Biographyportrait_himberg

Kimmo Himberg (b. Helsinki, Finland, October 30th,1956) graduated from the University of Helsinki in 1985 with an M.Sc. in analytical chemistry, and completed his Ph.D. on the reliability of methods used for monitoring chlorinated environmental contaminants in 1996.  He has later studied Criminal Justice Management in the University of Birmingham, UK.

 

After a short stretch as a science teacher in the early 1980´s, Kimmo joined VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, a governmental applied research organization, where he served as a researcher and head of a laboratory unit.

 

In 1991 Kimmo became the director of the National Bureau of Investigation Forensic Laboratory (NBIFL), the national forensic service in Finland.  During his 20 year career as the director he was driven by two major ideas: firstly, the essential importance of formal quality assurance as a basis for credibility of the hard evidence delivered by the laboratory, and secondly, the role of the laboratory as a customer-oriented service provider within the criminal justice system.  During those years the NBIFL caseflow increased by 400 % and the number of staff tripled. The laboratory became a highly respected expert body among the police, law professionals and the public.  It was one of the first forensic laboratories in the world to build up a comprehensive quality system and obtained accreditation in 1996, first to EN 45001 and later to ISO 17025. As a result of the unified forensic services policy the national Fingerprint Office was merged with the laboratory in 1995, and soon after the national DNA database was established in the laboratory which thus became the unit in charge of the major national identification databases. Over the years several new fields of expertise were introduced, and major developments were achieved in applying automation and laboratory information systems to improve efficiency.

 

While holding an office at NBIFL Kimmo was on a leave of absence twice, first in 1998–2000 serving as the Director of Technology for the National Supreme Police Command in the Ministry of the Interior, and in 2004–2006 as a Resident expert within the Programme for Judicial Modernisation and Penal Reform in Turkey, a project implemented by the Council of Europe.

 

Kimmo participated actively in all the early meetings which led to the establishment of ENFSI, including the legendary Interpol IFSS in 1992, and was a founding member in 1995.  ENFSI became a hallmark of his forensic science career: he was a Board member 1995-1998, Chairman-Designate 1998-1999 and Chairman 1999-2000. His ENFSI activities continued in the role of the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Expert Working Groups (EWGC) from 2000 to 2002. He also acted as the first Board-nominated ENFSI-EU liaison officer from 2001 to 2004. In 2003 Kimmo was voted Chairman for a second time and during the next two years he together with the 8th Board (which Kimmo still calls the Dream Team) pressed major changes into ENFSI structures: for example, institutional membership was introduced to replace personal, a Dutch Stichting was established as the ENFSI legal body and a membership fee was introduced to cover ENFSI running costs.  Besides holding formal positions Kimmo organised the 7th ENFSI meeting in 1996 in Vantaa and designed and managed the first EU financial support for ENFSI, a project funded by the GROWTH programme between 2002 and 2004.

 

Kimmo is an adjunct professor in laboratory quality management at the University of Helsinki since 2001, and acted as External Examiner for the Forensic Science Masters Course at the University of Strathclyde from 2007 to 2009. He is also a FINAS and WADA assessor.  He has worked in various expert roles for Interpol, UNODC and CEPOL.  His research activities have led to the publication of 61 papers in analytical chemistry and environmental and forensic sciences as well as over 100 oral presentations in scientific conferences and meetings. His professional interests currently focus on the efficiency and effective uses of forensic science in supporting intelligence, investigation and criminal justice processes.

 

In March 2011 Kimmo returned to the roots of his professional career, teaching, by becoming the Rector of the Police College of Finland, the sole provider of police education in the country.

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