Lim Chin Chin is a Senior Consultant Forensic Scientist and founding partner of The Forensic Experts Group (TFEG), Singapore. She graduated from NUS with an MSc, Chemistry, and obtained an MBA with Distinction from the University of Leicester, UK. She started her first job as a forensic document examiner in the Department of Scientific Services (current Health Sciences Authority or HSA) in 1994. Chin Chin received specialised forensic training locally and at reputable forensic institutes in USA. She has a wealth of forensic experience, having worked on a wide range of forensic cases for 22 years. She reported on various forensic disciplines including forensic chemistry (trace evidence, unknown chemicals and materials, drugs), forensic marks (questioned documents, toolmarks & impressions, firearms, damage analysis), and forensic investigation and reconstruction (fires & explosions, traffic collisions, video analysis, bloodstain patterns, scientific simulations, scene analysis & reconstruction).
As the founding Chairperson of the Trace Evidence Work Group, Asian Forensic Sciences Network, she spearheaded the development of Trace Evidence in Asia from 2009 to 2013. She also represented Singapore as a member of the Scientific Working Group for Materials in North America, the Textile and Hair Expert Workgroup in Europe, and the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts’ (IABPA) Document Review Committee of SWGSTAIN from 2012 to 2013. As an expert on counterfeit drugs analysis, she represented Singapore as a member of INTERPOL’s Operation Storm from 2008 to 2013, and that of the International Forum on Counterfeit Medicines from 2010 to 2013. She was a certified ASCLD/LAB quality inspector of forensic laboratories from 2006 to 2014, and a provisional ASCLD/LAB Int’l (ISO 17025) Assessor since 2009. She has been a member of the International Association of Identification since 2003, and that of IABPA since 2011.
In 2014, she was appointed as a professional expert in an international response network where her expertise could be deployed to assist with the investigation, fact-finding and inquiries of mass atrocities in international crime. She has been serving as a member of the Singapore Medical Council’s Complaints Panel since 2014, and the Singapore Medico-Legal Society since 2015. In 2016, she was appointed by the Singapore Manufacturing Federation – Standards Development Organisation as a working member to monitor the development of ISO standards for forensic science in Singapore (ISO/TC 272).
In her 18 years as a forensic scientist with HSA, Chin Chin took on many leadership roles. She was appointed Deputy Head of the Forensic Chemistry & Physics Laboratory (FCPL) in 2000, Director of FCPL in 2008, and Director of the Forensic Science Division in 2012. Since 1995, Chin Chin has reported on and technically reviewed hundreds of forensic cases. She has extensive experience in court testimony, having been subpoenaed to provide expert testimony in the Singapore High Court and State Court. High-profile local cases include the missing 8-year-old Huang Na, One-Eyed Dragon, Yishun Triple Murder, and the controversial suicides of Indonesian student David Widjaja and American researcher Shane Todd. She has presented expert testimony at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and in the Malaysia Court, as well as conducted site inspection of forensic evidence in USA.
Chin Chin played a leading role in the development of new forensic techniques and service capabilities, extending FCPL’s wide capabilities to industrial and commercial applications. In the mid-1990s, she enhanced the methodology for the analysis of flammable liquids for fire investigation, and developed a framework for the analysis of unknown chemicals and materials. In the 2000s, Dr Michael Tay and Chin Chin pioneered the development of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis and Forensic Reconstruction in Singapore. These two areas have since gained acceptance in our local courts and are widely used in high-profile cases. She also promoted the use of trace evidence and manufacturing marks evidence in the prosecution of drug trafficking cases. In 2007, Chin Chin charted directions for the production of evidence recovery & sampling kits, and the development of Singapore’s first Vehicle Paints Database. She was instrumental in developing a framework for the detection of counterfeit drugs and setting up Singapore’s Counterfeit Drugs Database. Within three years, Singapore earned recognition as one of the world’s leading authorities in this area. A firm believer in collaborations, Chin Chin has forged strong relationships with government and commercial partners.
Chin Chin is also widely involved in many training and educational programmes. She has provided forensic training and lectures to prosecutors, lawyers, investigators, law enforcement officers, as well as commercial entities and tertiary institutions. She created and delivered course materials for the “Fibres and fabric damage” module in the Advanced Forensic Science module (CM3301) in NUS from 2008 to 2012. She was a guest panellist in the “Resolving Community Disputes” State Courts’ seminar in 2016. She also lectured on Forensic Science modules at the CLAS criminal law training course and the Singapore Police Force’s (SPF) Investigating Officer courses. She was SPF’s Resource Consultant & Associate Trainer, School of Criminal Investigation from 2010 to 2012.
Chin Chin is active in research and believes that continuous learning and knowledge-sharing is the path forward. She has co-authored and presented more than 120 scientific papers at international conferences and local symposiums. In 2017, she co-authored a book “Forensic Science – Briefs for the Legal Practitioner” with the other senior forensic scientists in TFEG. Between 2015 and 2017, Chin Chin was invited to speak to overseas legal practitioners and government authorities in China, India, Malaysia and Thailand, and at regional events organised by the Council of International Investigators. She also spoke at international events organised by APEC Life Science Innovation Forum in 2011, Institute of Medicine of the US Academy of Sciences in 2012, Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme Expert Circle in 2011 and DIA China in 2012, and at local events such as “Women in Chemistry” in 2011. She was awarded HSA’s top category award – the HSA Living Core Values Distinction Award, and the National Day Commendation Medal in 2006. Chin Chin has featured regularly as a leading forensic scientist in the media and for her alma mater, NUS.