A Journey of a Final Year Project in Forensic Investigation

This blog details the journey through a final year project of Gareth Griffiths, who recently graduated from the School of Law, Policing and Forensics with a  BSc(Hons) in Forensic Investigation. It includes comments from Project Supervisor Mr Dean Northfield and Industry Expert Eugene Lisco, who helped Gareth on his journey.

Gareth Griffiths

To find out more information about our forensic investigation degrees please visit the Staffordshire University website.

Gareth’s research project title was ‘Accuracy of Area of Origin Analysis on textured, wallpaper surfaces’ using FARO ZONE 3D (FZ3D).

Gareth states that “Networking skills gained throughout the course allowed me to connect with professionals within the forensic field. I connected with Eugene Liscio on LinkedIn, where I discussed my final year project. Eugene invited me over to Canada to work with himself, Helen Guryn and Quan Le on my project. They trained me on FZ3D and assisted in the practical work.

“I also attended the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (IABPA) Conference, where I was introduced to experts within the BPA community. After analysing the data, I was invited to present my findings at the IABPA conference in Ottawa. This allowed me to gain confidence and public speaking skills. During the conference I assisted in workshops training police officers on FZ3D.

“I also presented my findings at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) [where our attendance was] organised by Staffordshire University. I decided to publish my research in the IABPA journal, which was accepted in March 2020. I am proud of the publication, since the paper has been published many experts within the BPA community have praised me for my work ethic and determination to succeed.

Gareth Griffiths presenting his research

“I am currently doing a PhD in Forensic Science at Staffordshire University. I will be returning to Canada in the near future to work with Eugene on other projects relating to my PhD. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Eugene Liscio, Helen Guryn, Quan Le, Dean Northfield and David Dustin for their constant support throughout my final year project. I am currently writing two papers with my PhD supervisor Professor Graham Williams. I intend to have these published in the Journal of Forensic Science by December 2020”.

Here is the link for the ‘Accuracy of Area of Origin Analysis on textured, wallpaper surfaces in the IABPA journal.

Dean Northfield, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Investigation, Staffordshire University.

Dean said “It is great to see the journey that so many of our forensic investigation graduates undertake. As a Lecturer and a project supervisor it is wonderful to see new and innovative ideas being explored, projects planned, data collected, analysis being conducted and reports generated.

“It is inspiring to witness hard work being rewarded. Gareth’s journey demonstrates the wonderful experience and opportunities that exist through networking with professional experts in the fields of forensics, I am proud of Gareth’s achievement to date, as I am of so many of our past and present Forensic Investigation students and graduates; present and past many of whom I remain in contact with”.

Eugene Lisco 

Eugene Lisco, ai2 – 3D said “when Gareth first contacted me over the internet, I wasn’t sure what to think (since I get regular inquiries from students internationally).  However, it was clear from the beginning that he was committed to coming to Canada and was going to learn how to perform an area of origin analysis in 3D.  He spent many days with us preparing, learning and setting up his experiment.  Once he was ready, he pushed through all the data capture and analysis.  I was most impressed with his passion and dedication to his project. 

“During the few short weeks he was in Canada Gareth attended a forensics conference, fired a handgun for the first time with the York Regional Police, finished all his data capture and was a great representative for Staffordshire University.  To top it all off, Gareth was able to publish his work in the latest IABPA Journal.  Gareth Griffiths has come a long way in a very short time and we wish him all the best in his future PhD studies”.

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