audiences, including television and radio appearances.

In 2016 Steve became a Chartered Engineer through the Institute of Explosives Engineers and is now a mentor and assessor for others seeking similar professional registration.

Stephen Miller
Insensitive Munitions have been a hot topic for many years, great strides have been taken in the development of Insensitive Explosives and Low Sensitivity Detonators, but the Achilles Heal is at the interface between these two elements, where the detonation needs to be sufficiently large to initiate the main charge. Boosters are used to bridge this, but by their very nature Boosters cannot be Insensitive, as they need to be sensitive to the input from the Detonator, the Boosters also need to be large in order to initiate Insensitive Explosives, which makes them a large and vulnerable target in an accident scenario.

The Insensitive Munitions standards and tests have long recognised this and the Booster is specifically targeted in the Bullet, Fragment and Shaped Charge attack tests, as any accidental initiation of a Booster in an Insensitive Munition system is very likely to lead to full main charge initiation.

This presentation establishes this Achilles Heal and explores some of the technologies and techniques that may provide solutions for the associated problems, including Booster Shaping, Staged Flying Plates and Explosives with Switchable Sensitivity, through animated diagrams detailing the issues that need solving and the function of the potential solutions.