Portrait of Robert Green OBE, JP

Robert Green OBE, JP

Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science
Director of Undergraduate Studies - Forensic Science

About

Dr Robert (Bob) Green is currently Director of Undergraduate Studies for the forensic science programmes at the University of Kent. He has almost 30 years’ practical experience working in the field of forensic science, teaching and policing study. During this period he has been responsible for the management of many serious and notable crime scenes. In addition he has undertaken much development work both in the UK and abroad and is the author of several national reviews of forensic science. For his services to forensic science he was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list of 2008.

Prior to joining the University full-time, Bob worked for the Forensic Science Service (FSS) in research and service development before moving to the Home Office to become the head of science and technology in the Police and Crime Standards Directorate. During this time he was at the forefront of ensuring the most effective use of forensic science to combat crime and develop knowledge around the application of forensic science and policing tools to support the investigation of both violent and acquisitive crimes. More generally, he was responsible for initiating the Home Office work on performance management in forensic science and using computer simulation to ensure the most effective business processes are adopted across the police service. He is noted for developing and leading the national programme of cold case review – Operation Advance – as well as being a national and international speaker on the development of DNA and other biometric databases.

He has led a number of consultancies both in the UK and abroad dealing with science, technology and performance management. He was responsible for chairing the agenda for the 15th Annual International Police Executive Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2008 and has most recently contributed to the national review of forensics services in Northern Ireland. Currently he is leading a team of experts to undertake a review of forensic science services for the Egyptian forensic medical authority.

His interests are in the practical applications of forensic science to solve both minor and major crimes and leading undergraduate research in areas of toxicology; the analysis of legal highs as well as other biometric projects.

Publications

Thesis

  • Smith, S. (2015). The Recognition of Fires Originating from Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Systems.
    There has been an observable increase in the fitting of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on the roofs
    of buildings in the UK over the last decade. The origin of some fires in domestic and commercial
    properties has been attributed to PV systems. This thesis examines the ability of fire examiners to
    recognise and record details of fires believed to have originated from PV systems, as well as
    investigating the effect of internal heating in direct current (DC) isolators to the point at which they
    fail.

    National fire data was examined along with the methods for collecting and collating these data.
    This clarified that national fire data cannot identify the specifics of electrical fires. Validity of these
    data was then tested by identifying the confidence and competence in the recognition of the origin
    of fire, (especially when associated with PV systems), of some fire staff responsible for collecting
    fire data. This suggests that some fire scenes examiners are not confident in their own ability to
    recognise fires originating from PV systems. Evidence for fires occurring in PV systems in Kent
    between 2009 and 2014 was then examined, including a cold case forensic review of the
    evidence. This provided an indication that a potential common point of failure, which may lead to
    fire originating from a PV system, was to be found within the DC section of the PV circuits and
    probably within the DC isolator switch itself. Experimentation revealed that internal heating of a
    terminal connection can lead to changes of the phase of the insulating material, causing failure of
    structural integrity and therefore allowing an arc to be established. Observable post fire indicators
    associated with this mechanism of failure have been identified as well as hydrocarbons evolved
    from pyrolysis of isolator insulating material.

    Finally, areas for further experimental research and training of fire staff are suggested as well as
    the modification of recording mechanisms and building regulations.
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