Announcement: 1st International SEAHA Conference

We are delighted to announce details of the “Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology” Conference taking place on Tuesday 14 & Wednesday 15 July 2015 at UCL, London.

This is the first, International SEAHA conference on heritage science research, innovation and best practise in the interpretation, conservation and management of cultural heritage. Heritage science is a cross-disciplinary field connecting science and the humanities, therefore, the conference aims to provide a platform for scientists, engineers, professionals, entrepreneurs, and policy makers, to engage and discuss emerging trends in the field. There is an ongoing dialogue over global issues, which define the research and technological applications of heritage scientists.

For further details regarding the conference, please visit the Conference website.


The UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage is delighted to announce the appointment of Josep Grau Bove as Lecturer in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA).

Josep studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Tarragona and History of Science at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, before joining the former Centre for Sustainable Heritage in 2011 to study for a PhD in monitoring and computational modelling of particulate matter in indoor heritage environments. His current research interests are in the use of modelling and use of data in heritage science, including crowd-sourced data.  Josep will join the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage working principally on the SEAHA project on 1st April 2015.

On Light Event, 2015

SEAHA are pleased to announce their participation in On Light, a two-day UCL festival celebrating the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, in partnership with Wellcome Trust. Join our heritage scientists to learn how infrared, ultraviolet, and thermal imaging can assist in the understanding of an object’s material composition, art historical investigations as well as artist techniques and intentions. Participants will be invited to analyse objects in our new Mobile Heritage Lab using different light sources to discover hidden details, take thermal ‘selfies’ and explore how the use of hyperspectral imaging can aid art conservation practices.

On the day visitors can also take part in a record breaking attempt to create the world’s largest cyanotype print, visit the Institute of Making to learn about light manipulating materials, and venture into ‘The Cabinet’ – showcasing some of the weird and wonderful objects from UCL Museums and Collections.

For more information on all the UCL and Wellcome Trust activities please visit https://www.ucl.ac.uk/pace/news/March2015/On-Light.

The event will be located the UCL Bloomsbury Campus and will run from 1pm to 6pm on Saturday, May 2nd 2015.

SEAHA Student 3D Scanning at the Freud Museum

KeatsDuring the week of 23-27 March, our very own Keats Webb will be 3D scanning select collection objects in the Study of the Freud Museum, and presenting 26 March.  The presentation will look at the infrared and 3D imaging techniques that are being used to document the Freud Museum objects and some of the current imaging results. Pop along and see her in action!

E. Keats Webb on 3D scanning the Freud Museum Collection

Info on 3D scanning
Hear Keats talking about her work, here.

Header image

E. Keats Webb: Human-headed Bird (#3286), Ptolemaic Period: 332-30B.C., Gessoed and painted wood.
(a) Visible light image; (b) Reflected IR image; (c) Visible-induced infrared luminescence suggesting the presence of Egyptian blue.

SEAHA Vacancy

We are seeking to appoint a Lecturer in Science and Heritage to undertake teaching, research and related activities within the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage, in particular to support the delivery of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA) a collaboration between UCL, the University of Oxford and the University of Brighton. The SEAHA Lecturer will take a lead in coordinating the CDT’s student cohort activities and in managing the UK’s first Mobile Heritage Science Laboratory and in building the Institute’s overall level of public engagement. For full details and to apply, click here: http://tiny.cc/2o54rx.

CLOSING DATE:  8th February 2015

Arius Technology donates 3D Scanner to SEAHA

Russel painting in Arius 3D scannerUCL’s successful EPSRC bid for a Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA) has attracted keen industry and heritage support, especially among museums.

Arius Technology, the high-resolution scanner manufacturer, is donating a start-of-the-art 3D colour scanner to the new Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology, hosted at UCL.

This next generation technology – with improved resolution and colour depth compared to previous scanners – will allow the Centre to build on UCL’s world-leading research in 3D scanning, led by Professor Stuart Robson, Head of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE) and on the university’s outstanding capabilities in heritage museum technologies, developed by the  UCL Petrie Museum.

Speaking about the donation, Director of SEAHA, Professor May Cassar said:

“The generosity of Arius Technology demonstrates great confidence in our ground-breaking endeavour to train the next generation of heritage scientists.”

“This state of the art 3D colour scanner will make a major contribution to the development of the skills base of our students by marrying cultural heritage research with cutting edge technology.”

The full article is available from UCL News.

Image:The painting ‘beach scene’ by Walter Westley Russell, UCL Art Collection (Acc. No.5535) under the Arius3D colour laser scanner.


Welcome to SEAHA!

SEAHA – the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology – is about learning, discovering, innovating and forging new knowledge in the stimulating field of heritage science. Heritage science is about understanding, interpreting, conserving and managing cultural heritage.

SEAHA is unique. It brings together experts from University College London, University of Oxford and the University of Brighton to study in three subject areas vital to heritage science: materials, environment and digital technologies. But we are not working in an academic vacuum. The nature and importance of cultural heritage is hotly debated and presents many challenges that engage many disciplines beyond science and engineering. For example, what is the nature of material alteration? Is it just surfaces that change? What is the perception of public to change? Is it positive (i.e. are we wowed by the patina of age?) Is it negative (i.e. is all we see rust and things falling apart?) and does it therefore detract from an object? What if our opinion of decay is different from that of everyone else? What if decay is beautiful and appreciated by the public, what do we do? Can we resist leaving well alone? Who is the final decision maker on whether change is acceptable?

To help us answer these questions, we are working in partnership with the most important heritage organisations on the planet and with the most advanced and forward thinking industries that find cultural heritage in all its beauty and complexity as intriguing and challenging as we do. So, if you want to join us in this venture, or just want to find out more, please browse our website and do get in touch if you would like to be part of SEAHA!

May Cassar, SEAHA Director

Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts Heritage and Archaeology