Explosives Investigation: Online and Hands-On.

It’s a win-win for a cohort of EKU Online Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigation students, many of whom are working professionals.

They take most of their courses online from the convenience of their homes, often in far-away states or even other countries, and then come to the Eastern Kentucky University campus in the summer for two intensive, hands-on sessions. In both cases, they are learning from nationally respected faculty.

For example, Professor Tom Thurman has worked in the explosives field for more than 30 years, first as an Army bomb disposal technician and then as a special agent with the FBI. As a supervisory special agent in the FBI Laboratory, he forensically examined the exploded remains of hundreds of improvised explosive devices, traveling extensively throughout the United States and the world to collect evidence and conduct bombing scene investigations, including Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Prior to his retirement from the FBI in 1998, Thurman was chief of the FBI Bomb Data Center, where his responsibilities included the training of all public safety bomb disposal technicians in the U.S.

Another faculty member in the program, Greg Gorbett, was featured in 2014 as one of the nation’s “Top 15 Arson Investigation Professors” by ForensicsColleges.com. Also, in a “60 Minutes” segment on a deadly hotel fire that aired in 2013, Gorbett was cited as one of the nation’s “top five fire experts.” Also in 2013, FireScience.org named Gorbett in its list of the Top 10 Fire Science Instructors in the South.

EKU Online Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigation students travel to the University’s Fire Lab for one week each for two consecutive summers, giving them unprecedented opportunities to engage with their online classmates and professors. Each summer, they enroll in two courses simultaneously.

Summer Residency I consists of courses entitled “Fire and Explosion Scene Analysis” and “Advanced Explosion and Bombing Investigation.” Summer Residency II consists of “Electric and Mechanical Systems Failure Analysis” and “Fire, Arson and Explosion Case Preparation.” Each course incorporates online work from home before and after the campus visit. The students can stay in either an EKU residence hall room or in a local motel.

For more information about the program, including faculty profiles, visit fireandarsoninvestigation.eku.edu.

Many EKU Online programs have earned national recognition for their quality and affordability. EKU Online offers more than 30 undergraduate and graduate degree options in a variety of fields, representing Arts and Sciences, Education, Justice and Safety, and Health Sciences. For more information about all the opportunities, visit ekuonline.eku.edu.