1st International SEAHA Conference


The first international SEAHA conference can be deemed a success! On July 14, 2015, nearly 180 delegates came together at the University College London for two-days of presentations, posters and discussions on heritage science research, innovation and best practice in the interpretation, conservation, management and digitization of cultural heritage. Delegates gathered from 20 countries from around the world for an impressive turnout representing scientists, researchers, engineers, professionals, practitioners, entrepreneurs, and policy-makers engaging globally with the emerging trends in the field.

2015_SEAHA_conf-0121The programme included 24 talks, 75 posters, and a round table discussion on “The Future of Heritage Science.” May Cassar, Director of the UCL Institute of Sustainable Heritage and the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training SEAHA, kicked off the conference, “Looking back; thinking forward: SEAHA’s contribution to the development of heritage science.” Three keynote speakers presented over the two-day conference including Steve Trow (Director of Heritage Protection at Historic England), Sean O’Reilly (Director of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation), and Nancy Bell (Head of Collection Care at the National Archives UK and Co-Chair of the National Heritage Science Forum).

2015_SEAHA_conf-0152The programme was divided into sessions focusing on the SEAHA streams of digital, environment and materials.

  • The Digital Sessions included presentations on text mining medieval d
    ocuments, challenges of mass 3D digitization, innovative processing of RTI data, and inflatable domes for immersive virtual reality reconstructions.
  • The Environment Sessions included presentations on particle deposition, indoor particulate matter pollution, microclimates and display cases, and modeling of heat and moisture transport for risk analysis and collections management.
  • The Materials Sessions included presentations on the cross-disciplinary research project and the Staffordshire Hoard, risk assessment of salt laden building materials, VOC analysis and care of modern materials, modeling the chemistry of oil paint media, gel cleaning technologies, and reconstructing a lost colour chart from technical imaging and analysis.

2015_SEAHA_conf-0227The presentations and posters covered a breadth of topics and disciplines representing the very nature of the emerging field of Heritage Science. For more information about the presentations and posters presented at the conference the Book of Abstracts can be downloaded online.

The final session included a Round Table Discussion on “The Future of Heritage Science.” Panelists represented academia, heritage institutions and industry and engaged in an insightful discussion exploring three questions:

  • What are the critical issues related to heritage science careers particularly in industry, heritage organizations, and academia?
  • What a unique offer of heritage science graduates might be in terms of these careers?
  • How cross-disciplinary training can ensure that these developed skills are competitive?

Videos of the Round Table Discussion and the Q&A with the audience are available online on YouTube, click the following links:

Photos from the conference can be seen on the SEAHA CDT Flickr page.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to the support of our six commercial exhibitors and the advice and guidance the from Steering Committee of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology.

We hope you will consider joining us again next year at Oxford University during the summer of 2016.

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