Institute of Archaeology


Hayley Simon wins prestigious award from Royal Society of Chemistry

25 June 2020

Congratulations to Institute PhD researcher Hayley Simon, one of four UCL academics who have received awards from the Royal Society of Chemistry for their research contributions.

Cannonballs from the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's flagship (Image courtesy of The Mary Rose)

Hayley Simon has been awarded the prestigious Ronald Belcher Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry for her innovative PhD research on the conservation of the Mary Rose iron cannonballs.

Hayley's research project examines the impact of preservation treatments on archaeological iron corrosion, achieved through analysis of a set of over 1,200 cast iron cannonballs from the shipwreck of King Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose, which sunk off the coast of Portsmouth on 19 July 1545.

Hayley Simon

Over the course of Hayley's PhD research, which was funded by the EPSRC and Diamond Light Source, part of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA CDT), the artefacts were analysed using a combination of laboratory- and synchrotron-based methods to determine the corrosion phases present, the chlorine content and distribution, and corrosion rate post-conservation.

This research was previously nominated in the category of Rescue Project of the year 2019 in the annual Current Archaeology Awards.

Hayley said:

“I am very honoured to receive the 2020 Ronald Belcher prize; however, I feel that most of the credit for the project should go to the cannonballs – they did all the work!”

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