Peter Schoenmakers receives NWO forensics grant

8 November 2011

HIMS Professor Peter Schoenmakers receives a grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research’s (NWO) Forensic Science programme, for his research into chemical profiling of complex natural materials.

Professor Peter Schoenmakers (Analytical Chemistry group, Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences) has been awarded a grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research’s (NWO) Forensic Science programme, for his research project COMFOR: The use of comprehensive two-dimensional chromatographic methods for chemical profiling of complex natural materials.

Determining the origin of natural materials

The COMFOR project centres on the chemical profiling of natural evidence materials using two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC). Combustion catalysts are a key example of such evidence materials. However, many narcotics and inks also contain natural ingredients, resulting in a complex organic composition. Detailed profiling can offer major added value to forensics research, provided that the evidence value of a profile comparison can be quantified and validated. Schoenmakers will be working to achieve this by means of population studies, chemometrics and forensic statistics. The statistical methods used in the study will be generalised, so that they can be applied to other types of evidence material and analysis methods. The project will be conducted by a team of chemists and mathematicians.

Three UvA projects awarded

In its Forensic Science programme NWO is currently awarding grants to nine research projects, making available a total of € 3.5 million. Among them are three research teams from the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

The NWO’s Forensic Science subsidy programme brings together scientists from various disciplines and bridges the gap between scientific research and the forensic practice, involving those who will potentially apply the results in practice in the actual research process. Forensic Science is the Netherlands’ first broadly-oriented multidisciplinary scientific research programme in this area.

Published by  HIMS