Engineering & Applied Sciences Program Highlights

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Source: Kurt D. Weiss, MS, EAS Section Program Chair

The Engineering & Applied Sciences (EAS) Section program is complete for Anaheim 2020, and includes 45 oral presentations, one breakfast presentation, one half-day workshop, and eight posters. Furthermore, five of the oral presentations were included in the multidisciplinary session with Criminalistics. Below are some of the program highlights.

The EAS program extends over a day and a half, starting Thursday morning, February 20, and is separated into seven sessions. “Weapons” starts the program with several presentations on knife testing and another evaluating firearm trigger mechanism evaluation techniques. “Fire & Explosion Investigations” features four presentations. “Samples, Magnets, & Trace Elements” is the third session before lunch.

The Multidisciplinary Session with Criminalistics runs concurrently Thursday morning. This special session includes 11 presentations. Check the Advance Program for more content information.

Carole Chaski motivated her fellow linguists to submit abstracts for the “Forensic Linguistics & Research,” the fourth session Thursday after the lunch break. Now that our section has been renamed EAS, it may grow by cultivating other forensic sciences that take a quantitative approach and perform validation testing of methods. One example is computational linguistics as artificial intelligence becomes more common and embedded in devices such as automobiles, smart phones, personal assistants, and internet search algorithms. One presentation to surely intrigue the audience explores the detection of linguistic markers of religious extremism in online environments.

Closing out the first day is “Collision Analysis & Investigations” featuring five presentations on seat back failures, e-bike testing, and slide distance in pedestrian collisions. Closing the session is a presentation of barrier retention testing that became central to the investigation of an elite cycling event fatality.

Friday’s half-day schedule features two sessions. First, “Head & Neck Trauma Research” will include six presentations exploring entrapment testing, motorcycle retention failures, and head/spinal injuries. One presentation examines skull fracture risk using instrumented postmortem human subjects. Our program closes with “Video Analysis & Vehicle System Forensics.” This session brings presentations of video analyses from surveillance and body-mounted cameras by two new EAS associate-member applicants, Mick Callahan and Jorge Mendoza. This session will also feature another presentation by Wes Vandiver on vehicle system forensics, an acclaimed topic on which he presented in Seattle 2018.

  1. The half-day workshop entitled “Think Tank on the Leading Edge of Forensics” is comprised of presentations illustrating new advances in forensic science. This workshop is the result of Laura Liptai’s incredible efforts and features 11 presenters, including the current AAFS President, Zeno Geradts, as well as the AAFS President-Elect, Jeri Ropero-Miller. Watch for additional information regarding this workshop.

The poster session is 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 19, through Friday, February 21.

I look forward to seeing you in Southern California.