Florida International University and National Forensic Science Technology Center join forces to broaden impact in forensic science

By Eduardo Merille. Rhett Williamson is a doctoral candidate in forensic chemistry at FIU. He specializes in the development of new and improved methods for the analysis of inks, which helps trace fraudulent security documents and currency. Williamson’s research has led to the development of an ink library, a first-of-its kind database that can be used by forensic labs throughout the world for security intelligence and anti-counterfeiting measures. The goal of his work is to allow for the implementation of this methodology along with the database in forensic laboratories throughout the country and world. Williamson’s research has been presented at numerous national and international conferences and meetings.

Florida International University (FIU) and the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) announce that they are joining forces to make a bigger impact in the field of forensic science. The partnership will expand the university’s diverse offerings and bring NFSTC’s training excellence to a broader audience in the U.S. and around the world.

A 22-year old non-profit, NFSTC will retain its mission of providing forensic science training, support and technology evaluations to military and law enforcement agencies, forensic science practitioners and crime laboratories worldwide. It will also remain at its current location in West Central Florida, where NFSTC has state-of-the-art laboratories and training facilities.

“NFSTC has a vision to bring quality forensic services from the crime scene through to the courtroom. We have trained hundreds of professionals in the skills needed to provide these services,” says CEO Kevin Lothridge. “We are looking forward to working even more closely with FIU’s International Forensic Research institute to elevate education and practice worldwide.”

The International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI) at FIU is world-renowned for its research and education in furthering the field of forensic science. Both IFRI and NFSTC have missions that are complementary and provide scientific expertise to the law enforcement, defense and legal communities, as well as continuing education and advanced training to practicing scientists.

For Kenneth G. Furton, FIU’s Provost and Executive Vice President, an analytical chemist who founded IFRI 20 years ago, this partnership is especially exciting. “Industry-university collaborations are crucial for the 21st century and forensic science is a discipline that has real world implications and applications,” he says. “Together, we not only have an opportunity to broaden NFSTC’s services globally, but now our faculty and students will work with NFSTC and their partners to get their discoveries out of the lab and into the marketplace.”

Details are expected to be finalized by the end of 2017.

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