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SEAHA Mobile Heritage Lab visits the British Science Festival 2017

The SEAHA Mobile Heritage Lab (MHL) was in Brighton on the 9th September, as part of the British Science Festival. The British Science Festival is an annual event hosted by the British Science Association (BSA). The aim of Europe’s longest standing science festival is to engage members of the public with the work of scientists, engineers, technologists and social scientists from around the UK.

This year’s event, co-hosted by the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton, was held from the 5th to the 9th September.

With the Mobile Heritage Lab parked in the pedestrianised New Road (Brighton), members of the public had the chance to go inside and try out a selection of scientific instruments used in Heritage Science.

Inside the lab, our 3D microscope and UV torch proved particularly popular with science festival-goers. The 3D microscope allows for the rapid capture of images, measurement and creation of 3D models of objects. The large screen attached to the microscope displayed, in startling detail, the microscopic features of dozens of samples offered by the public throughout the day – everything from items of clothing, to jewelry to bank notes.

The Cultural Informatics Group (University of Brighton) were present to showcase ongoing research using 3D imaging techniques. The Minidome and MakerBot 3D printer captured the imagination of the public, prompting lots of discussion about its potential applications.The Minidome is an instrument that uses 198 lights and 1 camera to produce 3D relief models of physical objects. The captured images can then be saved as 3D models using open-source software (MeshLab), and 3D-printed using a 3D printer.

Brighton University’s Dr Karina Rodriguez-Echavarria, Dr Ran Song, Dr Roger Evans, Dean Few, Corinna Hattersley-Mitchell, Myrsini Samaroudi, Sandra Young were all present on the day to engage the public and help make the event a great success.

UCL’s Danae Pocobelli (SEAHA PhD student) was also on hand to showcase her PhD research in using Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the context of preserving historical buildings.

For more information about our Mobile Heritage Lab and how to request a visit, please see Mobile Heritage Lab page.

Written by Dr Miriam Wright, SEAHA Lab Technician