Contact Dr Licia Dossi

Areas of expertise

  • Defence Sensors
  • Explosives and Munitions
  • Manufacturing of Functional Materials
  • Smart Materials
  • Structures and Materials


Dr Licia Dossi is Senior Lecturer in Defence Chemistry at Cranfield University and RSC Chartered Chemist and Chartered Scientist, with expertise in synthetic polymer chemistry and explosives chemistry gained from 30 years' experience in UK and European Academic institutions.

She graduated with an MSc in Chemistry from Pisa University, Italy and received her PhD in Biomaterials from Brescia University Italy.

She was a Research Assistant at Pisa University, the Italian National Research Council and Genoa University in the synthesis of new polymeric systems for a variety of applications. Her research contribution on the synthesis of liquid crystalline polymers and hydrogels developed in Pisa University is often cited worldwide. Licia moved to Bristol University UK in 1998 as Research Assistant with a three year ESPRC grant in polymers and then took a career break for her young family until 2008 when she joined Cranfield University as Research Fellow. She became Senior Research Fellow in 2015, Lecturer in Defence Chemistry in 2016 and Senior Lecturer in 2023.

Licia is currently part of the synthesis and formulation group at the Centre for Defence Chemistry at Shrivenham and has a recognized teaching status for high education. She delivers lectures at Master and PhD levels on a variety of themes. She is active member of the Centre of Excellence in Energetic Materials (CoEEM) Explosives Detection and CoEEM Synthesis hubs and has an important national and international networking.

She is REF active researcher and co-author in more than 65 published papers/conference proceedings, 3 international patents and 3 books.


• An internationally recognised practitioner in polymer chemistry.

• An internationally recognised practitioner in explosives chemistry.

• An internationally recognised practitioner in detection of chemical threats.

• Strong project management skills having managed and delivered multi-disciplinary projects for a variety of clients.

• High expertise in design and delivery of chemistry courses.

• Strong health and safety management skills having managed very complex area of research

• Very important networking.

• Excellent communication skills keeping relationships and delivering knowledge through teaching in the classroom and laboratories.

Research opportunities


- Detection of pestidices in The National Archives items (2024-2028)

- Detection of bioearosols (2024-2028)

Advertisements to follow soon at Research opportunities (

DETECTION OF CHEMICALS: Detection of illicit substances, Development of sniffer device for the detection of explosives and controlled drugs and their precursor, Detection of pesticides, Detection of chemical hazards in Archive Repositories, Biodetection technologies against harmful, airborne pathogens, Development of sniffer UAS device for identification of illicit substances.

EXPLOSIVES CHEMISTRY: Energetic materials, Synthesis of inert and energetic polymeric binders, Smart high performance energetic formulations, Molecular boron in energetic polymers, Replacement of toxic isocyanates in PBX formulations, Energetic ionic salts for propulsion, Synthesis and characterisation of common explosives,

POLYMER SCIENCE: Synthetic polymer organic chemistry, Cationic catalysts and stereospecific polymerization of chiral vinyl monomers, Anionic polymerization, radical polymerization, Liquid crystalline polymers: Synthesis and characterization, Hydrogels, Polymers for biomedical & pharmaceutical applications, Crosslinked polymers. Polymers for microencapsulation and controlled drug delivery, Synergy of molecular modelling and synthesis, Degradation and environmental, Biodegradable polymers of natural & synthetic origin: preparation and degradability evaluation, Polymeric materials for environmental and agricultural applications.

Current activities

Licia is active researcher in the areas of Defence, Security and Applied Polymer Science.

Licia teaches chemistry and polymers science at MSc and PhD level, she is a pro-active researcher and manager of two laboratories, Organic Synthesis and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance laboratory, within the Centre for Defence Chemistry at Shrivenham.

She supervises MSc and PhD students' projects and designs, organises and delivers several short courses.

She has an important number of communication relationships and collaborations with academia and industry in UK and overseas.

She has strong project management skills having managed and delivered multi-disciplinary projects for a variety of clients.

She is active member of the UK Centre of Excellence in Energetic Materials Synthesis group and committee member of the Explosives Ordnance Engineering course.

Licia is co-author of several papers published in international peer reviewed journals, she co-authoring three patents, three books and delivers research and numerous technical reports on research topics including:


Detection of illicit chemicals Crimtrack valency video with titles (

Inert and energetic polymeric binders - Design, modelling and synthesis Binders by Design: the development of novel energetic materials (

Cross-linked polymers

Hydrogels for absorption of toxic chemicals

Smart high performance energetic formulations

Synthesis and characterisation of common explosives

Hybrid detection-UAV systems

Coating of explosives and metals

Microencapsulation and controlled drug delivery


  • BAE Systems PLC
  • Danish Defence
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
  • Weapons Sector Research Framework
  • Atomic Weapons Establishment
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Chemring Group PLC
  • Wallops Flight Facility (NASA)
  • European Commission


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers