EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Bartlett Sch of Env, Energy & Resources


The EPSRC Collaborative Doctoral Training Centre in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (CDT SEAHA) will create a sustainable world-leading training hub producing leaders in the cutting-edge domains of measurement and sensing, materials characterisation, interaction technologies, digital technologies and new ventures. The graduates from the programs will not only create new scientific and engineering knowledge and fill skills gaps in these domains but have a deep understanding of the ethical, practical, economic and social imperatives of the deployment of this knowledge in the arts, Heritage and Archaeological sectors.
University College London, University of Oxford and University of Brighton will work as a team bringing together highly complementary supervisory capacities in order to fill the skills gap in the cycle of data creation, data to knowledge and knowledge to enterprise by pushing the state-of-the-art in metrology, sensing, spectroscopy, materials characterisation, modelling, big data mining, crowd engagement, new interaction technologies, digital technology and business skills. Partnering with globally renowned (national and international) heritage organisations representing a world class, broad range of forms of heritage and the arts, the student cohorts will be trained and developed in fully engaged cross-disciplinary environments, challenged by research questions addressing complex materials and environments. The most advanced scientific tools and approaches, some to be developed in collaboration with the Diamond Light Source and the National Physical Laboratory, will be deployed to answer questions on its origin, date, creation, conservation and composition of objects and materials. In addition to the fundamental physical science approach, the students will, in an innovative cohort approach to training and development, explore ways of engaging with presentation and visualisation methods, using pervasive mobile, digital and creative technologies, and with qualitative and participatory methods.
This approach will engage the sensors and instrumentation industrial domain, as well as creative industries, both high added value industries and major contributors to the UK economy. The CDT will have a transformative effect on public institutions concerned with heritage interpretation, conservation and management, generating substantial tourism income. Without the CDT, some of the most dynamic UK sectors will lose their competitive edge in the global arts and heritage market.
The CDT was created with the close involvement of a number of stakeholders crucially contributing to the development of the training programme based on the cohort teaching approach. The added value of this approach is in that creativity is unleashed through the promotion of excellence in a series of cohort activities, in which the Partner institutions intensively collaborate in teaching, placements, supervision, networking and organisation of public engagement events.
The particular added value of this CDT is the high potential for engagement of the general public with science and engineering, while promoting responsible innovation conscious of ethical and social dimensions of arts, heritage and archaeology.
The CDT SEAHA builds on the highly successful AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Programme at UCL which mobilised the UK heritage science sector and repositioned it at the forefront of global development. The CDT will represent a step-change in capacity building; it will propel a young generation of cross-disciplinary scientists and engineers into highly challenging but hugely interesting and rewarding careers in the heritage sector, in SMEs, and public institutions and equip them with translational and transferrable skills that will enable them to thrive in the most complex research and entrepreneurial environments.

Planned Impact

1. Academic beneficiaries: The CDT will develop scientific and engineering excellence in the domain of cultural heritage scientific and engineering research and more fundamentally in the enabling domains of imaging and sensing, visualisation, modelling, computational analysis and digital technology. While the CDT focusses on the complex materials and environments of the arts, heritage and archaeology, it will be broadly influential due to the range of novel methods and approaches to be developed in collaboration with the Diamond Light Source and the National Physical Laboratory. The establishment of a student and alumni-managed 'Heritage Science Research Network', will enable CDT's cross-disciplinarity to bridge EPSRC subject boundaries impacting scholarly research in the arts and humanities and social sciences.
2. Heritage beneficiaries: The CDT will have a transformational effect on public heritage institutions by dovetailing 'Data creation', 'Data to knowledge' and 'Knowledge to enterprise' research strands. The resulting advances in understanding, interpretation, conservation, presentation, management, communication, visualisation of heritage, and improved visitor participation and engagement will lead to significantly improved public service and value creation in this sector. This will sustainably boost the cultural heritage tourism sector which requires significant heritage science capacity to maintain the UK's cultural assets, i.e. museum, library, archive and gallery collections and historic buildings. 15 globally leading heritage Partner institutions (both national and international) will contribute to dissemination through established and new heritage networks e.g. the EU Heritage Portal (http://www.heritageportal.eu/).
3. Industry, particularly three crucial sectors: (i) sensors and instrumentation, which underpin a wide range of industrial activity despite the small size (UK Sales £3Bn), and are a key enabling technology for successful economic growth: 70% of the revenues of FTSE 100 companies (sales of £120Bn) are in sectors that are highly dependent on instrumentation; (ii) creative industries, increasingly vital to the UK with 2M employees in creative jobs and the sector contributing £60Bn a year (7.3%) to the UK economy. Over the past decade, the creative sector has grown at twice the rate of the economy as a whole; (iii) heritage tourism sector contributing £7.4Bn p.a. to the UK economy and supporting 466,000 equivalent jobs. Without the CDT, this crucially important economy sector will experience an unsustainable loss of capacity. The impact will be achieved in collaboration with our Partners: Electronics, Sensors, Photonics KTN, TIGA and Qi3, a technology commercialisation, business development and knowledge transfer company.
4. Public: The intensive public engagement activities are built into CDT including dissemination and engagement events at heritage institutions, popular science conferences and fora, e.g. Cheltenham Science Festival, European Science Open Forum and British Science Festival, as well as events organised by the HEIs' Beacon projects (e.g. UCL Bright Club). Cross-cohort encouragement to engage in these events will realise the substantial potential for the CDT to popularise science and engineering. More widely, visitors and users of heritage will benefit from the development of new and more engaging presentation tools, and pervasive and mobile computing.
5. Policy: SEAHA will engage with policy makers, by contributing evidence to policies and research agendas (the PI is actively involved in the EU JPI Cultural Heritage and Global Change, in which she advised on the development of the EU Cultural Heritage Research Agenda endorsed on 22/03/2013) and develop policy briefings for governmental and parliamentary bodies. The CDT is also a strategically important development of the AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Programme ensuring continued global UK leadership in the SEAHA domain.



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