ISAAC Seminar and Launch

The Application of Scientific Analysis to Cultural Heritage Research

Wednesday 23 January 2013, 12 noon to 4.30pm

Penthouse, Sir Alwyn Williams Building, 14 Lilybank Gardens, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ

 The University of Glasgow’s Imaging Spectroscopy and Analysis Centre (ISAAC) is hosting a unique seminar to discuss the insights and benefits achievable by applying characterisation and analysis to heritage science research and conservation. Located in the University’s School of Geographical & Earth Sciences (GES), ISAAC has an extensive track record for providing micro and nano scale examination of paintings, textiles, building stone, etc., to inform decision-making, policy, and operations.

This seminar will feature a diverse set of renowned speakers from the Natural History Museum in London, Historic Scotland, National Museums Scotland, the Doerner Institut in Munich, and the University of Glasgow. Topics will be of interest to scientists, curators, and conservators of fine art, textiles, paper, pottery, bones, historical artefacts, building materials, and rocks & minerals, who are working in cultural heritage preservation organisations; museum or conservation trade associations; public, private, and university museums; university or museum scientific research centres; major art galleries; auction houses; and, conservation services companies and consultants. The full programme can be viewed here.

To attend this exciting event, please register at Eventbrite. The closing date for registrations is Friday, 18th January 2013. 

Speaker Biographies

Martin Lee, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Glasgow: Martin received a BSc in Geology from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Geology from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Following post-doctoral research at the Universities of Essex and Edinburgh, he came to the University of Glasgow in 2000. Martin’s current research interests focus on using electron microscopy to understand the histories of rocks and minerals, from locations as diverse as the planet Mars, historic buildings in Glasgow, North Sea oilfields, and the asteroid belt. He is also Director of ISAAC, which he helped to set up in 2010 with Peter Chung and Prof Maggie Cusack.

Peter Chung, ISAAC Microanalyst, University of Glasgow: Peter received a BSc in Geology from the University of Glasgow and a MPhil in Applied Geology from the University of Strathclyde, where he researched silver mineralisation in Scotland. After joining the Department of Geographical and Topographical Science at the University of Glasgow in 1991 as a research technician, he established the Physical Geography laboratories for characterisation of sediments. Peter has extensive experience in environmental monitoring and ground and hydrological surveying. In 2007 he was appointed Microanalyst and helped to set up ISAAC in 2010 with Prof Martin Lee and Prof Maggie Cusack, which he now manages full-time.

Dr John Faithfull, Curator of Rock and Mineral Collections, Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow: John received a BSc and a PhD in Geology, both from the University of Durham, where he researched the “Petrology and Geochemistry of the Lower Eastern Layered Series, Rhum”. From 1984 John served as curator of rock and mineral collections for the University of Leicester, before he returned to Scotland to join the Hunterian Museum in a similar capacity in 1991. He has provided a mineralogical perspective on a wide range of topics from Channel Tunnel concrete to gemstone identification to museum issues.

Dr Craig Kennedy, Head of Technical Conservation Group, Historic Scotland: Craig received a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Stirling and a PhD from Cardiff University, where he studied the deterioration of collagen within historic parchment. Following a post-doctoral position examining the structure of cellulose micro fibrils in higher plants, he joined Historic Scotland in 2006 as Conservation Scientist. Now Senior Conservation Scientist, Craig manages a small team carrying out research in to historic building materials, with particular reference to decay mechanisms and the effects of conservation treatments.

Dr Farah Ahmed, X-ray CT Facility Manager, Natural History Museum: Farah received a BSc in Biomaterials Engineering and a PhD in Biophysics, both from Queen Mary University of London. As a PhD researcher, she studied the 3D structure of pathological bone using Micro-CT. Then following a short research position in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at QMUL, Farah worked in a CT based consultancy. Currently she manages the X-ray CT Facility at London’s Natural History Museum and annually works on more than 100 CT related projects across all science disciplines.

Professor Maggie Cusack, Professor of Biomineralisation and Head of School, University of Glasgow: Maggie received a BSc in Cell Biology from the University of Glasgow and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Liverpool. She joined the University of Glasgow in 1990 and is currently serving as Head of School for Geographical and Earth Sciences. Maggie’s research is focused on biominerals, such as shells, bones, and corals. Her work is very multi-disciplinary and is currently focused in 3 main areas – bimimetics for novel bone therapies, climate proxies recorded within biominerals, and the impact of ocean acidification on biomineralising organisms. In 2007, Maggie was awarded the Saltire Prize for Science, and in 2011, she became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. With Peter Chung and Prof Martin Lee, she helped to set up ISAAC in 2010.

Lore Troalen, Analytical Scientist, National Museums Scotland: Lore received a Maîtrise de Chimie Organique from the University of Paris XI (Orsay) and further (MSc and MPhil level) qualifications in Archaeo Materials Science from the University of Bordeaux. She is currently completing her PhD in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, funded through the Science and Heritage Programme, where her research is focused on the investigation of historical textiles and native North American quillwork. Prior to joining National Museums Scotland in 2005 as an Analytical Scientist, Lore worked in the polychromy research group at the French Museums' Centre for Research and Restoration (LC2RMF), followed by a year at the Malta Centre for Restoration, Heritage Malta. 

Dr Erma Hermens, Senior Lecturer in Technical Art History, University of Glasgow: Erma received Masters Degrees in Art History and Italian and then a PhD in Art History, all from Leiden University in The Netherlands. She also trained and worked as a painting conservator. Erma joined the University of Glasgow in 2005. She has published and lectured widely in the field of Technical Art History, specialising in historical painting techniques from the 16th to 20th Century and issues of authenticity and authentication. She co-founded and is presently chief editor of ArtMatters: International Journal for Technical Art History, as well as organising international conferences and project leading or co-curating recent exhibitions. 

Dr Mark Richter, Researcher, Doerner Institut: Mark received a Masters Degree in the conservation of paintings and polychrome sculpture from the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany, before completing his PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art of the University of London. Since 2000 Mark has worked on numerous arts research projects while based in Germany, including more recently a variety of authentication projects involving early 20th Century paintings for the Doerner Institute in Munich. He will join the University of Glasgow as a Lecturer in Technical Art History in January 2013 and is on the editorial board of ArtMatters: International Journal for Technical Art History.