Dr Donna Arnold tells us more about the exciting work with the Mary Rose Trust that she’s part of to try and develop techniques to protect the artefacts from further damage, as well as the opportunities available for students to get hands on through a Chemistry Research Masters.
Part of the academic role is to perform scientific research. During lockdown, non-COVID research has also continued.
Whilst we have not been able to go into the laboratories and perform experimental based studies we have been continuing to support our postgraduate students to perform data analysis and to write papers and theses as well as doing these things ourselves too.
In a Forensic Science context we have been looking at artefacts salvaged from the Mary Rose. The Mary Rose was Henry VIII warship. She sunk in 1545 off the coast of Portsmouth. In 1982 she was raised from the seabed and is on show at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth. Her time on the bottom of the sea have meant that some of the artefacts are degrading.
We have been working with the Mary Rose Trust to understand the effects of immersion in sea water on bricks that were located in the galley of the ship. We have been using x-ray diffraction and spectroscopy to investigate the parasitic phases present in these materials to understand their composition so that we can potentially develop techniques to protect the artefacts from further damage.
You can find out more about the team’s work on the Mary Rose in a Think Kent Discovers documentary. The webinar, “Mary Rose – A Chemical Conundrum”, is part of a series of cutting edge research documentaries produced by the University of Kent in association with KMTV, is now available on YouTube.
This episode looks at how our academics helped to preserve, and put on display, the pride of the Tudor fleet. It features Professor Alan Chadwick, Emeritus Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Kent as well as Professor Eleanor Schofield, Head of Conservation & Collections Care at the Mary Rose Trust and Fred Mosselmans, Principal Beamline Scientist responsible for I20 at Diamond Light Source.
If you are interested in pursuing postgraduate masters projects in this area please speak with Dr Donna Arnold (firstname.lastname@example.org).