Thursday, August 7, 2014

Guest Blog by Professor Andrew Nelson: On the Road with SA in the UK (Part 2)

Interested in how research projects and collaborations are established and executed? This blog post continues the adventures of  SA Research Associate Professor Andrew Nelson, as he gives us a  behind-the-scenes look at his new collaborative project with the Art Gallery of Ontario. Read Part 1 of the series here.

July 8th – Lisa Ellis, Sasha Suda (both of the AGO) and myself (Western University) visit the Natural History Museum in London, England to see their microCT scanning facility.  They have a Nikon XT225 just like the one at SA: Western – perfect for this project, as the unit and the software here will be the same that I use at home, ensuring comparability of the scans.  Lisa and Andrew, along with Andrew’s long time radiography colleague, Jerry Conlogue, met up at the NHM.  

Prof. Jerry Conlogue stands in front of a showcase of some of the projects produced by the IAC lab at the NHM.
There we were met by Dan Sykes, Assistant Micro-CT Lab Manager and Micro-CT Specialist at the Imaging and Analysis Centre (IAC). This is an amazing operation – a lab full of humming computers with folks creating amazing images on their computer screens – everything from bee brains to meteorites to bones. 

The Imaging and Analysis Centre at the Natural History Museum, London.
Andrew returned here later in July to scan two pieces from the Wernher Collection at Ranger’s House museum in Greenwich (see 3rd blog installment).  One piece is a prayer bead, and the other is a small boxwood coffin that is carved in a similar manner as the beads.  That should be fascinating… stay tuned.

July 9th – Lisa and Sasha head back to Canada.  There’s nothing going on that’s relevant to the bead project – but Andrew did visit the Hunterian Museum.  This is an amazing collection of anatomical specimens – both human and animal, as well as the skeleton of Charles Byrne, the Irish Giant.  Fascinating stuff – lots here that could be microCT scanned! (Byrne’s skull has been scanned at the Natural History Museum).

Next time, Andrew visits the Nikon Metrology Centre-of-Excellence in Tring - where our microCT scanner was born - stay tuned to Part 3 of our blog series.

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