Christophe Champod, PhD, Named AAFS 2020 Lucas Medalist


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Christophe Champod, PhD

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Dr. Christophe Champod has been selected as its 2020 recipient of the AAFS Douglas M. Lucas Medal. The Lucas Medal will be presented by AAFS President-Elect Jeri Ropero-Miller during the International Association of Forensic Sciences (IAFS) 22nd Triennial Meeting in September in Sydney, Australia. For decades, Dr. Champod has tirelessly championed new techniques and software for the purpose of moving latent fingerprint identification toward an objective process. He has published extensively on the subject and readily participates in international conferences, webinars, and other networking avenues to educate those willing to listen on fingerprint statistics and the use of PiAnoS software. His research and outstanding leadership have been a progressive force in changing the field of pattern evidence toward accepting the inclusion of uncertainty in case reports.

Professor Champod received his MSc and PhD (summa cum laude), both in Forensic Science, from the University of Lausanne in 1990 and 1995, respectively. He remained in academia until holding the position of assistant professor in forensic science. From 1999 to 2003, he led the Interpretation Research Group of the Forensic Science Service (UK), before taking a full professorship position at the School of Criminal Justice (ESC) of the University of Lausanne.

Professor Champod is in charge of education and research on identification methods (interpretation of DNA, facial images, fingerprints, tool marks, footwear marks, and firearms) and has the privilege of woring with a group of 20 PhD students. The research carried out by his group is mainly devoted to the inferential aspects associated with forensic identification techniques. The value to be attached to forensic evidence is at the core of their interests. He is also operational manager of the ISO/SEC 17025 accredited forensic laboratory of the ESC. He maintains an activity as an expert witness in areas of marks and biological evidence interpretation, both at a national and international level.

Professor Champod is a steering committee member for the International Fingerprint Research Group (IFRG) and an invited member of Friction Ridge subcommittee of the Organization for Scientific Area Committees (OSAC).

For his contribution to forensic science, Dr. Champod received the Distinguished ENFSI Scientist Award in 2015. ENFSI is the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes. In 2018, for his contribution to the good of the profession, he received the Henry Medal Award from the Fingerprint Division (formerly The Fingerprint Society) of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS).

The Lucas Medal was first established in 1999 and is intended to be presented by the AAFS triennially at the IAFS meeting to a person who has made international recognized contributions to forensic science. Past recipients of the Lucas Medal are Sir Alec J. Jeffreys (1999); Dr. Alan S. Curry (2002); Dr. Joseph Almog (2005); Dr. Clyde C. Snow (2008); Dr. Pierre A.J.-L. Margot (2011), Dr. Duarte N. Vieira (2014); and Dr. Douglas H. Ubelaker (2017). The Lucas Medal recipient must have distinguished him/herself in the forensic sciences and have a record of meritorious service to the forensic science community and to professional peer group organizations. Additionally, the recipient must have made significant contributions to forensic science research and have been active in the educational field as well as have demonstrated outstanding leadership and management capability, nationally or internationally. Finally, the recipient must have made outstanding contributions in the national or international aspects of public health, welfare, and safety as these relate to the forensic forensic sciences.

Dr. Champod will present the “Douglas M. Lucas Lecture” entitled  Source Identification: A Plague on Forensic Science during the IAFS Triennial Meeting in Sydney, Australia. The Lucas Lecture will be presented on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, immediately following the Opening Ceremony. Please visit www.iafs2020.com.au for more information.