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Meet the New Guy

Bob O'Brien
Robert O’Brien is the newest member of the Forensic and Investigative Science Department at WVU.

Why did he choose WVU?  In 2007, Bob attended a Forensic Management Academy training course and was very impressed with the WVU’s Forensic and Investigative Science program, equipment, and facilities.  Eight years later, upon retiring from the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory, he was searching for a second career in teaching. His first impression of the school led him to search out a position in this Department, which he rates among the best in the nation.

This is not Bob’s first time as an educator—many years ago, he became involved with teaching through Dr. Henry Lee. Over the past 22 years, Bob has taught many students, forensic scientists, police officers, attorneys and teachers.

Bob began his career in the instrumentation unit of the Connecticut Forensic Lab and conducted gunshot residue and distance determination testing.  He applied his background in chemistry to forensic science and began conducting casework and research in hairs, fibers, paints, and other areas of trace evidence.  In 1998, he became the supervisor in the ID unit at the lab, and in 2012, was promoted to deputy director of this unit.  In this role, he oversaw and managed the staff and casework of many different sections, including firearms, latent prints, multimedia, questioned document, imprints, and computer crimes.

Here at WVU, Bob is the instructor of Crime Scene I and II, the faculty advisor of the Forensic and Investigative Science Club, and the Internship Coordinator.

He has expressed his excitement to be the faculty advisor of the club, saying “we seem to have a full schedule ahead of us this year, and I look forward to future events with the club.”

As the internship coordinator, Bob assists the FIS juniors in applying for forensic science internship opportunities around the country. In Connecticut, he was responsible for overseeing the internship process at the lab—he reviewed résumés and selected interns. He uses those skills here at WVU in hopes of helping each student to find “the perfect internship.”

Bob is very willing to share his opinions and expertise to help students with any issues they may have. We are very lucky to have him as the newest member of our faculty!