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The Center for Fire and Explosives, Forensic Investigation, Training and Research (CENFEX) supports federal, state and local law enforcement departments as well as defense and intelligence agencies in the analysis of forensic research areas.


Our goal is to advance the growth and understanding of forensic sciences within the national security community, as well as serving as a technical authority to first responder, state and local entities in protecting our communities.


CENFEX provides assistance to law enforcement and military investigators by combining education, research and testing. CENFEX facilities include lecture halls, training laboratory, research and analysis labs and an explosives range. 


Research and testing capabilities provided by CENFEX include:

  • Field detection of improvised explosives (IE) and chemical precursors
  • Instrumental analysis, stability studies, research and analysis of IE
  • Characterization of explosives and other energetic materials 
  • Technical exploitation of electronic circuits
  • Bulk and trace explosives analysis
  • Post blast and WMD crime scene analysis
  • Fire and explosives investigations
  • Explosive and detonation research, penetration testing, breaching/dynamic entry
  • BIOMED joint program for explosives and traumatic brain injury
  • Fire origin/cause investigations
  • HME recognition


CENFEX offers a wide array of improvised explosives training tailored to the needs of the following specialties:

  • First responders
  • Bomb technicians
  • Forensic scientists
  • Fire investigators
  • Hazardous materials specialists
  • Intelligence analysts


Within the School of Forensic Sciences, CENFEX offers graduate-level education for law enforcement and military investigators.


All range and laboratory operations conform to FBI Hazardous Devices School safety protocols, including requirements for non-static clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE).  Emergency medical personal are present during all explosive training exercises.  Students attending CENFEX training classes do NOT mix primary explosives, although they do observe instructor-led demonstrations of primary explosives and their chemical precursors

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