This summer, Shelby Khandasammy from the University of Central Florida spent 10 weeks, participating in the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) Program at the Ames Laboratory – US Department of Energy on the campus of Iowa State University. Both undergraduate and graduate students from around the country are part of this program every year, working with faculty mentors. This year Shelby’s mentor was Dr. Stanley J. Bajic and the project they worked on was, “The Effects of Pool Edge Geometry and Volume on Blood Splatter Impact Patterns”. At the end of the internship she will have enough material to write a manuscript.
Shelby’s research involved building on previous SULI student’s work. The research involved generating blood spatter patterns under controlled and reproducible conditions in a laboratory-built impact rig. Horse blood* volumes and pool sizes were varied prior to the impacts and the resultant spatter patterns analyzed for trends. The goal of the research is to develop an understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of impact spatter so that these concepts may be applied to real-life crime scenes.
Shelby had no idea where Ames, IA was when she applied for the program but has really enjoyed Ames and the Midwest. She applied to the program because of her interest in forensics and blood splatter analysis. Shelby said, “This has been a very good experience and I have become more confident in my research and learned a lot.” She intends to continue her education in forensics and apply to graduate school next year.
* Shelby would like to give special thanks to the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE) for purchasing materials used during the research. Contact us to learn how you can set up a similar opportunity.
Here’s an example of an impact spatter pattern: