Prof. laurence alison
ORBIT Creator & Lead Trainer
Professor Alison MBE, focuses on high profile critical and major incidents (from disaster management to terrorism). He has over 30 years of experience working on applied projects for Law enforcement and the security services.
He currently provides training to FBI/CIA/DoD, The UKs National CT interviewing cadre and the British Army in the ORBIT framework for rapport-based interrogation methods.
He was key psychological advisor on over 450 critical and major incidents debriefs including the 7/7 bombings, the Sharm El Sheik attacks, the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the preparations for the London Olympics.
He was key advisor and research on a child sexual exploitation project that resulted in the largest operation in UK police history and which, across a 6-month period, led to the arrest of over 1,200 offenders, the safeguarding of over 1,000 children and a cost saving to UK government of £15million. He has over 200 published articles, books, edited books and government and industry reports.
He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list 2020 for services to critical incident handling and to the NHS during COVID-19.
ORBIT Creator & Lead Trainer
Emily Alison has worked as a behavioural consultant psychologist for the last 20 years, providing treatment in both the criminal justice sector and in the community.
She specialises in the assessment and treatment of violence and has worked with over 850 domestic violence perpetrators and designed therapeutic interventions for Domestic Abuse, Child to Parent Violence, Healthy Relationships for Children and Young People, Sexually Harmful Behaviour and Sexual Risk Taking in Adolescents, and Gang and Weapon linked offending.
For the last 10 years she has been involved in the development of the Preventing Violent Extremism Tool for profiling potential extremism and the ORBIT framework for Advanced High Value Detainee Interviewing. She has observed over 500 hours of UK police interviews with terrorists, covering a range of ideologies including Paramilitary, Al Qaeda, Right-wing, and ISIS.
Emily has provided training to a wide range of organisations including the FBI/CIA/DoD, The UKs National Counter Terrorism interviewing cadre and the British Army in the ORBIT framework for rapport-based interrogation methods.
ORBIT researcher & Trainer
Frances Surmon-Böhr (PhD) is a research associate at the University of Liverpool and a training consultant psychologist at Protagoras Forensic Services Ltd.
Her PhD, supervised by Prof. Laurence Alison, examined rapport-based interviewing approaches with High Value Suspects. She has worked on numerous research projects funded by U.K. Ministry of Defense and the U.S. High Value Detainee Interrogation Group where she was involved in the design, development, analysis, and write-up of research projects relating the application of ORBIT in various interviewing/ interrogation contexts.
As part of this work, she has observed and coded hundreds of hours of interviews with terrorist suspects, covering a range of ideologies including Al Qaeda, Extreme Right-Wing, and ISIS.
Frances has provided training to a wide range of organisations including the FBI/CIA/DoD, The UKs National Counter Terrorism interviewing cadre and the British Army in the ORBIT framework for rapport-based interrogation methods.
Frances has presented at Humanitarian, Human Rights and Law Enforcement and Security Conferences internationally.
What defines the ORBIT team is an unwavering commitment to focus, study, and support real-world problems as they are experienced by those who face them in the real world.
Through our collaborations with practitioners, and unique access to training and data, we are able to conduct high quality rigorous research that has made a difference to practitioners ‘at the coal face’ and then transfer this knowledge into training.
the orbit team
Neil Shortland (PhD) is the Director for the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (CTSS) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Neil has worked in a series of applied roles in both the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense and Police. For his experimental research on military and police decision-making he was the first ever international recipient of the American Psychological Associations’ (APA) Research Award.
Neil's work on decision-making and security has been funded by the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, the Department of Defense Minerva Initiative, and the National Institute of Justice for his work on countering-violent extremism. He was also recently awarded the National Science Foundation's CAREER award. CAREER funding is the most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty.
Michael Humann (PhD) designs, develops and delivers training using immersive simulated learning environments, aimed at improving critical incident decision making and developing expertise in policing and emergency response. He has developed various evaluation frameworks for a number of large-scale exercises to capture performance.
He is the educational director on the Pan-European Football Policing Training Project (PE-FPTP), designing and delivering training to police forces and partners across Europe within the context of international football matches and other sports events since 2012. As part of this, he was involved in preparations for the EURO 2020 as part of the EPIC (Event Policing & Internal Cooperation) Project and provides ongoing training. He also recently drafted the Handbook on International Police Cooperation, as part of Interpol's Project Stadia, in preparation for FIFA's World Cup Qatar 2022 and beyond.
Our team partners with leading practitioners in the fields of policing, defense, government and critical incident management to ensure our research, products and training remain true to the operating realities.