Assoc Professor Gale Spring

Position

Adjunct Associate Professor

School /
Work Unit

School of Science

Contact Details

+61 3 9925 7743

gale.spring@rmit.edu.au

Location

Building: 202
Level: 01
Room: 014

Bundoora West campus

College/Portfolio

Science, Engineering and Health

Gale Spring Profile Image

Summary of responsibilities

Gale E. Spring is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Scientific Photography in the School of Science, College of Science, Engineering and Health. His continuing research interest and professional practice is in the area of creation and interpretation of images for forensic purposes.

After 25 years at RMIT University, he retired in 2013. His position before retirement was as the Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning in the School of Applied Sciences. He was also the Associate Professor of Scientific Photography, and previously, Program Leader of the multi-major B.Sc. Applied Science degree. He is based in the discipline of physics.

He has an extensive background in aspects of biomedical and forensic imaging and continues to be involved in scientific photography in the School of Science by coordinating and teaching the university elective subject Biomedical and Forensic Photography.

Originally from the United States, Professor Spring has lived in Melbourne since 1988. From 1976 to 1987, Professor Spring was the Director of Photographic Services in the Department of Pathology at The University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSCD) in Dallas, Texas. The department was affiliated and worked closely with the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science (SWIFS), the Medical Examiner’s Office for Dallas County. It was there Professor Spring was able to gain first-hand experience and knowledge in applications of imaging in areas of medicolegal, forensic and law enforcement. He worked extensively with the medical examiners, ballistics team and questioned documents areas as well as trace evidence. He combined this work with teaching photography in the UTHSCD Graduate School of Biomedical Communications.

From 1988 to 2007, Professor Spring was the Program Leader of the Bachelor and Master of Science, Scientific Photography degree programs at RMIT University. He was responsible for restructuring the RMIT Scientific Photography program, and achieved this by working closely with the medical, forensic and scientific industries as well as defence departments in Australia. He was also instrumental in the creation of the first official ‘forensic photography’ position at the newly established Victorian Institute of Forensic Pathology (now the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine).

Over the past 29 years, Professor Spring has been involved in many high-profile court cases in Australia, including the Jaidyn Leskie and the Peter Falconio murder cases. In 1989, he photographed all the remaining physical evidence in the Chamberlin v R Case - the investigation into the death of Baby Azaria - before it was archived awaiting new scientific processes in the event future investigation was needed.

He continues to consult and act as an expert witness on matters of photographic interpretation for both the prosecution and defence. He has also given expert testimony to the South Australia Medical Board and the Melbourne Coroner’s Court on issues concerning the photographic documentation from and interpretation of forensic evidence.

Presentations

Professor Spring gives numerous national and international presentations to law enforcement, legal fraternities, forensic, biomedical and general science groups as well as public lectures on the use and impact of images and new technology. He continues to be very active in consulting with numerous local, national and international agencies. He has also organized and conducted many workshops in medical, scientific and forensic imaging. He continues to provide teaching and training to government and non-government agencies, medical groups and law enforcement.

Research areas

"Smith and Wesson.38"

  • Forensic and Law Enforcement Photography
  • Digital Imaging applied to forensic interpretation
  • CCTV issues regarding identification and interpretation
  • Infrared and ultraviolet imaging
  • Photographic representation of low-light (scotopic) vision.

Mailing address

Adjunct Associate Professor Gale E. Spring
RMIT University School of Science
Bundoora Campus – Plenty Road
Bundoora, Victoria 3083

Industry experience

Memberships

  • Australian Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS)
  • Australia and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS)
  • Australian Institute of Medical and Biological Illustration (AIMBI)
  • BioCommunications Association (BCA)
  • Institute of Photographic Technology, Inc. (IPT)
  • Standards Australia, Ltd, Committee on Biometrics (IT-032) (Past member).

Professor Spring is a Fellow of the IPT, AIMBI and BCA. He holds Associateship and is a Registered Biological Illustrator (RBI) in AIMBI.

In 2011, Professor Spring was awarded the Louis Schmidt Award by the BioCommunications Association (USA) "for outstanding contributions to the progress of biocommunications."

Professor Spring contributed to the 2004 Australasian Guidelines for Digital Imaging Processes published by the Senior Managers of Australia and New Zealand Forensic Laboratories (SMANZFL) and has been again acknowledged for his contribution in the updated 2013 version of this publication.

Articles and papers have been published in various journals including the Alternative Law Journal, Australasian Science, the Journal of BioCommunication, Journal of Forensic Science (Australia) and PLOS One. He contributed the chapter on Forensic Photography in the 4th edition of the Encyclopedia of Photography (2007).