the forensic institute

West Midlands Student Regional FIRN Conference; De Montfort University

Conference report

eclipseAs part of our commitment to the improvement of forensic science, including via the Forensic Institute Research Network (FIRN), FIRN supports the use of student projects and work that can provide data of use in casework. This is a developing area of our activities and we welcome contact from across the world from individuals or orgamisations who have ideas or would like to take part in this initiative.

Many of these projects feature in one of the activities of the FIRN projects, a series of Regional Student Conferences linked to the main FIRN Conference (FORREST). One of the most successful of these is the West Midlands conference, now in its fifth year.

Here are some pics from the 2010 West Midlands Regional Student Conference held at De Montfort University; report by Richard Brawn of De Montfort University.


On the 28 th of April, De Montfort University hosted the 5th FIRN Midlands Regional Forensic Student Conference an event highlighting the forensic research work of students and staff of the region’s universities. The event attracted a great deal of interest with a significant attendance.

Amy McKnight (Staffs)

Sarah Taylor (Staffs)

The day began with a talk from Vivienne Galloway, head of scientific support at Leicestershire constabulary and former president of the Fingerprint society. The talk, entitled Fingerprint Technology – Past, Present and Future covered some of the intricacies of the subject and highlighted some of the areas in which scientific development is very much in progress.

Kirsty Lavery (Staffs)

Tom Noble and Bansi Shah (Loughborough)

The second speaker was Dr. Eleanor Graham of the East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit who gave a fascinating and thought provoking speech on the subject of forensic genetics, covering a diverse range of topics and highlighting future developments.

The final speaker was Dr. Graham Lawson of De Montfort University, who presented a talk entitled ‘Different fingerprints and scenes of crime’, covering the subject of forensic chemistry in an extremely amusing and accessible way.

Sarah Walker (Staffs)

Prior to and during lunch, staff and student were provided with the opportunity to unveil their poster presentations, which were truly outstanding. In total over 30 abstracts were received covering a wide array of subject areas, from Blood Pattern Analysis to Lip-prints! The prize for most outstanding poster was awarded to Sheena Panchal of Nottingham Trent University for her work on the d istribution of Bloodstains on witnesses and suspects of violent crime scenes.


Rachel Bolton-King (NTU)

After lunch, three students presented talks on their research, which were of an extremely high standard. Dave Coss of the University of Derby presented his research on a Novel method for the detection of accelerants on concrete; Lucie Hrubesova of Wolverhampton University presented her project discussing the use of dry fire extinguisher powder to develop fingerprints and finally, Michelle Taylor of DMU presented her work on the comparison of Mammalian and Synthetic blood with forensic consideration to Blood Spatter Analysis. Each was extremely well received and after much deliberation by the judges, the award for outstanding presentation was given to Michelle Taylor of De Montfort University.

Linda Hall (Lincs)

Dr. Julian Love and Dr. Raul Sutton


Charlotte Orphanou (Staffs)

Viv Galloway presenting outstanding poster award to Sheena Panchal (NTU)

Viv Galloway presenting outstanding presentation award to Michelle Taylor (DMU)

Viv Galloway presenting runner up presentation award to Dave Coss (Derby)



Viv Galloway presenting runner up presentation award to Lucie Hrubesova (Wolves)


Please contact us direct for more information.

Oral Presentation Abstracts

See the abstracts of the oral presentations>>


Poster Presentations

Caroline Sabado
Oral Streptococcus bacteria to age human saliva

Sonica Devi
Real World Detection of Cocaine at the picogram level in an urban environment

Ben Watkins-Rowe
A study assessing the potential of 16S rRNA as a marker for species identification of amphibians

Jayne yres
Do Lip Prints Persist When Exposed to Precipitation

Dave Coss
Novel method for the detection of accelerants on concrete

Emma Louise Brooks et al
Evaluation of the effect of cleaning products on the results of presumptive testing and DNA profiling of blood

Michelle Taylor
Comparison of Mammalian and Synthetic blood with forensic considerations to Blood Spatter Analysis

Rachel Keeling
Identification of Counterfeit Medicines

Linda Hall
Does the attraction of Calliphora vicina to burnt pork in preference to non burnt pork affect Post Mortem Interval?

Tom Noble et al
Towards New Fluorescent Phosphorus Based Compounds for Explosives Detection

Bansi Shah
Vapour Phase Fingerprint Visualisation using SeO2

Rachel Bolton-King
Evaluation of 3D ballistic imaging techniques

Georgina Bond
The use of powder suspensions at the crime scene with regards to the weather

Sharon Astleford
Can hand size be determined by glove mark impressions?

Sheena Panchal
Distribution of Bloodstains on witnesses and suspects of violent crime scenes

Lauren Holley
Extraction and Detection of 2, 4-Dinitrotoluene from Post Blast Debris

Natalie Lavery
A comparison of Ground Penetrating Radar and Electrical Resistivity techniques for the detection of clandestine graves

Kirsty Lavery
Analysis, characterisation and forensic significance of soils from four different land use vegetation types in the Stoke on Trent area.

Sarah Walker
The effect of tissue decomposition on human bite mark examination

Charlotte Orphanou
DNA analysis of contact lenses

Amy McKnight
Investigation into The Effects Of Different Chemicals On Four Common Fibre Types Over Time

Sarah Taylor
Investigation into the effectiveness of cyanoacrylate fuming on the development of latent fingermarks on fresh and frozen pig skin samples over time

Nicola Horridge
An Investigation into how the FTIR spectra of whole, mammalian blood changes with its degradation.

Tara Store
Quantifying Elements of Individuals Engaged in Body Deposition Behaviour

Leigh-Ann Green
The Analysis of the Effects of Five Accelerants on the Quality of Fingerprint Ridge Detail using Three Developing Methods and fibre Characteristics using Three Methods of Analysis.

Nicola Cotterill
Analysis of degradation and fungi activity on buried human hair

Andrew Jones
The effects of Iron leeching within a historic landfill site observed through soil vegetation, sediment and water samples

Lucie Hrubesova
Using Dry Fire Extinguishing Powder to Develop Fingerprints

Benjamin Carradine
The Effects of Constraints/Signature Boxes on Signatures

Rebecca McKeown
Development of a hair database