The objective of this research is to investigate shock interaction with complex geometry canisters suspended above a rigid elevated surface. Several geometries were examined in an effort to reduce the loads on the canisters during the shock diffraction phase. A new transient, two‐dimensional, finite‐element shock capturing scheme was utilized. Excellent shock resolution was demonstrated, as well as the efficiency of the newly developed adaptive refinement/coarsening algorithm. In addition to interesting shock wave propagation and interaction processes, the results demonstrated the capability of the new code to capture, and define in great detail, vortices shed from the downstream side of the canister.