Niamh Nic Daeid

realising that I can't type as fast as I thought I could !

Favourite Thing: investigate things…. science is about exploration.. finding out how things work and what happens to them in different environments and under different circumstances.



Coolmine community school in Dublin, Ireland 1983-1985


Chemistry and mathematics at Kevin street of technology and Trinity college Dublin, 1985-1989 : PhD in bioinorganic chemistry at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland 1989-1993.

Work History:

I worked as an environmental consultant in 1993-1994 and then in forensic science since 1995. I teach, do research and carry out some case work in forensic chemistry mainly


Centre for forensic science, University of Strathclyde in Glasgow

Current Job:

Reader in forensic Science

Me and my work

I teach, lead research, carry out some case work and write books and research papers

I investigating things like fires or explosions, or how drugs are made and where they may come from and other practical problems related to crime investigation.  I also use mathematics to help work out what data from experiments means and how it can be used effectively.  I look after and work with a group of 10 researchers.  Some look at illegal drugs, mainly amphetamine and heroin, to try and work out ways of linking drug samples to each other.  Others do work on explosives and fires to work out new ways of detection and some of the other researchers look at new ways of making footwear marks visible on fabrics.  Thats me in the red in the fire scene and the second picture is some of our footwear enhancement work.. where we visualised the shoeprint on the left using some chemicals ….. not bad eh ?  myimage1 myimage2

My Typical Day

I don’t really have a typical day.

I often have times during the day when I teach and the rest of the time I might be working with one of my research students on a project, writing up some of our research work or working on a case.  I spend a bit of time abroad teaching from time to time.  I also do quite a bit of work with other forensic scientists where we work to develop professional standards. No two days are ever the same in my job ! 

What I'd do with the money

I would use the funds to work with our local science centre here in Glasgow to develop some exhibits about forensic science aimed at schools so that the students can have an understanding of what the real ‘CSI’ is

I plan to use the funds to work with our local science centre here in Glasgow to put together some exhibits and tools for students from schools to help them explore some aspects of forensic science.  We would use some of the questions and topics you guys have raised in the work.  Working with the science centre means we can work with hundreds of students across Scotland.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?


Who is your favourite singer or band?

really like a band called Paris Combo at the moment, otherwise anything really.. I’ve a very wide musical taste

What is the most fun thing you've done?

I did a bungee jump a few years ago… that was more mad than fun !!

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

wish I had lots more time to read, get out and about and spend more time at home and with friends

What did you want to be after you left school?

I wanted to be an archeologist.. fire investigation isn’t too far off

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

not that I can remember… we did set a bin on fire by mistake when trying to make gunpowder..oops

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Set fire to a building …. all in the name of research of course

Tell us a joke.

Why did the dog cross the road……… because he was tied to the chicken….. har har