Tickle College of Engineering professor David Icove recently returned from Israel, where he helped train officials in forensic investigations.
Twenty-three people from Israeli police and fire departments attended the classes, which were sponsored by the Israel Police Division of Identification and Forensic Science.
“We did a tough, intense weeklong class at the Israel Police National Training Academy,” said Icove, the UL Professor of Practice in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
“The academy is still relatively new and this was their first big seminar, so they were eager to learn and share techniques.”
The seminar reviewed many emerging scientific advancements, including 3-D laser imaging of fire scenes and computer fire modeling.
Icove said that while the event was draining for all participants, it served as a great way to exchange ideas and talk through some scenarios that were universal, regardless of culture or global location.
An aerial look at the Israeli police and fire academy.
Having literally written the book on fire investigations—a book the FBI uses to this day—Icove arrived at UT with a level of expertise that has turned him into a sought-after authority on forensic investigations.
Knoxville has called upon that knowledge a number of times—after the high-profile McClung Warehouse fire, for example.
Icove’s expertise in fire forensics and reputation as an investigator were major reasons Israel thought to contact him.
“I’d actually met a few of the people involved in Israel when we had a forensic exchange here in Knoxville,” said Icove. “They reached out and asked if I’d come, and I was glad to share perspectives and ideas related to fire investigation that we used both at the FBI and here at UT.”
At UT, Icove teaches a series of courses available to students and industry professionals alike that allow them to earn a certificate in fire forensics. His selection as the UL Professor of Practice was the first such position established at UT.
He is also frequently sought out for his expertise by law enforcement agencies across the United States, having recently contributed to a cold case breakthrough in Cleveland, Ohio.