Forensic Scientist – Brian E. Dalrymple

Brian E. Dalrymple was born on 23rd September 1947 in Ontario Canada. He is 66 years old.

He is a fingerprint scientist known for introducing the first time use of lasers as a forensic light source for fingerprints and other evidence detection.

With 30 years photographic experience, he specializes in photographic evidence. He is an associate of the Ontario College of Art, graduating in 1970 (age 23) after 3 years of darkroom experience. He extended his education with a certificate in Biological Photography at Sheridan College of Applied Arts and Technology in 1979. This is interesting in that he didn‘t come form a purely scientific background, but a photographic one.

In a reference to laser and other forms of photography he said “ You can often photograph it, even if you can’t see it”.

In 1972 he began working for the OPP (the Ontario Provincial Police) as a forensic analyst. He excelled in fingerprint and footwear identification.  In 1977 Dalrymple started working with the Xerox Research Centre to develop a method of using an argon laser to create a luminescent or glowing quality in fingerprints.

The Ontario Police became the first police agency in the world to use this technology. Whilst the laser technology did not work on all fingerprints it was often able to identify prints that could not be found using the usual methods. The technique was also non destructive which means it didn’t ruin evidence for future use. Laser light shows up the traces of fingerprints and other objects that normal light doesn’t show. This evidence then can be photographed.

In 1990, after 10 years of research Dalrymple made an important step in technology with the development of computer enhancement, which meant he could find more clues in photos that eventually caught more criminals.

Dalrymple retired in 1999 – he now specializes in teaching future forensic scientists, and developing forensic programs to help solve crimes. He has won many awards for his contributions to forensic science. ›