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Abertay student wins forensic science competition

28 January 2015

A forensic science student from Abertay University has won the prestigious FAPSA Education Development Competition and secured a £4,000 piece of equipment for the university.

Students were invited by FAPSA - the Forensic and Policing Services Association - to enter any dissertation based on fingerprint analysis into the competition. 

The winning entry came from Lauren Friel, whose dissertation investigated the efficacy of superglue fuming in a vacuum chamber as a means of recovering fingerprints. 

Lauren’s success means that Abertay will soon be in possession of a brand new CA60-R Cyanoacrylate (superglue) fingerprint development cabinet, which will make it possible for students to carry out new types of research and to learn new techniques. 

As well as the new equipment, Lauren has won a £100 cash prize and a year-long membership to FAPSA.

Speaking about the competition, Allan Scott – Chairman and Director of FAPSA – said:

“We launched this competition to try and encourage more collaborations between industry and universities, and to encourage research and development across academia and commerce.

“As experienced practitioners and suppliers, members of FAPSA know how important well trained and competent staff members are to providing a quality service to international standards. With this in mind, member company FumeCare Ltd, donated a cyanoacrylate fuming cabinet which we hope will enhance the student experience and help develop the experts of the future.

“Many congratulations to Lauren on what the judging panel felt was an excellent dissertation. Her prize is very well-deserved. 

Dr Kevin Farrugia – Lecturer in Forensic Science at Abertay University – said:

“Lauren worked extremely hard during her Honours project and produced some very interesting preliminary data on the use of vacuum superglue fuming.

“Although not new, vacuum superglue fuming has not been investigated since the 1980s, as traditional superglue fuming (under atmospheric pressure) is recommended due to better quality development.

“We decided to re-visit this and there are grounds to suggest that vacuum superglue might be useful in certain cases.  

“Lauren was an excellent team member and in addition to her highly motivated work ethic, she always had excellent background knowledge and an eagerness to improve. She was a pleasure to work with and Lauren deserves many congratulations for this achievement.

“The new equipment won in this competition will be very useful to Abertay forensic science staff and students for teaching and research purposes.”


For media enquiries please contact Kirsty Cameron T: 01382 308935 M: 07972 172 158 E:

Notes to Editors:

The competition was judged by an independent panel of fingerprint experts.

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