Published: 15 September 2015

Chemistry lecturer invited to talk at prestigious global meetings

Dr Mel Bailey has been invited to share her forensics research at high level meetings attended by politicians and intelligence organisations.

A Lecturer in Analytical Chemistry and Forensics within Surrey’s Department of Chemistry, Dr Bailey presented aspects of her research into fingerprint analysis at the general conference of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) in Vienna in September. She will also present at the IFRG (International Fingerprint Research Group) in India in October.

Dr Bailey was invited to share her expertise at the IAEA general conference – which is attended by political delegates from countries around the world – following recent discussions with the Association to set up a coordinated research programme in her area of expertise. Her presentation at the conference focused on the use of ion beams in forensic science.

Next month Dr Bailey will travel to India to attend the IFRG meeting, which brings together a group of experts working in fingerprint analysis. The invitation to join the meeting – which is attended by international intelligence organisations and is normally a closed meeting – came as a result of Dr Bailey’s collaborative work with the Netherland Forensic Institute and the Home Office. She will present the results of her recent research project which demonstrated that non-invasive chemical testing of fingerprints can detect whether cocaine has been ingested.

Dr Bailey explains, “Chemical analysis of fingerprints not only has uses in drug detection, it can also give us information about the age of a fingerprint or when it was deposited on a questioned document. It could also potentially be used to verify the sex of a donor.”

She adds, “I am really excited to have the opportunity to present my research to both audiences. The IAEA conference has given me the chance to show politicians the possibilities for setting up similar research programmes in their countries, while visiting the IFRG meeting will enable me to present my work to practitioners in the field and to start getting the techniques used in casework.”

Read more about Dr Bailey’s research in chemical analysis of fingerprints.


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