Forensic science professionals can obtain a green belt in Lean Six Sigma certification from one of the foremost forensics professionals in the nation beginning in March. The certification will be taught though the West Virginia University Center for Executive Education in the College of Business and Economics.

Timothy Kupferschmid, Chief of Laboratories, Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York, will teach forensic professionals through a series of 16, two-hour webinars delivered over the course of 24 weeks. The series will conclude with a one-day, face-to-face session in Pittsburgh on August 30.

“I’m happy to team up with WVU to deliver the Lean Six Sigma methodology to a wide audience,” said Kupferschmid. “The ultimate goal is to help improve processes at crime labs, as those labs are many times understaffed and have mounting numbers of cases. Reducing errors and increasing efficiency is the foundation of this course.”

Kupferschmid is a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma and has practiced these methods since 2008.

The course is specifically designed for forensic science professionals, although it is open to all professionals who have a process to improve. The course will follow the six sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) process and incorporate tools used in lean manufacturing, six sigma variation reduction, theory of constraints and other process and quality improvement tools.

With the instructor’s guidance, participants will select an organizational process that needs improvement, and will learn to use a multitude of tools as they work to improve the selected process. Reading assignments, quizzes, project homework and a final project presentation are required for successful completion. Successful students will be certified as Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Martina Bison-Huckaby, director of the Center for Executive Education, said offering Lean Six Sigma in the forensic sciences arena is a major step in process improvement.

“We have been offering management and leadership training to forensic professionals for the past 10 years through the Forensic Management Academy, which addresses several of the managerial competencies that are needed to run a crime laboratory and that are not normally directly addressed in the course of a manager’s professional development,” said Bison-Huckaby.

“The Lean Six Sigma methodology that has been adopted by various industries since the 1980s combines both the effort of process improvement and quality control by reducing the number of ‘defects’ or ‘errors’ to 3.4 per one million opportunities. Reducing errors in forensic crime laboratories is of the utmost importance, as errors in the analysis of evidence could lead to the wrong conviction with irreparable damage to individuals and society as a whole,” she said. “Tim Kupferschmid has successfully helped the forensic industry adopt efficiency methodology, so it made sense to team up with him to bring this program to a broader audience,” she added.

To learn more about this course, go to For further information about the WVU College of Business and Economics, follow B&E on Twitter at @wvucobe or visit



CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, WVU College of Business and Economics

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