Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

Center for Improvised Explosives (IMPEX)

IMPEX Mission Statement

Improvised explosive materials are prevalent in the United States and abroad in pre-blast settings such as clandestine laboratories and post-blast settings including incidences of terrorism. The Center for Improvised Explosives (IMPEX) seeks to provide assistance for law enforcement and military investigators by combining research, testing, training and education.


IMPEX personnel conduct research into new, more effective methods to deter, detect and defeat improvised explosives (IE). Projects include:

  • Field detection of IE and chemical precursors
  • IE neutralization techniques
  • Instrumental analysis of IE
  • Effect of render-safe procedures on IE
  • Optimum fuel/oxidizer combinations in IE
  • IE Stability studies


IMPEX provides services to both public and private sector clients including:

  • Equipment Testing:
    • Render safe equipment
    • Field characterization tools (IR, Raman, Mass spec, colorimetric)
    • Remote platforms
  • Proficiency tests for:
    • analysis of improvised explosive devices
    • analysis of bulk and trace explosives
    • analysis of post-blast, clandestine drug and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) crime scenes


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

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


IMPEX training courses may be taken for graduate course credit.

Courses can be used towards the Arson and Explosives Investigation option of the Master of Science in Forensic Science (MSFS). 


IMPEX is located within the School of Forensic Sciences at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa. IMPEX facilities include lecture halls, a training laboratory, research and analysis labs, and explosives ranges. The lecture halls have state-of-the-art display capabilities linked to distance-learning systems. The training laboratory has 24 student workstations, each equipped with a heat-resistant work surface and fume extractor. The training laboratory also has audio/video equipped fume hoods linked to display screens. The explosives range is located a short distance from the School of Forensic Sciences.

Explosion at the explosives range

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