New awards, honouring a charismatic computing lecturer who died last year, have been presented to graduates demonstrating forensics excellence.
Rob was a key member of our Computing Department for 15 years.... Today would have been very special to him to see students being awarded for their hard work and academic achievements and he would have been flattered that an award is being given in his name.
The Rob Shaw Award, which was designed and manufactured by Staffordshire University’s ceramics department, was presented at a meeting of the Staffordshire Forensic Partnership Board to graduates Megan Hildrew and Patryk Wos.
Associate Professor Russell Campion said: “Rob was a key member of our Computing Department for 15 years. He was the lead on our first Digital Forensics and Cyber courses and helped with the setting up of the Staffordshire Forensic Partnership.
“Today would have been very special to him to see students being awarded for their hard work and academic achievements and he would have been flattered that an award is being given in his name.”
Forensic Investigation graduate Megan Hildrew completed a six-week placement with the Forensic Investigations team at Staffordshire Police as part of the force’s accreditation work and a document that she co-authored is now in use on a daily basis to underpin Staffordshire Police’s approach to crime scene investigation. She now has a job with forensic testing service Eurofins.
She said: “I enjoyed being able to gain an insight into the scene of crime work but also having the opportunity to talk to and shadow the different units within the police. It opened me up to all the different opportunities that exist in forensics and enabled me to pinpoint my career direction.
“I’m currently a forensic biology examiner where I examine exhibits from crime scenes for biological dna. The placement certainly engaged people during interviews and I was able to offer an understanding of validation work and got an overall confidence boost from interacting with people in the forensics field.”
Meanwhile Software Engineering student Patryk Wos answered a call from Staffordshire Forensic Partnership to assist the Forensic Recovery Unit with the development of a new app to manage day to day workflows. The project, which resulted in a working prototype, also contributed to Patryk achieving a first-class degree.
Patryk, 23, who works for Nottingham software engineering firm Deltek said: “The project was my final year dissertation. It definitely played a huge role in helping me find a job and point me in the right direction when it comes to my career. The language and frameworks I used for the dissertation were ones I wasn't taught in uni, but today I work closely with these technologies.”
The Rob Shaw Award was presented to the winning graduates by Rob’s daughter and son Emma and Robert who said they were proud to represent their father who is greatly missed.
- Launched in 2016, Staffordshire Forensic Partnership is a partnership between Staffordshire University, Staffordshire Police and the Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime. Student placements are a key part of Partnership which aims to push the boundaries of forensic science, enhance the employability of students and make Staffordshire safer. The partnership is nationally recognised and has won two awards for its work. In 2017 the University won the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) with the work of the partnership a fundamental factor in the award and in 2019 the Partnership won the National Undergraduate Employability Award for the best collaboration between a university and an employer.