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Casper Venter

Interim Chair of the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science, Associate Professor

He is a non-tenured faculty member in the department, teaching forensic courses to undergraduate and graduate students. He presents workshops on clandestine laboratory investigation for law enforcement and chemists, as well as quality and productivity in forensic crime laboratories. 

He obtained his first degree in 1992 in analytical chemistry and two graduate degrees in both chemistry and laboratory management in 1994 and 2002, respectively, from the Technical University Pretoria and an M.Sc. Biochemistry during 2010 from North West University. 

He joined the South African Police Service in 1988, went through internal basic and advance police training and was then assigned to the forensic science laboratory. Before joining the faculty at West Virginia University, he worked for 22 years in the Forensic Science Laboratory in South Africa as a forensic drug chemist. 

During his 22 years in the forensic laboratory he completed various training programs related to instrumentation used in the chemistry department, crime scene investigation, clandestine laboratory investigation, photography, forensic disciplines in forensic sciences, hazardous material first response and advance risk assessment. He examined more than five thousand drug related cases, investigated clandestine laboratories for 13 years and testified as an expert witness for 17 years. 

He was a member of clandestine laboratory investigation for chemists (CLIC) from 1997 until 2010 and attended three of their international technical training seminars. He presented on the following conferences: National Conference on Crack/Cocaine 1995, National Conference on Ecstasy 1996, first African Forensic Conference 2003 and National Industrial Chemical Monitoring conferences 2006 and 2010. 

A number of training modules were developed by him related to the analysis of controlled substances, clandestine laboratory investigation, crime scene investigation for forensic scientists and expert witness testimony. He trained more than 55 drug analysts over 13 years on these developed programs. 

Before joining the West Virginia University, he was the training, health and safety and crime scene manager in the chemistry department of the Forensic Science Laboratory in South Africa. He was a supervisor in the forensic drug section for more than 15 years.