Neil Coupar
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Personal profile

Personal profile


Neil joined Abertay University as a lecturer in September 2016. His involvement with the forensic science course started back in 2002 with its inception. He ran external training courses and guest lectured to students on scenes of crime examination and firearm examination. Neil spent twenty-seven years with the Police Service (Tayside Police/Police Scotland/Metropolitan Police. Neil retired as a Scene of Crime (SOCO) team leader and was the last serving Police Officer in Scotland still specialising in forensic examination

Understandably, he has a wealth of experience and expertise, including Post Bomb Scene Manager, Crime Scene Manager, CBRN( Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear) Manager/Examiner, Forensic Firearm & Toolmark Examiner, and a member of the UK, Disaster Victim Identification Cadre.

During his career, was seconded to the Metropolitan Police, Anti -Terrorist Branch (S013), now known as SO15 Counter Terrorism Command.

Neil has extensive practical knowledge and experience of crime scene examinations across the UK including; murder, sexual offences, fatal transportation, and industrial accidents, fires, explosions and counter-terrorism roles, Official Secrets Act prohibits countless others' identification. He has given evidence as an expert witness in the highest courts on numerous occasions.

Several of the high profile cases he worked on are; 9/11 & 7/7 investigations, and the Litvinenko (polonium poisoning). Neil’s last case before joining the staff at Abertay University was the biggest to date drug seizure in the UK or European Waters, involving £500,000,000 of cocaine.

What Neil brings to students attending Abertay University is a vast portfolio of crime scene investigations, experiences, and criminal court appearances over decades which are real and not scenarios in a textbook.

He brings the human side to forensics.



Education / Qualifications

Neil is a graduate of Durham University and the University of Dundee. 

Research interests

Neil has a research background in firearms, sexual offence detection, disaster victim identification, wildlife crime and counter-terrorism.


I am module leader for FOR 312 Scene Examination and Management

I also teach:

FOR 103 Introduction to Forensic Science, Practice and Techniques

FOR 205 Forensic Human Identification

FOR 309 Forensic Material Investigation

FOR 402 Substances of Abuse

FOR 410 Project Research Methods

FOR 411 Honours Project

ELE 020 Forensic Investigation

LSC 302 Court Procedures


I am involved in many outreach activities with school-age children and local communities.

May 2023: Grove Academy, Dundee, Science Forum

July 2021: Engineering Development Trust (EDT) Silver Programme

November 2019: Keynote Speaker, Scottish Student Forensic Research Symposium, University of Dundee.

April 2019: Dundee Science Festival

May 2019: Carnoustie Probus Club.

February 2019: Blairgowrie Trefoil Guides

November 2018: Careers Fair, CAHID, University of Dundee

University of Cincinnati: 2018, 2019

Abertay University: Open and Applicant Days


I was invited in November 2019 to present a Keynote Lecture, to the Scottish Student Forensic Research Symposium, University of Dundee.


I am the liaison between the Bonnetmaker Craft of Dundee, which generously sponsors cash prizes annually awarded to Forensic and Biomedical Science Students.

I am extremely grateful for the practical support in the form of forensic scene examination equipment received regularly from the Scottish Police Authority, Dundee.

2006 - Perpetual laboratory and scene examination equipment donation, surplus due to legal sterility, from SPA, Dundee. >£10000

2022- donation of £5000 of photographic equipment secured from the Scottish Police Authority.

2023- donation of Air Fume Cabinet from M.E.L. Scottish Police Authority, £6000

2023- donation of Specialised Evidence Fuming Tent, from M.E.L. Scottish Police Authority, Dundee, >£12000

2023- donation of NUANCE, a multi-spectral imaging system, from M.E.L. Scottish Police Authority, Dundee, £4000


Professional Information


I am very fortunate that I can call upon and interact with various outside agencies.  These include the Army Bomb Squad, Univesity of Dundee (CAHID) Mortuary, Forfar Small Bore Rifle Club, Uniformed Police, Detectives, and Forensic Scientists from commercial and legal backgrounds. Many attend as guest lecturers and further enhance the students learning experience.

He retains a professional relationship with all departments within the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and is extremely grateful for their support.

In March 2017, the Evening Telegraph carried a week-long feature on his work experiences.

Neil is privileged to have been invited into people's lives often when they are at their darkest.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Disaster Victim Identification, PgCert.DVI, Egyptian Tourist Bombing, Dundee university

Crime Scene Examination, Dip.CSE (Dunelm), Fatal Helicopter Accident Examination, Durham University


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