Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.


Export to Word (
Principal Investigator: Cross, Ernest Vincent
Institute Receiving Award Charles River Analytics, Inc.
Location Cambridge, MA
Grant Number R44ES031818
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 01 May 2020 to 30 Apr 2024
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Project Summary/Abstract Instructors must deliver engaging, realistic, and immersive tabletop simulations at the conclusion of Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) recertification to support Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) worker and first responder safety and adherence to protocol in the field. This exercise often burdens instructors to deliver a paper or PowerPoint simulation that, although based on real events, fails to meaningfully engage or immerse trainees. When trainees fail to engage, they are putting themselves and others at risk by decreasing their ability to adhere to protocol when responding to HAZMAT incidents in the field. Therefore, emergency response training organizations require a cost-effective training solution that increases the realism and authenticity of tabletop simulations to better equip trainees to execute HAZWOPER safely and effectively when they are in the field. Charles River Analytics, in partnership with The New England Consortium and Lt. Michael Kates of the Boston Fire Department, proposes to develop and evaluate an Immersive Modular Preparedness Intelligent Tutor (IMPRINT). IMPRINT aims to provide a robust, commercial, portable adaptive virtual reality (VR) solution that will be complemented by an intelligent virtual training system and development framework that actively improves trainees' ability to perform HAZWOPER procedures within a range of realistic field scenarios. IMPRINT will be an untethered intelligent tutoring system (ITS) using the Oculus Quest VR headset to provide an immersive, virtual training experience. With IMPRINT, trainees can apply complex, dangerous procedures in a safe, controlled environment through guided and immersive procedure rehearsal. In Phase II, we will produce a system that complements existing training with a production ready VR case study development suite and a library of VR case studies that replace standard paper and PowerPoint scenario-based activities used to prepare trainees for hands-on assessments and their final HAZWOPER qualification test.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 88 - Worker Education and Training (U45, UH4, SBIR, and STTR)
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Kathy Ahlmark
to Top