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2018 Impression, Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2018
161 pages

This report presents the proceedings of the 2018 Impression, Pattern, and Trace Evidence Symposium (IPTES), which was held January 22-25, 2018 in Arlington, VA, as the second joint symposium to promote collaboration, enhance knowledge transfer, and share best practices and policies for the impression, pattern, and trace evidence forensic science communities.


Thirteen workshops were conducted the first two days of the IPTES, followed by two days of scientific sessions that included two keynote addresses, three plenary sessions, two open panel discussions, 30 posters, and 48 oral presentations. Reports are presented for each workshop. Topics covered in the workshops include statistical interpretation software for friction ridge skin impression; implementation of 3D technology for firearms and tool mark examinations; intra- and inter-variability of footwear test impression; pattern evidence evaluation; forensic wood identification; applied polarized light microscopy for trace evidence examiners; and fracture examination. Reports are also presented for each of the general sessions, which covered what is expected from and challenges faced by expert witnesses and other issues related to assessment of the evidential value and reliability of forensic court testimony. Reports are also presented on breakout sessions that addressed impression and pattern evidence, as well as trace evidence. Reports on poster sessions cover impression and pattern evidence, along with trace evidence.

Date Published: May 1, 2018