New Science Lab Opens

By Dr Eric Nordgren AFHEA, Science Liaison Officer

The College has welcomed new and returning students to a brand new facility for science teaching and research, in support of conservation. The new science lab features considerably more space for laboratory teaching and analytical work than was previously available, dedicated workspaces for analytical equipment and room to grow as new capabilities are added in the future. Laboratory-grade flooring and work surfaces have been installed throughout, and upgraded seating, lighting, electric power, IT connectivity and laboratory sink complete the space.  

The new lab will allow for more effective practical lab teaching in support of science units in Graduate Diploma and MA Conservation programmes.  Our MA students will have enhanced facilities to carry out their Masters Dissertation research.  It will also help to support West Dean’s academic staff to conduct research in the fields of conservation or heritage science.

Two new pieces of analytical equipment have recently been added to the lab:- a Q-Lab XE1-B light ageing chamber and a Zwick-Roell 5kN Universal Testing Machine, also known as a Tensometer – this was purchased with a generous grant from the Hedley Foundation, and has already been used to support three MA student projects.  Recently, we have received a further grant from the Hedley Foundation to purchase additional tooling for the Tensometer, allowing the tensile testing of irregular and offset samples.  We are very grateful for the Hedley Foundation’s support.  

For prospective conservation students, the Science Lab will be open for tours at our next Open Day on Friday 6 December. You can register your place here.

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Conservation students working with the new Tensometer
The new Science Lab has dedicated workspaces for analytical equipment
The Tensometer
Dr Eric Nordgren works with Conservation students in the new Science Lab

Dr Eric Nordgren AFHEA

Dr Eric Nordgren brings over 20 years' experience as a metals conservator, working with museums, universities, heritage agencies and private practice in the US, UK and around the world. He has conserved metal objects from Roman swords to components from an Enigma machine and has a strong interest in the scientific understanding of metals, their properties and corrosion as they inform conservation. Eric is active in the Icon Metals and Heritage Science groups. He is also an associate member of AIC, ICOM-CC and the Historical Metallurgy Society.