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Pipe bomb explosions and forensic investigation exercise

Media Advisory May 15, 2018
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INDIANAPOLIS – Media are invited to attend an exercise related to IUPUI’s nationally respected research program focused on explosives analysis, including designing better ways to identify explosives before and after explosions.

John Goodpaster, who directs IUPUI’s Forensic and Investigative Sciences program, will be available for interviews on a variety of topics including device identification, search patterns, evidence collection and examination, forensic chemistry, role of forensic scientists in law enforcement, and training of forensic scientists.

WHAT: Pipe bombs are deadly improvised explosive devices constructed from easily obtainable materials.

During a controlled experiment that simulates actual pipe bomb crime scenes, a series of devices that vary by type of pipe (plastic or metal) and type of explosive (smokeless powder, pyrotechnic or TNT) will be detonated.

The Indiana State Police Bomb Squad, which has partnered with IUPUI for many years, will construct the devices.

IUPUI students will play the role of crime scene investigators.

WHY: According to the U.S. Bomb Data Center, about 1,000 explosive incidents are investigated each year. While small in scale, pipe bombs pose a significant threat to life and property. For example, pipe bombs were used in the series of bombings in Austin, Texas, that killed two and wounded several others in March 2018.

IUPUI has a nationally respected active research program focused on explosives analysis, including designing new and more-sensitive ways to identify explosives before and after explosions. The only reliable way to test these methods is to try them out on actual post-blast debris in a controlled experiment that simulates actual crime scenes. The ultimate goal is to share knowledge learned with forensic scientists worldwide.

WHEN: 9:30-10:30 a.m. Friday, May 18

WHERE: A quarry in Logansport, Indiana. Driving directions will be provided to registered reporters.

WHO: Media who want to follow the crime scene investigation at the pipe bomb detonation exercise, need filming guidelines or want an interview with John Goodpaster should contact IUPUI’s Lauren Kay at or 856-906-1708.

For those unable to attend, Goodpaster is available for phone interviews as well.

Media Contact

IU Newsroom

John Schwarb

Senior Communications Specialist/Content Strategist, IUPUI
School of Science

Lauren Kay

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