AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award – Research Training Grant
Cardiff School of History, Archaeology and Religion in conjunction with Historic Scotland and The Tank Museum, Bovington are pleased to announce one AHRC/CDA Research Training Grant (PGR) PhD Studentship.
Aim: The award is established to quantify corrosion of historical wrought iron and steel to develop predictive preservation methods and strategies
Start date: October 2012
Supervisor: Professor David Watkinson
Background and structure
Iron forms a large part of the historical heritage preserved in museums, monuments and engineering contexts. Its tendency to corrode means that is presents a complex preservation problem. Many museum collections contain a wide range of vehicles, machinery and equipment housed outdoors or in rudimentary sheds and stores where they are subject to high fluctuating humidity and condensation. Within the heritage sector, controlling corrosion in these contexts mostly takes the form either of protective coatings such as paints, lacquers and waxes or environmental control of the moisture that promotes corrosion. Yet, the longevity and protective ability of these coatings are largely unknown and un-quantified, as are the corrosion rates of uncoated iron alloys contained in heritage contexts.
This research will provide quantitative data that will be used to develop evidence based conservation and to predict corrosion damage. It will quantify the corrosion rates of historic wrought iron from architectural furniture and steels from historic military vehicles in controlled laboratory environments. Results will be used to assess and predict the impact of differing storage environments on the corrosion of heritage iron and steel. The same quantitative method of measuring corrosion by oxygen consumption in controlled environments will be used to determine the performance of protective coatings applied to historic ferrous metal samples. The results will allow comparisons between the effectiveness of individual coating systems and their performance when compared to uncoated samples. Ultimately, the project will provide underpinning data for developing a management tool for predictive preservation of ferrous metals within the Heritage Sector.
Current Work at Cardiff
Professor Watkinson currently manages an AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage grant employing a post-doc to examine the corrosion rate of archaeological iron objects post-excavation as a function of relative humidity and chloride contained within an object. Historic Scotland fund Cardiff research that is examining the preparation of wrought iron surfaces for paint and the performance of paint on those surfaces.
Research Group Context
The Department of Archaeology and Conservation ferrous metals research group contributes leading research on the preservation of archaeological and heritage based ferrous metal objects. The group elucidated corrosion processes occurring on the iron hull of Brunel’s ss Great Britain and established operational parameters for its preservation by desiccation. Long term study in Cardiff has identified how deoxygenated alkaline chloride extraction methods reduce the corrosion rate of archaeological iron, which provided an evidence based protocol for their use within the heritage sector. Current collaboration with English Heritage is producing national storage and display guidelines for archaeological metals. Cardiff research is widely reported at international conferences, with over 20 presentations in the past 10 years, and also in print within conservation-oriented journals and conference proceedings.
Project Partners Historic Scotland is an executive agency charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment and promoting its understanding and enjoyment. It has a Technical Department that undertakes its own research and sponsors wide ranging research into material decay and conservation. This project will include a 6 month period in Edinburgh at the Historic Scotland laboratories. The Tank Museum has over 300 military vehicles to preserve and maintain and is active in promoting and supporting scientific research to support the preservation of its collections, as well as developing policy for the conservation of vehicles.
Full UK tuition fees plus stipend (Travel allowance and consumables funded by Historic Scotland and The Tank Museum)
Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals, and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. To be eligible for the full award, EU Nationals must have been in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course for which they are seeking funding, including for the purposes of full-time education. EU Nationals who do not meet the above residency requirement are eligible for a fees-only award, provided that they have been ordinarily resident in the EU for at least 3 years prior to the start of their proposed programme of study.
Applicants should normally possess a 2.1 degree preferably from a conservation or materials science background. Applicants holding other degrees may be considered according to their overall academic profile and/or experience. Possession of a science or heritage oriented Masters degree would be an advantage, but is not essential.
Please apply online via Cardiff University’s website, selecting Doctor of Philosophy (Conservation) (October Start)
Application deadline: 3 August 2012
Once you have submitted your online application, please send a full CV and a statement as to why you wish to undertake this study to Professor Watkinson (email: Watkinson@cardiff.ac.uk)
Interviews will be held in the week 20th -24th August 2012. Invitations to interview will be by email.
Name: Professor David Watkinson, email: Watkinson@cardiff.ac.uk