Landmines and Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) are dangerous left-overs from past conflicts in many countries around the world. Cambodia in particular, carries a large burden of infected lands, restricted access to farmland, grazing land and water resources. Current disrupting technique in Cambodia employs an explosive rifle cartridge to precisely fire either a metal slug or a slug of water to mechanically separate the fuze of a UXO from the explosive material. This procedure, however is not favoured by humanitarian demining organisations due to the safety and security of risks of handing energetic materials during operations, and the complexity and cost of transport. This project will take the first step towards a non-explosive solution to the problem of separating the fuze from the high explosives of UXOs in Cambodia through the design and building of a test rig to measure the forces required to disrupt a range of UXOs.

In parallel, this research will generate both first-hand experience and observational evidence to better understand the tasks and challenges faced by design engineers in Cambodia, as representative of many developing countries. Understanding the challenges faced by design engineers operating in Cambodia will support the eventual goal of improving design engineering education in developing countries.