King's College London

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Dr Chris Hobbs

Education/Academic qualification

  • Doctor of Science, University of London

    2006
  • Master of Physics, University of Oxford

    2002

Research interests

  • Nuclear security and non-proliferation
  • CBRN terrorism
  • Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)
  • WMD knowledge proliferation
  • Information security

Biographical details

I am a Senior Lecturer in Science and Security in the Department of War Studies and Co-Director of the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS). I hold a Ph.D in physics from the University of London and a MPhys from Oxford University. Before taking up a lectureship at King’s I worked as a Research Fellow funded the Leverhulme (2010-2012) and MacArthur (2012-2014) Foundations.

The nature of my research has changed significantly over the course of my career from fundamental science to security studies, where I have focused on nuclear security and non-proliferation issues. Taking an interdisciplinary approach I have sought to bridge the gap between the technical and social science communities working in these areas. My work on non-proliferation issues has been largely focused on understanding Iran’s nuclear behaviour and the regional reaction to its programme, which I explored in a co-authored book. In terms of preventing nuclear terrorism I have sought to explore key issue areas including regime cohesion, sensitive nuclear information and risk assessment. My other publications and research interests include OSINT, nuclear detection in the maritime environment, insider threats and security culture.

I have also sought to engage industry, regulatory bodies and governments in nuclear security in order to strengthening both policy and practice. I lead a consortium (KCL, Imperial College London, University of Central Lancashire and the National Nuclear Laboratory), which under the UK’s Global Threat Reduction Programme, has been working internationally to improve nuclear security with a focus on security culture. Partnering with local nuclear operators, regulators and government departments we have run workshop in Indonesia, South Africa, Vietnam, India and Ukraine and the United Kingdom. I have also been working in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to support the development of new academic nuclear security programmes around the world.

My research and practitioner engagement has been funded by the Leverhulme Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Partnership for Nuclear Security, the European Defence Agency and the UK’s Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.

In 2014-2015 I served as Chair of the International Nuclear Security Education Network (INSEN). I have a visiting position at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa and am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

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