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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

International media call URI chemistry professor when explosives, terrorists mix

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862


KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 11, 2006 -- Almost as soon as news broke Thursday, Aug. 10 about authorities thwarting a terrorist plot in London, reporters from around the world were dialing University of Rhode Island Chemistry Professor Jimmie Oxley.

Oxley, whose expertise are energetic materials and specifically explosives, began getting calls at 7 a.m. at her home, and the calls continued throughout the following day.

The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun, BBC, CBS Evening News and USA Today, ABCs Nightline, and ABC Radio Australia, were among 35 callers from media around the world.

Oxley, who works with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Aviation Administration, police agencies across the country, the United Kingdom and Israel on research related to explosives and terrorism, is often a first choice of the media when explosives are involved in terrorist attacks.

For the past two days, Oxley has been responding to questions about liquid explosives, their portability and quantities needed to cause damage to a plane. She also discussed technology that could be used in the near future to detect dangerous substances in bottles without having to open them. On Friday, she did demonstrations for CBS Evening News, ABC's Nightline and Channel 12/Fox Providence.

And URI alumni and friends in the New York City area who want to meet and discuss these topics with Oxley will have the opportunity on Sept. 14 when she gives a talk, "Forensic Chemistry, Using Science to Catch the Bad Guys." She'll be speaking at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. The cost is $10. For further details about the talk, call 401-874-2896 or email rspivla@advance.uri.edu

Oxley is also the organizer of the very successful Forensic Science Seminar Series, which brings some of the biggest names in forensic science to the Kingston Campus during the spring and fall semesters. The seminars are free and open to the public.

Link to some of the news coverage on Jimmie Oxley via Google News.