Monday, 22 September 2014

PhD vivas and bulging barrels

The Diamond Synchrotron user meeting was very interesting. It was great to hear about the varied science being carried out on the beamlines. Perhaps most concerning was learning about the bulging barrels of who knows what on the Sellafield site. The chances are what ever is inside is radioactive and flamable and there is always the chance that the bulges will eventually burst! Luckily scientists at Bristol like Dr Tom Scott and Diamond are working on techniques to work out what is going on without having to open the barrels. Once we know what is going on we should be able to deal with it, that's the theory at any rate. We also heard about research relating to water and metoerites, generation of magma in subduction systems and whether calcite on Mars could be used as evidence of life.

Delegates milling around the Diamond House entrance hall during the Synchrotron users meeting.
Last Friday I was in Manchester running a PhD viva in the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences. Nicola Ashton was defending her thesis on soil development on a range of different rock types in Ireland. Nicola has done a tremendous amount of work characterising the inorganic, organic and microbial composition of the soils and defended her thesis well. She passed with minor corrections, well done Nicola.

Nicola and Richard Pattrick (one of her supervisors) celebrating in the bar after the viva

1 comment:

  1. Finding out what's in the 'bulging barrels' withought opening them sounds much like Schroedinger's cat - for real.