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Austin Hicklin (Assoc)

R. Austin Hicklin is the Director of the Forensic Science Group at Noblis, a non-profit research company. He has led a broad range scientific research and development projects involving forensics and biometrics since 1995. 

Current research interests are focused on evaluations of the accuracy and reliability of forensic conclusions and interpretations. Dr. Hicklin has been responsible for designing and conducting “black box” evaluations of the accuracy, reproducibility, and repeatability of conclusions by forensic experts (including latent print examiners, handwriting/forensic document examiners, footwear examiners, bloodstain pattern analysts, and firearms examiners) — as well as designing and conducting interlaboratory studies of interpretations and statistical analyses of DNA mixtures. In addition, Dr. Hicklin has been responsible for multiple “white box” studies of latent print examiners, conducted to provide a detailed understanding of the bases for examiners’ conclusions, errors, and non-consensus decisions.

Previous work includes development of latent print quality metrics, evaluations of the performance of automated biometric identification systems, evaluations of biometric fusion, development of biometric and forensic standards, assessments of methods for the handling of video and digital image evidence, development of approaches for interoperability of latent fingerprint identification systems, systems engineering for automated fingerprint/palmprint identification systems, and designing and developing forensic software. Dr. Hicklin has a B.A. from the University of Virginia, an M.S. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech, and a PhD in Forensic Science from the University of Lausanne.

Created May 31, 2018, Updated December 9, 2022