Advanced nanocomposite design/Conservation of Tudor textiles: an exciting new PhD project at the University of Glasgow

Published on: Author: sarahfoskett Leave a comment

Smart nanoparticle platforms for the treatment of textile artefacts recovered from the Mary Rose

The University of Glasgow is inviting applications for an exciting new PhD project at the University of Glasgow to design, develop and produce unique magnetic nanoparticles that will remove harmful species from textiles, with the focus being sail cloth, rope and leather from the Mary Rose.

This cutting-edge research is a collaboration between Dr Anita Quye (CTC), Dr Serena Corr (School of Chemistry and project lead) and Eleanor Schofield (Mary Rose Trust). It is fully funded with a prestigious University of Glasgow Lord Kelvin Adam Smith scholarship.

Project description: ‌

The Mary Rose hull was raised in 1982 after spending 437 years under the sea bed and is currently housed in a state-of-the-art museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Whilst buried under the seabed, hydrogen sulfide formed by sulfur-reducing bacteria migrated into the wooden hull and her contents. This reacted with iron ions, from corroded fixtures, to form iron sulfides. Stable in low-oxygen environments, sulfur rapidly oxidises in the presence of iron under atmospheric conditions to form destructive acid. The iron corrosion, coupled to this acid formation, threatens the long term stability of many artefacts retrieved from the Mary Rosehull.  A suitable conservation strategy must be determined to prevent these priceless artefacts from being destroyed.

This project will design, develop and produce a multifunctional nanoplatform, based on magnetic nanoparticles, whose surface chemistry has been uniquely tailored with sequestering agents to completely remove harmful species from specific artefacts. While there were over 19,000 artefacts recovered from the Mary Rose, this project will focus on textiles including sail cloth, rope and leather.  This project is a unique collaboration between the Corr group at Glasgow chemistry who are experts in nanocomposite design and synthesis, the Quye group at Glasgow Culture and Creative Arts who are experts in the conservation of heritage textiles and Dr Eleanor Schofield, conservation manager at the Mary Rose trust.

Person Specification: As one of the criteria for awarding  scholarships is the fit between the project and the candidate you should explicitly outline the academic qualifications, skills, experience and personal attributes that are sought in an applicant.

Over the course of this project, you will be trained in all aspects of nanoparticle synthesis and surface functionalisation. You will work closely with other Corr group members working on conservation strategies for wooden artefacts as part of an active research team in our group.  You will also be trained in how to fully characterise your materials and examine their effect on textile samples taken from the Mary Rose.  You will also spend significant time with the Quye group and liaising with the Mary Rose Trust. Applicants should hold a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Materials Science, Cultural Heritage Science or related disciplines. Any previous experience in archaeological chemistry is advantageous, though not essential.  The successful candidate should be highly ambitious, enthusiastic and self-motivated.  Good English writing and communication skills are essential. Funding is available to cover research fees, essential consumables, travel costs for project meetings and selected conferences, as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate.

Application details: Applicants should contact Dr Serena Corr with any specific queries ( before Friday 22 January 2016.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *