My Path Through Research

The Trials and Triumphs of Doing a PhD

Workshopping in Leiden

The second week of January was spent in a workshop in Leiden on ‘Electrochemistry in Historical and Archaeological Conservation‘. Although I am not working on metals and don’t see much use of electrochemical techniques, at least at the moment, in my PhD studies, I thought it would nevertheless be a good idea to learn about the techniques used to study other materials; in any way principles of conservation in the different fields are similar if not the same, so even learning about similar fields could help me produce a more coherent idea about my research.

The programme was split into lectures in the morning and practical sessions in the afternoon, with different days being dedicated to different aspects such that Monday was dedicated to analysis, Tuesday to Cleaning and Stabilisation, Wednesday to Protection, Thursday to Testing and Monitoring and Friday to Standards and Education. The sections I was most interested in where the Analysis sections and the Testing and Monitoring sections. However, to my surprise I also found the protection sections particularly interesting, and the standards and education discussions were enlightening in a broader sense (i.e. the discussion could be just as applicable to metals as to other materials).

All in all a successful workshop! It was great to meet some people I had worked with in Malta, and of course meeting new people and hearing their ideas is always good and can spark off a good few ideas which you weren’t expecting. The workshop dinner and the trip to a museum was of course, as always, a good time!

Now I am back in London. It feels great to be back to London and back to work. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to coming back here after Christmas as coming back here after the last Christmas and Easter holidays was not the easiest. however this time I seem to have settled back to work much quicker…hopefully this augurs well for the coming year of work!

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