CBRN / HazMat Training Blog

CBRN Defence Science Course at Cranfield University from 11–22 October

Written by Steven Pike on 08 October 2021

CBRN Defence Science

Cranfield University is the Academic Provider to the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. 

It is currently offering a course in CBRN Defence Science, which is the only one of its kind in the UK. Students will learn about Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) defence from leading academics and military experts at state-of-the-art facilities. 

The next course is being held from 11–22 October and is designed to provide a mixture of theoretical lectures, laboratory practicals, demonstrations, and activities as well as site visits to the Defence CBRN Centre and to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) to study current development and research.

Cranfield University understands that CBRN threats come from conventional warfare, domestic terrorism, and accidents and seeks to work with the latest technology in the field.

Who is the course for?

The aim of this two-week course is to provide practising scientists, engineers, weapon staff officers, and unit officers with an understanding of the science and technology underpinning CBRN defence to make them more effective operators.

A broad mix of military and civilian CBRN practitioners have historically attended this course, which facilitates a space to exchange views and experiences and opportunities to establish contacts.

Core content 

The core content of the course includes lectures on:

  • Chemical Agents
  • Biological Agents
  • Radiological Hazards
  • Nuclear Hazards
  • Physical Protection (individual and collective)
  • Detection
  • Decontamination
  • Demilitarisation
  • International and national controls of CBRN
  • Current science and future developments
  • CBRN Practitioners and their roles
  • Security Briefing
  • Historical Weapons and Atmospheric Dispersion


The main lectures will be given by teaching staff from Cranfield University; however, there will also be external speakers from:

  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Former UN Weapons Inspectors and members of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Metropolitan Police Dedicated CBRN Unit
  • Defence Intelligence
  • UK equipment manufacturers
  • Public Health England
  • Home Office

Other CBRN courses 

In addition to the course at Cranfield, globally ENCIRCLE lists three other on-site courses that cover CBRN:

  • CBRNE: Health Information Resources – Disaster Information Management Research Center – DIMRC, U.S.
  • CBRNe Master Courses – Università di Roma Tor Vergata, IT
  • CBRN Defence Courses – NATO SCHOOL Oberammergau, DE

The ENCIRCLE project is a European initiative and aims to enhance the EU CBRN industry’s competitiveness. It focuses on increasing the benefits of EU research and innovation to improve CBRN preparedness, response, resilience, and recovery efficiency. 

Argon Electronics’ eLearning material

ENCIRCLE also publicises several eLearning recommendations including Argon’s A guide to effective chemical warfare agent training

This free eBook establishes the protective actions to be taken in situations where chemical hazards may be present.

It details how in-depth chemical warfare agent training provides both military and non-military personnel the experience to detect and either avoid, protect themselves from, or carry out decontamination against chemical threats. 

Therefore, it is crucial that training scenarios can realistically replicate the situations that individuals might face in the future—whether in the context of warfare, a terrorist incident, or an accident.

The eBook explores the three key types of CWA training and their relative merits:

  • Live agent training
  • Simulant agent training
  • Simulation training

The importance of simulation training for CBRNe professionals

Simulation training using Argon’s globally recognised simulation devices provides CBRNe professionals with an alternative to live agent training. Today’s intelligent, computer-based simulation tools such as the RadSIM GS4 Simulator and the RadEye GF-10 simulator offer instructors ways of teaching students that are not possible with conventional training methods.

The simulators are able to accurately replicate how real devices react when confronted by a range of chemical and radiological agents, taking into account the volatility of the agents, the prevailing meteorological conditions, and the tactics and techniques used to detect differing agents. 

However, no chemicals or radioactive sources of any kind are used in the simulators. Electronic simulation agents replicate these sources but are in no way harmful to human health or the environment.

The main driver for using simulators is to be able to replicate the ability to detect and monitor

a near-invisible or invisible hazard as it moves through the air or contaminates equipment, infrastructure, or terrain. Using Argon’s simulators means that these conditions can be reproduced accurately in built-up and heavily populated areas. This allows instructors to design a realistic-as-possible scenario to ensure emergency responders have the most effective training possible.

A guide to effective chemical warfare agent training eBook

Topics: Simulation Training

Steven Pike

Written by Steven Pike

Steven Pike is the Founder and Managing Director of Argon Electronics (UK) Ltd. A graduate of the University of Hertfordshire, Steven has been awarded a number of international patents relating to the field of hazardous material training systems and technology.