Category / Impact

The Compound Eye of Calliphora Vomitoria (Bluebottle fly)

“Blood feeding activity of flies at crime scenes can be confounding. Experiments were conducted to investigate the blood feeding activity, and blood artefact patterns created by flies following a blood meal. The trials were undertaken in a staged environment where over 500 flies were exposed to 500ml of horse blood in a sealed gazebo for a period of 72 hours. The resulting patterns, a total of 539,507 fly blood artefacts, were then compared to recreated bloodstain patterns commonly encountered during instances of violent assault. These comparisons focused on overall pattern shape, total stain numbers, stain density per cm2 and the zone where they were deposited. Informal observations and recordings were also made of individual stain colour and stain alignment, but were not measured.”

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Christopher’s recent submission to the Research Photography Competition, where he won second prize.

Christopher Dwen  is currently working as a Research Assistant on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Sherlock’s Window”. This  HEIF-funded project at BU  aims to produce an odourless growth medium that can be rolled out internationally for use in forensic investigation. Find out more about the project in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle featured in the section:  “Innovation in industry:how researchers and the wider community are working together.”
Follow HEIF on Instagram to find out more about the innovation projects taking place at BU: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

 

 

Research Drove Me to Murder

“As reported by National Policing Improving Agency, the most frequently encountered evidence at the scenes of a crime is footwear impressions and marks. Unfortunately, recovery and usage of this kind of evidence has not achieved its full potential. Due to the cost benefit ratio (time consuming casting procedures, expensive scanners) footprints are often neglected evidence. As technology changes, the capabilities of forensic science should continue to evolve. By translating academic research and technical ‘know-how’ into software (www.digtrace.co.uk) the authors have placed 3D imaging of footwear evidence in the hands of every police force in the UK and overseas.”

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Dominika’s recent submission to the Research Photography Competition.

Dominika Budka is currently working on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces”. BU alumni, Dominika,  graduated last year  (2016) having completed an MSc Forensic and Neuropsychological Perspectives in Face-Processing.  Find our more about her role on the HEIF project.
Follow HEIF on Instagram to find out more about the innovation projects taking place at BU: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

 

Sherlock’s Window: In search of an odourless growth medium

“A key aspect of forensic investigation is the assessment of the ‘window of opportunity’ during which death took place. Estimations using insects (e.g. blowflies) increase accuracy. Using blowflies to determine post-mortem period requires an understanding of the temperature dependent growth patterns that they develop through their life cycle. In order to understand this, blowfly larvae are reared on growth media in the laboratory.

Sherlock’s Window is a HEIF-funded project at BU which aims to produce an odourless growth medium that can be rolled out internationally for use in forensic investigation. Illustrated here is the head of a third instar blowfly larva. Maggots have no eyes, but the protrusions at the tip of the mouth area are palps, used for feeling and manipulating food particles. The rows of black barbs that are visible are used to pull the maggot forward through the food substrate.”

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Dr Andrew Whittington’s recent submission to the Research Photography Competition.

Find out more about the project in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle featured in the section:  “Innovation in industry:how researchers and the wider community are working together.”

Follow HEIF on Instagram to find out more about the innovation projects taking place at BU: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

 

 

BU alumni working on serious gaming project

Joshua (Josh) Cook graduated in 2016  with a first in BSc Games Programming.  He is currently working on an innovation project being led by Professor Wen Tang. ” PLUS”   is a gamified training application funded by HEIF,  in collaboration with the Dorset, Devon and Cornwall (Strategic Alliance) Police forces in order to provide a virtual learning environment that teaches trainees in a more engaging manner than traditional paper based learning.

As a project team member Wen commented “Josh has been a pro-active and key member of the project team working with both academics , the College of Policing and police forces around the UK to develop this training application.”

Key areas of focus for Josh have included:

  • Making the system more generic, so that the project can later be expanded to multiple areas and more situations with ease
  • Improve the visual environment (of the game) with shaders and animations
  • Include data analytics in order to obtain an understanding as to how trainees are using the game, how long they take, how many mistakes they make etc

Josh didn’t take a placement year during University, so aside from a summer position in a local games position he  did not have much work experience. On being given this opportuntity to work on the projetc Josh commented ” The PLUS project seemed like an interesting project to work on, and when I found out a position was open to work on it I applied. I’ve learned some useful things on this project, such as working from and improving upon an existing code base, what it’s like working directly with clients, implementing and using data analytics, and I’m sure I’ll learn more throughout the duration of my employment.”

This project has received funding from August 2015 with the funding ending in July 2017. (HEIF 5+1 and HEIF 5+1+1)

Read more about this project in full: Serious Games for Police Training. 

College of Policing Research Map

BU alumni supporting innovation projects at BU

Dominika Budka is currently working on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces”. She graduated last year  (2016) having completed an MSc Forensic and Neuropsychological Perspectives in Face-Processing

Forensic technology and tools are advancing across the board, with the analysis of digital trace evidence being an exception. The techniques and tools used to capture and analyse footwear evidence have not changed in over a hundred years. This project is already changing the status quo by translating academic research on human and dinosaur tracks into tools for forensic practitioners to use. The product that has been  developed, DigTrace, is an integrated software solution for the capture and analysis of 3D data whether in a forensic context (footwear evidence) or in the study of vertebrate tracks and footprints. One of the  recent successes is the exhibit  the project team are  organising at the very prestigious Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, to be held in London in July.

 The project team were looking for a dissemination officer to help spread the word about the software and engage user groups both within the UK and overseas.  Dominika’s role involves working with external stakeholder groups, organising dissemination events, developing training materials and events for academics, crime agencies, forensic specialists, and UK police forces.

About working on the project, Dominika comented,  I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to the project, which is not only well-aligned with my interests, but has also a huge potential for impact in terms of improving societal security. I’m working with a unique product set which can enhance global security by improving forensic practice, as well as criminal intelligence gathering and ultimately prosecution. The forensic context of the project is what I find most interesting as it links directly to my MSc”

To find out more about the project – click on the link: Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces

 

Tracks in the sand: tracking criminals

Within our lives we leave thousands of individual footprints – in the snow, on the beach, in the park and sometimes even muddy prints on the kitchen floor!  Tracks are more numerous than any other form of trace evidence, and record a unique snap shot in time about the track-maker.  Not only do they record details of the shoes worn, but information about our body mass, style of walking and the specific wear on the soles of our shoes that record information about the history of our footfall.  Reading these clues digitally provides an important forensic tools and HEIF-funded BU research (www.DigTrace.co.uk) in this area is shaping forensic practice both in the UK and overseas. “

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Professor Matthew Bennett’s  recent submission to the Research Photography Competition.

This is the first image to go live on the new Instagram account for HEIF. What not follow to find out more obout the exciting innovations projects past and present at BU.

It can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

Innovation funding now featured on Instagram !

Forming part of a media package to support innovation funding at BU, a new Instagram Account is now live. Oliver Cooke a third year student on the BA Honours Media Production course is developing a number of different media channels to showcase the range of Higher Education Innovation Funded (HEIF) projects at BU.

It can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

This first image to go live comes from Matthew Bennett’s submission to the Research Photography Competition. (Read more about the HEIF project Matthew is leading on here: Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces

(Research Photography Competition now in its third year.)

Ollie is also working on a short video documentary and website as part of this project.

Ollie’s  experience with HEIF came from the time on his  work placement last year.  He worked within the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) as the Student Engagement Co-Ordinator and had the chance to be involved in a number of initiatives including HEIF. Whilst reflecting on his time in RKEO and ideas for his Graduate Project, it was clear  that there are many interesting projects at BU.

Commenting on his chosen topic Ollie comented “It also struck me that here was an ideal opportunity to create some really engaging media content in order to showcase the innovation journeys and provide more information about innovation and knowledge exchange at BU. This will aim to highlight the people involved with HEIF at BU, as well as the research.”

Ollie has just started filming and the first footage has been shot involving Andrew Whittington (PI)  and BU student Christopher Dwen who are working on the project: “Sherlock’s Window: improving accuracy of entomological forensics at post-mortem criminal investigation using combined cuticular hydrocarbon and internal metabolite analysis.”

(Sherlock’s Window was also featured in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle: Edition 6, January 2017, Page 22.)

So what?

so whatRKEO have hosted two funder visits in the past three weeks (Interreg and Medical Research Council).  Both funders highlighted the ‘So what?’ principle in terms of research ideas, i.e. what is the consequence of your work; who can benefit from your work in the long-term and what can be done to increase the chances of the work reaching those beneficiaries.  Even if your proposal doesn’t directly address economic or societal impact you should be able to explain the pathway that links your work to – using the example of MRC – improving human health.

In order to describe the impact of your work, keep asking yourself ‘so what?’ or even better, describe your research idea to a colleague (or to take a step further, a member of the public) and get them to ask ‘so what’ at each point when you think you’ve finished explaining. RKEO had another funder visit today, the British Academy, and they used the phrase ‘Try not to be Gollum’, i.e. don’t be precious about your research and invite comments from others, share it and make it interesting.

Being able to fully explain the impact of your research will obviously increase your chances of being successful when applying for external research funds.

impactThere are a vast number of resources available on strengthening your research proposals and developing impact.  Most funders will have guidance on impact, for example, section 2.2.5 of the MRC funder guide provides tips on articulating potential impact.  They may also have impact reports; links to all of the research councils impact reports can be found in the BU research blog’s Research Funder Guide.  BU has an online toolkit to help support the development of your research impact.  The toolkit explores what impact is, how you can go about creating an impact strategy, and looks at some commonly used pathways to impact, as well as examples of outstanding impact case studies.

For more information about impact, please contact the RKEO Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team or if you’re putting an application together and want advice on the impact sections, please contact the RKEO Funding Development Team.

Opportunity: Publish your European Project in the Research*eu Results Magazine

CORDIS research euThe research*eu results magazine published by the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) is looking for European projects to feature in its publications. Research*eu results is published 10 times a year, featuring results from the most successful EU-funded research and development projects. The magazine covers projects in Biology and Medicine, Social Sciences and Humanities, Energy and transport, Environment and society, IT and telecommunications, Industrial technologies, and Space.

If you have a completed EU-funded project and would like to get your results published please contact the CORDIS editorial team at editorial@cordis.europa.eu. Priority is given to those projects which have resulted in the development of a new technology with potential for commercialisation over the next few years, or in potentially game-changing research for a specific field of science.