Meet the Scientist

Eleigh Brewer

Forensic R&D Scientist at West Technology Forensics

What scientific field do you work in?

Forensic Science

"...test fingerprint development... on new polymer banknotes

Could you briefly explain what your job involves?

Researching a fingerprint development technique called Vacuum Metal Deposition (VMD) to find out what forensic exhibits (from a crime scene or suspect) can be processed. I also train Police Forces and Forensic Fingerprint Examiners on how to use VMD.

Do you have any secret talents?

Not that I know of!

When did you decide you wanted to work as a scientist?

Aged 18, after watching too much CSI on TV!

What's your favourite food?

Most sweet things.

What educational pathway did you take to get to where you are now?

Studied Biology at A-Level then went on to do a BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science. More recently I completed a postgraduate degree (MPhil) in research on VMD.

Do you have a favourite movie quote?

No, but my favourite quote is:

“It is impossible for a criminal to act, especially considering the intensity of a crime, without leaving traces of this presence”

- Dr. Edmond Locard

"...watching too much CSI..."

What's the best thing about your job?

Travelling to work to meet lots of other like-minded scientists who are as passionate about their work as I am.

"Most sweet things"

What's the worst thing about your job?

Not being able to do all of the research I would like to do, due to a lack of funding and time.

If you could take one thing to an island, what would it be?

My partner William because he’d be great at finding ways to live and survive on an island (he enjoys learning bushcraft and survival skills!). Oh and because I love him dearly of course 😉

If you could be anyone in the world for 24 hours, who would you be?

Sir David Attenborough – I would love to be able to reminisce on all of the amazing places he has been and the animals he has encountered.

Have you ever taken part in any research? What was your most exciting project?

Yes. The most interesting and exciting research I have been a part of was testing a range of fingerprint development techniques on the new polymer banknotes recently introduced to the UK. This research was a collaboration between the UK Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology, West Technology Forensics and Foster+Freeman and the results have assisted Police Forces across the UK.

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