Thursday, April 1, 2010

CREOL SEMINAR: “Optics in Security and Forensics Research”

“Optics in Security and Forensics Research”

Friday, April 16, 2010 1:00pm-2:00pm

CREOL Room 102

Michael Sigman

Department of Chemistry and National Center for Forensic Science University of Central Florida


Has your favorite optical spectroscopy been highlighted on CSI? While much of what is depicted in television shows popularizing forensic science does not reflect reality, the non-destructive or minimally-destructive nature of many optical techniques make them highly attractive to forensic and security applications. Surreptitious and stand-off applications serve to further enhance the value of optical techniques in many instances. This presentation will highlight several aspects of our research which focus on optical spectroscopy, coupled with chemometric techniques, to address issues of interest to forensic science and national security. Research in laser induced breakdown spectroscopy and visible microspectrophotometry will be discussed relative to their use in the analysis of explosives, glass, paint and fibers. The interdisciplinary nature of forensic and security science has opened many collaborative research opportunities, which will be highlighted in the presentation. The presentation will conclude with some comments on potential opportunity areas for optics in security and forensic research.


Michael Sigman studied chemistry at Southwest Missouri State University, receiving a B.S. degree in 1982. His doctoral research in physical organic chemistry was undertaken at Florida State University.

In 1986 he moved to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, as an NIH postdoctoral fellow, and then moved to the University of Chicago in

1987 for two additional years of NIH postdoctoral work in photochemistry and laser spectroscopy. In 1989, he was hired as a research scientist at Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, MI. One year later, Dr. Sigman accepted a research staff position at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

At Oak Ridge, he spent 12 years conducting research in areas ranging from environmental photochemistry explosives analysis. In 2002, Dr.

Sigman moved to the University of Central Florida and the National Center for Forensic Science to become an Associate Professor of Chemistry and the Assistant Director for Physical Evidence. In 1997, Dr.

Sigman was the recipient of an R&D-100 Award for the development of a new air-sampling adsorbent. He has served on numerous review/advisory panels and in 2002, Dr. Sigman served as the Chemical Threat Group Chair for Department of Energy workshop on Basic Research Needs for Countering Terrorism.

For More Information:

Dr. Martin Richardson


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