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27 April 2012 | PR 12/79

Top industry award for Loughborough’s anti-terrorist device


Professor John Tyrer

A ground-breaking anti-terrorist device developed by Loughborough University academics has won a highly prestigious industry award.

The Explorer can remotely scan in real-time crowded areas, such as airports and train stations, and identify tiny amounts of explosive particles invisible to the naked eye.  It then automatically signals an alarm if traces of explosives are detected.

At the national Counter Terrorism and Specialist Security Awards 2012 the Explorer beat off tough industry competition to win the ‘Electro optic, thermal imaging and night vision’ category.  The awards celebrate the strength of the counter terror industry and are voted for by members of the global defence and security community.

Professor John Tyrer from the University’s School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering developed the pioneering technology, alongside colleagues from the Department of Chemistry.  Professor Tyrer’s spin-out company – Laser Optical Engineering – has developed several working prototypes of the device, which is currently undergoing field trials at a number of undisclosed locations across the country.

Speaking about the award Professor Tyrer said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Explorer has been recognised in this way.  The system is non-invasive, works in real time, causes no delays to passengers and is fully automated, ruling out human error, and the images produced are no more controversial than those generated by CCTV.

“The technology has the potential to revolutionise how we protect members of the public from the threat of terrorism, not only here in the UK but across the world.”


For all media enquiries contact:

Judy Wing
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: J.L.Wing@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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This page was last updated on Friday April 27, 2012 15:28