National Center for Forensic Science Newsletter

October 2015

In this issue:

  • Welcome Dr. Baudelet
  • Seventh European Academy of Forensic Science Conference
  • NIJ Grant Awarded
  • NOBCChE Conference
  • Post-Doctoral Associate Profile
  • Congratulations Graduates!

Dr. Matthieu Baudelet

The National Center for Forensic Science welcomes Assistant Professor Matthieu Baudelet.  Dr. Baudelet has a joint appointment with NCFS and the department of Chemistry at the University of Central Florida.  His research focuses on the application of laser-based spectroscopy for forensic analysis: atomic spectroscopy with laser ablation techniques (LIBS and LA-ICP-MS) as well as molecular spectroscopy, with an emphasis on microscopy. A large part of his research focuses also on the quantification of interferences in spectroscopic signals.
Mary Williams speaks at the Seventh European Academy of Forensic Science Conference
NCFS director Michael Sigman, PhD and Mary Williams, MS recently participated in the 7th European Academy of Forensic Science Conference in Prague, Czech Republic.  Ms. Williams gave a talk entitled "How Forensic Databases Aid Forensic Scientists," which incorporated feedback from the Technical/Scientific Working Group for Fire and Explosions (T/SWGFEX) members about their use of the three databases NCFS and T/SWGFEX cooperatively developed over the last fifteen years.  Dr. Sigman spoke about "Assessing Evidential Value in Fire Debris Analysis through Chemometric Approaches."  His talk addressed a comparison of support vector machine (SVM), quadratic discriminant analysis, linear discriminant analysis and K-nearest neighbors models for fire debris analysis.  To learn more about the conference click here.
New Research and Development Grant Awarded!
Every year the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) awards funding for research, development, evaluation, testing, and training and technical assistance projects across the spectrum of criminal justice.  These grants are made in response to competitive solicitations.  NCFS was recently awarded an NIJ grant to fund a project entitled "Substrate Pyrolysis Database Expansion, Evaluation and Use" for Fiscal Year 2015.  This award will help us continue serving the forensic science community with relevant and responsive research and development.
Assistant Professor Dr. Candice Bridge recently served as a panelist in a special session at the National Organization for Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Conference in Orlando, FL.  The session, "STEM's Impact on 21st Century Forensic Science," included brief talks from the panel comprised of university professors, representatives from the DEA, NIST and US Postal Inspection Service followed by a question and answer session.  This session was open to undergraduate and graduate students and industry professionals.  Dr. Bridge focused on the need to increase the number of scientists in the forensic science field, specifically researchers in forensic science and why graduate forensic programs are needed to advance the science.  She also discussed educational requirements for forensic science disciplines and the variety of forensic science career opportunities available outside of the traditional crime laboratory.
Profile: Mark Maric, PhD

Dr. Maric is a post-doctoral associate with the National Center of Forensic Science in conjunction with the department of Chemistry at the University of Central Florida. He completed his PhD at Curtin University in Australia on the characterization and classification of automotive paint evidence. His main research interest involves the use of multivariate statistics to interpret data obtained from forensic trace evidence.
NCFS is pleased to recognize our three recent doctoral graduates:
Spring Graduates:
  • Alejandra Flores, PhD Dissertation:  “Forensic Application of Chemometric Analysis to Visible Absorption Spectra Collected from Dyed Textile Fibers”
  • Balasubramaniam Lingam, PhD Dissertation: “Mass Spectral Studies to Investigate Fragmentation Pathways of Butylbenzene and Pyrolysis Products.”
Summer Graduate:
  • Dana-Marie K. Dennis, PhD Dissertation: "Chemical Analysis, Databasing, and Statistical Analysis of Smokeless Powders for Forensic Application."
NCFS Training commends the 12 students representing 7 states and 3 countries on their successful completion of the July 2015 Basic Fire Debris Analysis course.  Congratulations!