Prof, Students Selected For Federal Summer Research

Prof, Students Selected For Federal Summer Research

NMT Team Is Modeling Explosions, Ballistic Projectiles For DHS Study


SOCORRO, N.M. – Dr. Sayavur Bakhtiyarov and students Caleb Jaquish and Philipp Baldovi have been selected by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to participate in a Summer Research Team Program on Science and Technology.

Dr. Bakhtiyarov is a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department.  Jaquish is a second-year master’s student in Materials Engineering. Baldovi is a senior in Mechanical Engineering, minoring in Explosives Engineering. The Tech team is working at the DHS Center of Excellence (COE) in Explosives Detection, Mitigation and Response at the University of Rhode Island through the end of August. 


The NMT team at DHS Center of Excellence in Explosives Detection, Mitigation and Response University of Rhode Island. From left – Prof. Bakhtiyarov, senior undergrad student Philipp Baldovi, and grad student Caleb Jaquish.

Their project is “A Complex Variable Method (CVM) to predict an Aerodynamics of Explosive Ballistic Projectiles of Arbitrary Shapes.” The NMT team is developing new engineering methods to predict the aerodynamics of explosive ballistic projectiles. The proposed analytical, numerical and CVM analyses will be verified by comparing with other existing models and the fragment recovery field test results. 

“We are doing analytical and numerical simulations to predict the aerodynamics of ballistic fragments during explosions,” Dr. Bakhtiyarov said. “Ballistic projectiles are the most hazardous to infrastructure and personnel. So we are simulating energies, velocities and ranges of fragments.” 

The University of Rhode Island is a Center of Excellence for the Department of Homeland Security and is conducting field testing. The Tech team will be comparing their predictions to the data collected from field tests. 

Jaquish, who earned his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering at NMT in 2015, said he was excited to be chosen for this summer program and that he’s learning a lot on the project. 

“Dr. B was the first Tech professor I ever met,” Jaquish said. “He was a big part of me coming to this school and a big reason for my success. It’s a big honor for him to want me on this team. This is a great opportunity to learn and grow and serve.”

Baldovi went to high school in Hawaii and came to New Mexico Tech specifically to study explosives engineering. He said he’s learning quickly about ballistics, fragmentation and research methodology. 

“This summer research experience will be an excellent foundation for a career in the field,” he said. 

“This is a first experience for me and my students to do a research at DHS Center. The Department of Homeland Security has already encouraged us to apply for a follow-on grant to continue this research project next year,” Dr. Bakhtiyarov said. 


-- NMT --