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Tactical Research Unit

Our centre

The Tactical Research Unit (TRU) is a network of multidisciplinary, international experts who investigate ways to optimise the physical and cognitive capabilities, and safety of tactical personnel in military, law enforcement, firefighting and first responder organisations.

Comprised of academic researchers and personnel with first-hand experience serving in tactical professions, the TRU provides the critical transfer of scientific evidence to practical application across tactical, operational and strategic management levels. Using a bespoke 'trident approach' our team engages with academics, industry and end-users to ensure research has real world outcomes.

The TRU is nested within Bond University’s Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine, which received the highest possible ranking of ‘well above world standard’, and ‘at world standard’ for human movement and sports science, from the Australian Research Council (ARC) in its Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).


Key focus areas

  • Research – working with organisations to optimise the occupational lifespan of their tactical personnel from selection through to retirement.

  • Education and training – drawing on the latest research and practical experience to customise training and education products that meet the needs of individual organisations from the tactical through the operational to the strategic level.

  • Consultancy services – including reviews of programs, policies, procedures and provision of advice and recommendations for government organisations and industry.

Our research

The Tactical Research Unit is committed to excellence in research that will lead to improvements in the health, wellbeing and occupational performance of tactical personnel. Our scope encompasses: 

  • Occupational task analysis
  • Fitness standard validation
  • Physiological and musculoskeletal profiling and fitness screening
  • Physical capability and task performance evaluation
  • Injury epidemiology
  • Injury risk identification, minimisation and mitigation
  • Equipment to human integration and impact assessments
  • Thermal and hydration research
  • Physical conditioning reviews
  • Physical conditioning program development
  • Tactical performance, health, fitness and wellbeing
  • Operational protocols and strategic guidance

Community impacts

In addition to delivering more than 200 published articles and 100 conference presentations around the world, the work conducted by the Tactical Research Unit has led to a number of critical improvements for frontline tactical personnel, such as:

  • Informed body armour design for industry and purchasing decisions for agencies;
  • Informed fitness testing frameworks and protocols for various tactical organisations;
  • Guided physical conditioning protocols for various tactical agencies.

A message from our Director

  • “There is a notable gap in the research around the health and safety of all tactical personnel as a collective, with a key problem being that much of the research conducted is siloed within each of the different forces and services. The Tactical Research Unit was established to ensure new research findings are shared across the broad spectrum of tactical populations and has built an international reputation for its vital work in improving the fitness, health, wellbeing and occupational performance of those who serve.”


    Dr Rob Orr - Director – Tactical Research Unit
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Industry and institutional partners

We have a range of partners across various state, national, and international military, law enforcement, fire and rescue and emergency services and paramedics. Explore our Australian and international academic, institutional, and industry partners below:

National partners

International partners

Tactical Research Unit researchers

  • Dr Elisa Fontenelle Dumans Canetti

    Assistant Professor

    Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine

    Tactical Research Unit

    Contact details

    View profile
  • Prof Rob Orr


    Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine

    Tactical Research Unit

    Accepting PhD students

    Contact details

    View profile
  • Mr Vini Perez Simas

    Assistant Professor - Clinical Practice

    Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine

    Tactical Research Unit

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