CHEM306 - Forensic Chemistry
This course focuses on the application of modern analytical techniques used to support the legal system in providing forensic evidence. It also provides a sound analytical training and is recommended to all experimental chemists.
Drawing strongly on examples from case studies, the course provides the theoretical and practical framework for applying spectroscopic techniques for identification, quantification and fingerprinting various materials such as drugs, accelerants, environmental contaminants, materials and physical evidence.
The emphasis of this course is on the practical skills gained in the laboratory. The laboratory course is constructed to provide training in basic analytical chemistry before advancing to more sophisticated analytical techniques.
18 200-level CHEM points or FORS 201
Lectures (30 in total):
The lecture course is to support the laboratory course and will be a mixture of formal lectures providing theory, case studies and worked tutorial sessions.
- Legal context / Expert witness
- Crime Scenes / Evidence
- Basic Statistics
Identification and Characterisation
- Physical character (fibres, polymers, colorants)
- Spectroscopy (UV-Vis, IR, NMR, Raman)
- Impurity profiling
- Isotopic and elemental analysis
Laboratory Course (11 days scheduled)
- Statistical Analysis – Data handling and data management extended tutorial
- Gravimetric Analysis – Determination of Ni in a Ni-salt
- Volumetric Analysis – Preparation of standard HCl solution
- Basic molecular ID – TLC, colorimetric, luminescent
- GC – separation, identification and quantification of mixtures
♦ multivariate analysis of complex mixtures
- Spectroscopy – molecular identification
- Provenancing - trace element profiling
- Adulteration – Isotopic
Laboratory course 40%
Written Assignment 10%
Final 2 hour Examination 50%
Expectations at the end of the course
- An understanding of how chemical knowledge is applied in support of the legal system
- Mastery of the scientific concepts underlying the major analytical methods of chemical analysis as applied in forensic casework
- A tested understanding of the application of these concepts to practical situations such as material analysis.
- Tested experience with the use, and assessment, of standard practical and experimental techniques
- An understanding of how to obtain and validate high-quality data
Interdisciplinary perspective, self-motivation, lifelong learning, communication
Forensic Chemistry, Suzanne Bell, Pearson, Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-147835-4
Highly Recommended: Miller, James and Miller, Jane, Statistics and Chemometrics for Analytical Chemistry 6E, Prentice Hall
Prof Russell Frew, Dr Kimberly Hageman, Prof Keith Gordon, Dr Alan Hayman, Dr John Watson