Women Who Blow Things Up

This month’s issue of Popular Science Magazine features several labs that ‘go boom’. Ranging anywhere from a Lightning Research Lab to the Center for Explosives Detection, Mitigation, and Response, this article profiles labs that are conducting extreme research by blowing things up. So here are a few of the women doing their part to rock the explosions:

Planetary Scientist Sarah T. Stewart, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences.

Her research focuses on the formation and evolution of planetary bodies. So how does she do it? Experimental research backed by simulations. That means shock wave experiments in a shock tube!


Melinda Krahenbuhl is the Director of the research reactor at Reed College. Having a nuclear reactor at a school? Now that’s hands on learning with around 40 licensed operators on hand.


Professor Jacqueline Akhavan is the Head of the Centre for Defense Chemistry at Cranfield University. Within the Centre for Defense Chemistry she is responsible for the delivery of education and research in propellants, pyrotechnics and high explosives together with chemical defense, fuel technology, detection, and environment impact. With a PhD in polymeric chemistry and expertise in the development of new polymer bonded explosive (PBXs) formulations for insensitive munitions, I wouldn’t want to mess with her!


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