Dissertation finds more ways to use footprints found at crime scenes

June 8, 2016 by Cara Longmuir, University of Dundee
Dissertation finds more ways to use footprints found at crime scenes
Credit: University of Dundee

A final-year student at the University of Dundee has used his dissertation to find more ways to use footprints found at crime scenes.

Fernando Bueno Neves wanted to find out if footprints could also be used to identify as part of his dissertation for BMSc Applied Orthopaedic Technology, under the supervision of Professor Rami Abboud, Head of Department and Associate Dean.

He recruited 11 volunteers who had to run and walk along tracks while their bare feet or footwear were covered in artificial blood. Each participant's body movements were recorded using a three-dimensional motion capture system.

Techniques to estimate the dynamic state of a person are currently limited, but Fernando has found that his research may be able to determine if a person was walking or running in a crime scene based on stride length measurements.

Further studies are needed, but it is hoped that the pilot study will be used to help design frameworks that could be used in a court of law.

Fernando said, "Crime fiction has fascinated me since I was young, so I had the desire to know the limitations of actual forensic research and to recognise what investigators can achieve. This was my first attempt to conduct a study of this scale, but I hope that this pilot might help to design new approaches in ."

Professor Sue Black, Director of the University's Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) said, "This is a really interesting and incredibly timely project, given the current high level discussions being held with the Judiciary over the communication of forensic science within the courtroom.

"It is vital that the research that underpins evidence is robust and will stand up to scrutiny and challenge."

Explore further: Watch your step—forensics close in on footwear analysis

Related Stories

Watch your step—forensics close in on footwear analysis

February 16, 2016

First it was your fingerprint that gave the game away and then DNA analysis transformed forensic science. But 'watch your step' because an expert in the School of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Nottingham has ...

Footwear forensics: CSI needs to tread carefully

October 26, 2012

A new computer algorithm can analyze the footwear marks left at a crime scene according to clusters of footwear types, makes and tread patterns even if the imprint recorded by crime scene investigators is distorted or only ...

Scientist exposes new world of forensic analysis

August 15, 2014

Over the past 20 years DNA evidence has become the foundation upon which forensic investigation is built. The identification of traces of blood, saliva and other bodily fluids places a suspect directly at the site of a crime, ...

Recommended for you

Permanent, wireless self-charging system using NIR band

October 8, 2018

As wearable devices are emerging, there are numerous studies on wireless charging systems. Here, a KAIST research team has developed a permanent, wireless self-charging platform for low-power wearable electronics by converting ...

Facebook launches AI video-calling device 'Portal'

October 8, 2018

Facebook on Monday launched a range of AI-powered video-calling devices, a strategic revolution for the social network giant which is aiming for a slice of the smart speaker market that is currently dominated by Amazon and ...

Artificial enzymes convert solar energy into hydrogen gas

October 4, 2018

In a new scientific article, researchers at Uppsala University describe how, using a completely new method, they have synthesised an artificial enzyme that functions in the metabolism of living cells. These enzymes can utilize ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.