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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

FBI’s chief explosive scientist who analyzed Boston Marathon bombing to speak at URI on March 8

FBI’s Kirk Yeager to share insight into explosives science with future forensic scientists at URI 

Kirk Yeager, chief explosive scientist at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, will discuss the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and other explosive events during the University of Rhode Island’s Forensic Science Seminar Series on Friday, March 8. 

URI students attend the series for credit, but lectures are free and open to the public.  

During his presentation, “Bombings: from Tactics to Trials,” Yeager will discuss a career that has taken him to crime scenes on Boylston Street and beyond. His lecture is scheduled for URI’s Beaupre Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences (Room 100), 140 Flagg Road, on the Kingston Campus from 3:30 to 5 p.m.  

Yeager has worked for the FBI since 2000. Prior to that, he worked as a research scientist and associate director of R&D at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center in New Mexico. 

For ten years he served as a physical scientist/forensic examiner for the FBI Laboratory’s Explosives Unit where he deployed as a bombing crime scene investigator to dozens of countries. 

Currently he is the FBI’s Chief Explosives Scientist. Yeager has approximately 30 years of experience with explosives and IEDs, has presented more than 250 talks at international meetings and conferences, and has produced more than 80 specialty publications on the topic.  

Over the course of his colorful career, he also has taught at multiple universities, consulted as a technical advisor for Mythbusters, been profiled in Popular Mechanics, become a published nonfiction author and somehow ended up with his own personal IMDb page. 

In addition to analyzing the Marathon bombing, Yeager has analyzed a number of other high-profile cases, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Oklahoma City bombing, 2016 Brussels bombing and Bali nightclub bombings. 

Yeager has been a regular speaker in URI’s forensic lecture series, delivering lectures on explosives, bomb scenes, investigation science, terrorism, historical bombings and more.  

The URI forensic seminar’s spring series includes speakers from the Massachusetts State Police, Boston Fire Department, FBI and U.S. Customs, on topics ranging from forensic science after 9/11 to intimate partner violence. 

The long-running lecture series takes place in the University’s Beaupre Center on Friday afternoons. The series runs through April and is coordinated by Dennis Hilliard, director of the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory at URI, and Professor of Chemistry Jimmie Oxley, an expert on explosives and energetic materials. Those who can’t attend the seminars in-person can access them live online, or at a later date.