Forensic science, the application of science to legal matters, has always captivated individuals with an interest and aptitude for investigation. Seen in popular culture through television shows such as CSI, it is easy to see how forensic science has captured the attention and interest of society.
The goal of BCIT’s forensic science program is to provide a strong scientific approach to an applied discipline by exploring both the theoretical and practical aspects involved with forensics. The curriculum covers key areas required by forensic investigators, including, but not limited to: Canadian legal aspects, evidence and expert witness training, crime scene processing, case management, death investigation, biological aspects (DNA, anthropology, entomology, odontology, etc.), chemical aspects (fingerprinting, firearms/toolmarks, photography/video/imaging, etc.), physical aspects, and a variety of elective topics.
Graduates from the Forensic Science Option may be employed in a range of investigative positions, depending on the student’s academic background and work experience. This may include:
- Technologist, Analyst or Scientist (with an advanced degree(s)) in a Forensic Laboratory
- Police Officer
Dave McKay, Program Head
After completing his BSc in molecular biology at Simon Fraser University in 2002, Dave then pursued an advanced certificate in forensic science technology at BCIT, where he developed his passion for forensics. He combined his background in science with his knowledge of cinematography, photography and computers to specialize in the field of forensic video analysis and surveillance technology. During his 6 years with the RCMP, Dave testified in court as an expert witness in the field of forensic video analysis and surveillance technology on multiple occasions.
As manager of BCIT’s Forensic Video and Surveillance Technology lab, Dave oversees all training in the areas of: forensic video, imaging, cell-phone forensics, and surveillance video technology. Additionally, the lab acts as an authority on video and photographic evidence – offering its expertise on many high profile cases, including the recent Braidwood Inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski. Dave McKay and the lab were recently featured on the Discovery channel’s “Daily Planet”.
Dave McKay’s current research interests include the development of advanced real-time video analysis software, self-sufficient intelligent camera systems, and complex forensic databases for the purpose of linkage through visual identification.
Fiona Kerr, Program Assistant
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