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School of Science at IUPUI Appoints Director for Forensic and Investigative Science Program

John Goodpaster
John Goodpaster View print-quality image


August 11, 2011

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The School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) has appointed John V. Goodpaster, assistant professor in forensic chemistry, as the new director for the Forensic and Investigative Sciences (FIS) Program. The appointment was effective August 1, 2011.

Goodpaster joined the IUPUI faculty in 2007. He has served as the graduate director for the Masters in Forensics Science program since its launch in 2008.

An expert in analysis of intact explosives and fire debris, Goodpaster’s research includes designing new techniques for explosives, arson and tobacco analysis. He is currently collaborating with the Indiana State Police on projects related to explosives, fire debris and fiber evidence and is also working on a federally funded project on the chemical compounds sensed by explosive-detecting canines.

Goodpaster formerly served as a forensic chemist with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Laboratory where he specialized in the analysis of intact explosives and their postblast residues and identification of explosive device components.

“With nationally recognized faculty in biology and chemistry, collaboration with the Indiana University Schools of Medicine and Law, and its location in the midst of state and local crime labs, courts, and state and federal law enforcement agencies, IUPUI has established one of the leading forensic science programs in the U.S.,” said Simon Rhodes, Ph.D., dean of the School of Science. “Dr. Goodpaster’s experience and knowledge will ensure that it will continue to grow and serve the people of Indiana.”

"I am proud and excited to assume the position of director after the great start this program has had under the leadership of Jay Siegel. I look forward to continuing to educate our students in the natural, physical and social sciences and how these disciplines can be applied to the criminal justice system. It is also important to recognize that the FIS Program at IUPUI prepares our students not only for careers in forensic science, but also public health, environmental science, and pharmaceutical sciences," said Goodpaster. “As Director, I will ensure that all of our graduates are armed with the skills necessary to meet the growing demand for talented, highly-skilled scientists.”

Job prospects for graduates of the program are excellent, said Goodpaster. Forensic science labs across the nation face serious case backlogs because of personnel shortages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 20 percent increase in employed forensic professionals through 2018.

Goodpaster succeeds Jay A. Siegel, chair of the department of chemistry and chemical biology, who served as the program’s director since its launch in 2003. The program was the first bachelors program of its kind in Indiana and today remains the only nationally accredited forensic science program in the state.

“There is no one better qualified to take over administration of this program. John’s forensic science experience combined with his passion for education will serve both our students and their future employers well,” Siegel said.

Goodpaster earned his B.A. in chemistry at Gustavus Adolphus College and his M.S. in criminal justice and Ph.D. in chemistry at Michigan State University.

The School of Science at IUPUI is committed to excellence in teaching, research and service in the biological, physical, behavioral and mathematical sciences. The School is dedicated to being a leading resource for interdisciplinary research and science education in support of Indiana's effort to expand and diversify its economy. For more information go to