Author: Isabella von Holstein

Conservation of materials in a changing world

How can we prevent damage to old objects when the environment around them is changing? Imperial College London and the Victoria and Albert Museum are collaborating to solve new questions in the conservation of materials.

On 7 September, the Science and Engineering Research for Cultural Heritage network organised a collaborative workshop with the conservation team at the V&A. The goal was to brainstorm areas where Imperial scientists and engineers could collaborate with museum conservators and scientists, in order to solve problems in conserving cultural heritage objects.

A handheld XRF analyser is pointed at a shallow cream and blue bowl.
Roman glass being analysed by a handheld XRF analyser. XRF identifies elemental composition, which is essential for conservation of materials. ©V&A


IMSE people – Javiera Pérez, MRes alumna

Over the summer of 2022, we’re catching up with some of the people who came to study at IMSE on the Molecular Science and Engineering MRes. They are now going on to a wide variety of exiting jobs in the world. The IMSE masters course in molecular engineering has been running since 2017, so there are more than 30 MRes alumni. This week, we speak to Javiera Perez, who studied at IMSE in 2019-2020.


UK chemicals regulation – a rapidly evolving system

Part of my job as Translation and Research Manager is to support the production of new IMSE briefing papers. Topics vary as widely as IMSE’s research themes, which cover sustainability, innovation and health and wellbeing. One of the current papers in preparation is on chemical additives in plastics. This really combines all three themes! So I’ve been exploring how the UK currently does chemicals regulation. It’s complicated… To find out more, I attended a meeting of the UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum last month.


The next generation: tech, people and skills

It may sound like a cliché these days to hear people describe some new piece of technology as ‘next generation’. But here at IMSE, we’re working on the convergent science that underpins those kinds of technologies. And on our Master’s course, we’re training the people who will invent and develop these next generation technologies, and the manufacturing processes for them too. On 23rd June this year, we got to hear from our current cohort of 12 MRes students about progress on their research projects. It’s a great day for IMSE every year to see our students putting the IMSE approach into practice!


Moss balls and marbling

Imperial College London is committed to sharing the wonder and excitement of the science that we do. So it is part of the Great Exhibition Road Festival every June, a two-day science and art party for all ages! In 2022, the theme was trailblazers. Imperial worked alongside some of the great museums and institutes in the Albertopolis to deliver talks, workshops, performances and activities. And of course IMSE was there as well!

Joao Cabral and Liva Donina grinning in front of the poster for the marbling activity at the 2022 Great Exhibition Road Festival
Joao Cabral and Liva Donina at the 2022 Great Exhibition Road Festival