This webinar will be held on zoom. The structure of the event will be two 20 minute presentations followed by audience Q&A. Please register to be sent the joining instructions. You can pre-submit questions for the Q&A section when registering.

This webinar is part of the series

Science & Engineering Research for Cultural Heritage

The theme discussed in this webinar will be:

Spectroscopy and Laser Cleaning


Dr Austin Nevin

Head of the Department of Conservation in The Courtauld Institute of Art

Their research focuses on the conservation and analysis of paintings, ancient and modern art on walls, easels and on paper and ranges from Chinese wall paintings to the analysis of Egyptian Polychromy and the analysis of red pigments from Leonardo´s The Last Supper. Recent research also identified egg binders in wall paintings from Tel Kabri, the second oldest example of organic binding media in western paintings.They are a conservator and conservation scientist. Prior to joining The Courtauld they coordinated the MA degree in conservation at the University of Gothenburg and taught at the Accademia di Brera in Milan. Between 2011-2019 they were a Researcher at the Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie (IFN) in Milan, part of the Italian National Research Council. They completed their post doctoral research at the Department of Physics at the Politecnico di Milano on applications of time resolved fluorescence spectroscopy to cultural heritage, and at The Courtauld as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, where they led the Master of the Fogg Pietà Project. Between 2004-2007 they were a Marie Curie Early Stage Research Fellow at the Foundation for Research and Technology (IESL-FORTH) in Greece.

Following a degree in Chemistry from the University of Oxford (2001), they obtained an MA in the Conservation of Wall Painting (2004) and a PhD at The Courtauld (2008).

They are Vice President and Fellow of the International Institute for the Conservation of Artistic and Historic Works and have chaired the Technical Committees for the Edinburgh (2020), Turin (2018), Los Angeles (2016) and Hong Kong (2014) Congresses. They also served as the Coordinator of the Scientific Research working group of ICOM-CC from 2011-2014, and are currently on the Conseil Scientifique of the La Maison des Sciences de l’Homme et de la Société Sud-Est (France). They are an Editor of Studies in Conservation and of the Springer Series Cultural Heritage Science

Dr Reshma Rao

Research Associate in Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London

Reshma holds a MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southampton (2014). In June 2019, she completed her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she worked with Professor Yang Shao-Horn on understanding the fundamental processes that occur at oxide-water interfaces under electrochemical conditions that are relevant for water splitting. Since January 2020, she is a Research Associate in Professor James Durrant’s group and is working on spectroelectrochemical studies of (photo)electrochemical interfaces.

More events in the “Science and Engineering Research for Cultural Heritage” Series

About Science and Engineering Research for Cultural Heritage

A Network of Excellence connecting scientists & engineers with conservators & heritage professionals to find solutions to cultural heritage problems. The artworks, artefacts and structures inherited from the past have a powerful impact on our society, so the conservation of our cultural heritage is fundamental for future generations. This shared cultural heritage requires intervention to stabilise and prevent further degradation of often unique artefacts. This degradation results from use, ageing, unpredicted events, environmental conditions, and poorly chosen previous restoration treatments whose details are often unknown. Scientists and engineers can assist greatly by identifying the changes in the materials, the mechanisms of degradation, and predicting how the object will respond to conservation and display. This knowledge enables conservators to make informed choices about suitable treatments, so the conservation of cultural heritage is truly interdisciplinary.

About The Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering

The Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering (IMSE) is one of Imperial College London’s Global Institutes, drawing on the strength of its four faculties to address some of the grand challenges facing the world today. The Institute’s activities are focused on tackling problems where molecular innovation plays an important role.

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