Due to the increase in worldwide trade, the flow of goods crossing borders is also increasing. At the same time, the methods, and techniques for concealing contraband—including drugs, weapons, explosives, radiological and nuclear material—by criminal organisations are growing more sophisticated. Border guard, customs and law enforcement authorities are continuously facing many challenges and are looking for new, disruptive solutions for effective and efficient non-intrusive identification of illicit hidden goods.

In this context, Cranfield University in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark and Crim-Track ApS offers an artificial nose (See image) for the detection of explosives and controlled drugs and their chemical precursors. The Crim-Track system’s colourimetric sensor technology can detect vapour traces at parts-per-trillion sensitivity in near real-time. The detection capability is non-intrusive, with no contact with the threat and can be easily adapted to different threat scenarios.

The research is currently focused on the development of the colourimetric sensor system for the detection of homemade explosives and their precursor chemicals through the PORDEX project, funded by the Danish Minister of Defence.

The Terrorism Risk Assessment, Modelling and Mitigation Seminar Series (TRAMMSS) is a virtual seminar series focused on technical topics related to terrorism risk assessment, and modelling, including blast modelling and response; IEDS; vehicles as weapons; CBRN; big data for risk assessment, security and screening; and associated mitigation measures.


Dr Licia Dossi is a Lecturer in Defence Chemistry at Cranfield Defence and Security in Shrivenham. She is a Chartered Chemist and Chartered scientist, with expertise in synthetic polymer chemistry and explosives chemistry gained from 35 years’ experience in European Academic institutions. She graduated with an MSc in Chemistry and received her PhD in Biomaterials from Pisa University Italy and joined Cranfield University as Research Fellow in 2008.

Licia delivers lectures at Master and PhD levels, and bespoken short courses to public and private Defence and Security sectors, on a variety of themes. She has significant networking and collaboration with academic and industrial partners in the UK and overseas.

Licia isCranfield’s Technical leader for European Commission FP7 and Horizon proposals and projects on the “Detection of explosives and illicit drugs” since 2014 and has contributed on the development of the CRIM-TRACK sniffer device.

Licia has co-authored more than 50 published papers/conference proceedings, 3 book chapters and 2 international patents.

Who should attend

This seminar is open to guests from outside Cranfield, who may work in academia, research, or industry. Due to the potentially sensitive nature of this seminar series, guests should be able to show that they are affiliated with an appropriate bona fide organisation.


The event is free of charge, but participants must register for the TRAMMSS mailing list in advance.

How to register

To attend this seminar, you must register for the TRAMMSS mailing list via the form here.

Further information on the TRAMMSS community can be found on the main website: cranfield.ac.uk/TRAMMSS.