Just a Statistical Approach to Glass Evidence

Just a Statistical Approach to Glass Evidence

Original Release Date: May 1, 2020

In episode six of the 2020 R&D Season, Just Science interviews Dr. José R. Almirall, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida International University, about a statistical approach for the interpretation of glass evidence.

One criticism levied against trace evidence examinations is that the interpretation can sometimes be too subjective. Interpretation sometimes plays a large role in the evaluation of trace evidence. Dr. Almirall and his team at FIU are trying to fix that. They have been working on an implementation package, including instrument specification, procedures, and validation assistance, that can be transferred to any forensic laboratory to help standardize trace evidence evaluation. Listen along as he discusses the implementation package, the value of trace evidence, and the analysis of glass in this episode of Just Science.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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Guest Biography

Dr. José R. Almirall is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director of the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Advanced Research in Forensic Science (CARFS). Professor Almirall has authored one book and ~ 145 peer-reviewed scientific publications in the fields of analytical and forensic chemistry (h-index ~ 40). Prof. Almirall and his research group have authored and co-authored 5 ASTM standards within the fields of forensic chemistry. His group has been awarded 5 patents related to VOC sampling and analysis using capillary microextration. The primary applications developed in the Almirall laboratory for CMV have been the sampling, preconcentration and analysis of explosives and of VOCs associated with explosives and drugs. He has also served as a consultant to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Government of Spain and the U.S. Government, most recently serving as a judge of a DHS Challenge to detect opioids in parcels at mail facilities. Dr. Almirall is also interested in the standardization of analytical methods used by forensic scientists and currently chairs the Chemistry Scientific Area Committee (SAC) of the NIST-funded Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC). He currently serves as consultant to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the forensic analysis of materials and has served as chair of the Fire Scene Investigation working group of the AAAS. Dr. Almirall is also interested in commercializing technology and has started Air Chemistry, Inc. to commercialize CMV. Prof. Almirall is also the Editor-in-Chief of Forensic Chemistry, an Elsevier journal.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this podcast episode are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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