Forensic scientist with US Secret Service to give free public lecture

October 04, 2011

A free lecture, "The Evolution of Latent Print Development Techniques," will be held on Oct. 10, by Robert Ramotowski, the chief research scientist with the United States Secret Service Forensic Services Division laboratory. This event is the third in a series of four presentations on forensic science and its use as a law-enforcement tool in Penn State's 2011 Forensic Science Lecture Series. All lectures are free and will be held on Mondays from 12:20 to 1:10 p.m., in 111 Wartik Laboratory on the Penn State University Park campus.

Ramotowski will discuss the latest advances in the visualization of invisible, "latent" prints; questioned-document analysis; instrument analysis; and ink-and-paper chemistry. Ramotowski has worked with the United States Secret Service as a research chemist since 1994 and has served the Secret Service as the chief research scientist since 2009. He coordinates all of the research activities within the laboratory. He is a member of both the editorial board and the subcommittee for laboratory analysis of the International Association for Identification.

Ramotowski has given lectures and workshops in more than a dozen countries since 1995. Conferences he has attended include the International Association for Identification conference, the SPIE conference (founded as the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers and currently known as The International Society for Optical Engineering), and the International Fingerprint Research Group meeting. He has been task manager or co-task manager for over 15 research projects since 1998. He also has published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles on latent-print and document chemistry in publications including the Journal of Forensic Identification, the Journal of Chromatography A, the Journal of Forensic Science, and Fingerprint Whorld.

Ramotowski was honored with the Randy Goodwin Distinguished Member Award from the Chesapeake Bay Division of the International Association for Identification in 2005. In 2007, he became a Department of Homeland Security Certified Acquisition Professional. In 2008, he received distinguished membership in the International Association for Identification, and he was a guest of honor at the University of Dehli during the Dehli State Level Symposium on Forensic Science.

Ramotowski earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1993, graduating magna cum laude, and a master's degree in chemistry in 1997, both at George Washington University. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the International Association for Identification (IAI) and its Chesapeake Bay Division, and the Fingerprint Society in the United Kingdom.

The Penn State 2011 Forensic Science Lecture Series is sponsored by the Penn State Eberly College of Science. For more information, contact the Forensic Science Program at 814-863-6758 or email

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Last Updated January 09, 2015