Poster prizes for PhD students probing prints

Posted by mjs76 at Apr 27, 2011 03:06 PM |
Research into the detection of fingerprints has helped three PhD students in our Department of Chemistry to win prizes at the London and South East Student Forensic Conference.
Poster prizes for PhD students probing prints

Ann Beresford and Rachel Brown

Held at the University of Westminster earlier this month, the one-day conference included a poster competition which was won by Alex Goddard for ‘Enhanced Imaging of Fingerprints on Metals by Localised Corrosion’. The runner-up prize went to Ann Beresford and Rachel Brown for ‘Electrochromic Enhancement of Latent Fingerprints’.

All three students are supervised by Professor Rob Hillman in our Department of Chemistry whose research concentrates on the nanoscience of interfaces between different substances. Professor Hillman has worked closely with Dr John Bond from our Forensic Research Centre on the development of innovative techniques for identifying previously undetectable fingerprints on bullets.

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Alex Goddard

Alex’s research involves the use of Fourier transforms (mathematical operations which can break a complex signal into its components) to separate the ‘signal’ of fingerprints from the background ‘noise’ of other marks on metal fragments.

Ann and Rachel meanwhile have been studying the practicalities of visualising fingerprints not by highlighting the print itself but by depositing electrochromic substances (which change colour when a current is applied) on metal fragments, effectively using the fingerprint as a mask.

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