Lecturer in Chemistry, University of Surrey

Dr. Melanie Bailey is a Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Surrey, where she lectures on Analytical Chemistry and Forensics. She obtained her Bsc. in Physics in 2001 from the University of Manchester and her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Surrey Ion Beam Centre.

Dr. Bailey has been developing ion beam analysis and ambient mass spectrometry methods for the analysis of trace evidence collected from crime scenes such as gunshot residue particles, soils, fibres, paints and glass and has demonstrated that the techniques can offer attractive features compared with other methods of analysis. Key collaborators include the Netherlands Forensic Institute, Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology, National Physical Laboratory, Kings College London, Intelligent Fingerprinting Limited, the University of Lausanne and the Italian Carabinieri. The results of these studies have been featured in a variety of technical publications as well as The Guardian, Sky News, ITV News, BBC Radio and Scientific American.

Dr Bailey is Hon. Secretary of the Ion and Plasma Surface Interactions Group at the Institute of Physics (IoP) and is currently involved in making a short film for the IoP on her research which will be used to promote physics to the general public.

Dr. Bailey is running a 3 year project using ambient mass spectrometry to detect drug metabolites in fingerprints. She is also Theme Leader for Forensics on the EPSRC grant ʺAmbient Mass Spectrometry at the Sub-Micron Scaleʺ, which is developing the MeV-SIMS technique and applications.

Dr Bailey has been running an inter-comparison study of techniques that can be used to detect and measure molecules present in latent fingerprints, involving the Home Office and police forces and academics from across the nation. Latent fingerprints have a great potential to offer extra information about an offender (e.g. based on sex, ethnicity, drug use, diet), which could be particularly useful if that offender is not on the fingerprint database.


  • 2011–2016
    Lecturer in Forensic Analysis, University of Surrey