UCL ISH Newsletter January 2016
View this email in your browser

UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage Newsletter



Welcome to 2016 and to the first issue of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage (UCL ISH) Newsletter. Here you will find news on the work carried out by UCL ISH academics and researchers during the first term of the academic year 2015-16. The last quarter of 2015 was busy indeed.  Not only did we welcome back 15 PhD students and 42 new Masters students from 15 different disciplines, but our international reach has extended to 15 countries worldwide.

This period was also characterised by meetings with international partners, the Smithsonian Institution and Heritage Malta, as well as deepening collaboration with our established partner, Historic England. UCL ISH academics also received public recognition. UCL ISH Deputy Director Professor Matija Strlic was awarded Ambassador of Science of the Republic of Slovenia and Dr Katherine Curran will make her 
TV debut in BBC4's ‘Hiddenkillers’. Together with our SEAHA partners, we took possession of the UK’s first Mobile Heritage Lab. You can read all about these stories and more below.

You can keep in touch with our research, publications, teaching and public activities on the UCL ISH website.  Join us also at our next public guest lecture by registering on our website.

May Cassar

Professor May Cassar
UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage
Prof Paul Ekins (c) UCL ISR

UCL ISH Director led UK heritage scientists to the Smithsonian Institution

Professor May Cassar, UCL ISH Director was invited by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to lead a transatlantic workshop in November 2015 on the theme of ‘Managing Cultural Heritage in a Climate Change(d) Future’ to celebrate AHRC’s 10th Anniversary. Working in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, the US Office of RCUK and AHRC, Professor Cassar developed the theme and programme.

Over two intensive days in Washington DC, heritage scientists from the UK and across the Smithsonian Institution were joined by researchers from the National Parks Service and the National Gallery Washington to identify the key challenges of sustainable heritage management in changing times and to explore how the arts and humanities and the sciences can learn from each other and collaborate to define new areas of research and new solutions.
Read more

Prof Paul Ekins (c) UCL ISR

UCL ISH Deputy Director awarded Ambassador of Science of the Republic of Slovenia for outstanding contribution to heritage science research and education

Professor Matija Strlic, UCL ISH Deputy Director, was recently awarded the highest national prize of the Republic of Slovenia for expatriate scientists. Matija received this exceptional award from the Minister of Education, Science and Sport at the award ceremony held on the 20 November, 2015. 

The Ambassador of Science award is given annually, usually to a single recipient who has demonstrated globally leading achievements in their field of scientific research, while keeping lively links with Slovenian researchers, thus promoting international knowledge exchange and research excellence. 

Read more

Prof Paul Ekins (c) UCL ISR

UCL ISH Director meets His Highness the Aga Khan

Professor May Cassar recently met His Highness The Aga Khan at the 50th Anniversary Conference of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) held in London. During their conversation, they discussed the impact of global change on cultural heritage, sustainable development and the role that the Institute’s MSc in Sustainable Heritage is playing in developing heritage leaders. The Aga Khan is the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, one of the largest private development networks in the world.

The organisation works 
towards improvement of the environment, health, education, architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, the promotion of private sector enterprise and the revitalisation of historic cities.

Read more
Prof Paul Ekins (c) UCL ISR

Dr. Katherine Curran interviewed for BBC4’s ‘Hiddenkillers’

Dr. Katherine Curran, UCL ISH Lecturer, was interviewed in October 2015 by TV presenter Suzannah Lipscomb for the BBC4 show “Hiddenkillers”. Filming for the show which looks at hazards in the home throughout history, took place in the UCL ISH Heritage Science Lab.

This episode focuses on the post-war home, and Katherine shared her expertise and enthusiasm for plastics, discussing the exciting developments that occurred in the science and manufacture of plastics during and after WWII and the impact this had on people’s lives and homes.

Read more

Prof Paul Ekins (c) UCL ISR

Officials from The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) tour our Heritage Science Lab

Tim Higginson, Head of NERC, ESRC, AHRC Sponsorship and Research Councils Unit, and Matthew Godwin, Political Research Assistant, Research Councils Unit, visited the UCL ISH Heritage Science Lab in November 2015 at the invitation of the UCL ISH Director.

They were given an extensive tour of the Heritage Science Lab, engaged with some of the cutting edge heritage science research currently taking place at UCL ISH and marvelled at the range of advanced scientific equipment that is used in heritage science.

Read more

Prof Paul Ekins (c) UCL ISR

Extensive media coverage for UCL ISH led research which produced a model that predicts ‘shelf life’ for library and archival collections 

Recent research from UCL ISH has demonstrated how interdisciplinary environmental, material and values research led to a new paradigm in collections management. 

By looking at collections as populations, researchers developed new statistical tools that help in the decision-making process of collection management. The research was featured on Yahoo News and The Hindu among others.

Read more
Prof Paul Ekins (c) UCL ISR

Numerous public engagement outings and the first projects developed with SEAHA Mobile Heritage Lab

The first projects using the UK’s first Mobile Heritage Lab (MHL), a unique research and public engagement vehicle have started. The vehicle has already participated in several events since its launch in May 2015, including two successful days of public engagement at Hampton Court Palace and the On Light festival.

The MHL is a joint venture of University College London, the University of Oxford and the University of Brighton, and it is funded by EPSRC. It is a mobile research infrastructure to support research and public engagement projects. It was the star exhibit at the AGM of the National Heritage Science Forum which was held at UCL in December 2015.

Read more

Prof Paul Ekins (c) UCL ISR

Welcome to new Research Assistant on the Nanorestart project, Carolien Coon

Carolien joined us in November 2015 as a Research Assistant working on the Horizon 2020 project: Nanomaterials for the restoration of works of art (Nanorestart).

Carolien completed her MRes in Heritage Science at UCL ISH and is currently pursuing a PhD, both within the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA).

Read more

Prof Paul Ekins (c) UCL ISR

MSc Sustainable Heritage staff and students carry out studies that will contribute to the design of the first Gozo National Museum

UCL ISH staff and students spent two weeks in December 2015 in Gozo, the second island of the Maltese archipelago, working with Heritage Malta, the national cultural heritage agency. They studied environmental data collected within existing museum buildings and within the modernist building earmarked for the new Gozo Museum.

In addition, they performed condition assessments of different museum collections, risk assessment, building mapping and pest management exercises. The students presented their findings at a seminar which was attended by the Minister for Gozo of the Government of Malta, and the Board and staff of Heritage Malta.

Read more

Prof Paul Ekins (c) UCL ISR

New research on ‘Heritage Science, Sport Science & Well-Being’ project is underway 

UCL ISH with our recently appointed researcher, Shaun McKinnar, is conducting research that aims to investigate the synergies between heritage science and sport science in historic landscapes, and their impact on wellbeing.

Utilising the equine sport of Eventing as an example of high impact sport, underpinned by archaeological science and equine biomechanics, we are seeking to understand the effect of high impact sport on the sustainable future of protected landscapes. Given the popularity of Eventing and its significant economic return for historic parkland owners, our aim is to understand also the wellbeing benefits derived from such events by volunteers and participants.

Read more

Prof Paul Ekins (c) UCL ISR

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) celebrates 10 years of outstanding research with a publication featuring UCL ISH

The AHRC marked its 10th anniversary in 2015 through a number of activities to showcase the achievements of the arts and humanities research community over the last decade.

For the 10-year anniversary brochure, UCL ISH Director Professor May Cassar discusses how heritage science is now accepted as an important research area in the UK. 

Read more


21 January
UCL ISH January Guest Lecture: Prof. Norman MacLeod (NHM) "Setting the Modern Biodiversity Crisis in Context"
Central House, Upper Woburn Place, London
Register via Eventbrite

18 February
UCL ISH February Guest Lecture: Simon Cane, Director of Public and Cultural Engagement, Title TBC
Central House, Upper Woburn Place, London
Register via Eventbrite

20 - 21 June
2nd International Conference on Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage, and Archaeology, University of Oxford.
More information here.

run monthly guest lectures from September through until May each year in Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London. For information on upcoming events please the UCL ISH website.

Subscribe to the Heritage Science Research Network (HSRN) blog

The HSRN is a Science & Engineering in Arts Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA) student initiative. The network aims to be a resource for the field of Heritage Science in the form of a blog with contributions coming from students, researchers, scientists within academia, heritage and industrial sectors. Recent blog posts cover reviews of heritage science conferences, heritage science in action and stimulating dialogue on common debates within the field. Visit the blog.



Fouseki, K. 2015. Dispute Management in Heritage Conservation: The Case of In Situ Museums. BAR International Series 2774. British Archaeological Reports - Oxford.

Strlic, M., Grossi, C.M., Dillon, C., Bell, N., Fouseki, K., Brimblecombe, P.,Menart, E., Ntanos, K., Lindsay, W., Thickett, D., France, F., De Bruin, G. Damage function for historic paper. Part I: Fitness for use. Heritage Science 2015, 3:33

Strlic, M., Grossi, C.M., Dillon, C., Bell, N., Fouseki, K., Brimblecombe,P.,Menart, E., Ntanos, K., Lindsay, W., Thickett, D., France, F., De Bruin, G. Damage function for historic paper. Part II: Wear and TearHeritage Science 2015, 3:36

Strlic, M., Grossi, C.M., Dillon, C., Bell, N., Fouseki, K., Brimblecombe,P.,Menart, E., Ntanos, K., Lindsay, W., Thickett, D., France, F., De Bruin, G. 
Damage function for historic paper. Part III: Isochrones and demography of collections. Heritage Science 2015, 3:40
Missed one of our events? Subscribe to the UCL ISH YouTube Channel
Copyright © 2016 UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage, All rights reserved.
You are receiving the UCL ISH newsletter

Our mailing address is:
UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage
Central House
14 Upper Woburn Place
London, London WC1H 0NN
United Kingdom

Add us to your address book

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp