UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


ISH announces acquisition of Mobile Heritage Lab

24 August 2015


The UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of the Mobile Heritage Lab, a unique research and public engagement vehicle. It is a joint venture of University College London, the University of Oxford and the University of Brighton, and it is funded by EPSRC. 

The Mobile Heritage Lab is part of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA), and will aid the delivery of projects related to the research of its doctoral students. 

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology, is an 8-year initiative (2014-2022) to establish an infrastructure to meet challenges set by the heritage sector, industry and government. SEAHA will provide support for at least 60 interdisciplinary students working on exciting projects in collaboration with heritage institutions and scientific, engineering and industrial partners.

The purpose of the ‘Lab-on-Wheels’ is to make Heritage Science as accessible as possible, bringing the innovative science developed by SEAHA students to the places where it is most needed. The Mobile Heritage Lab is available to any institution or organisation that wishes to apply, through an online application form, to use it for research and public engagement projects. 

Users of the Mobile Heritage Lab will have access to scientific equipment from leading laboratories that participate in SEAHA including UCL, Oxford and Brighton. The equipment covers different areas of heritage science interest, such as environmental monitoring, imaging and chemical analysis. The extensive range of instruments available, allows the contents of the Lab to be reconfigured on-demand. It includes ground penetrating radar, hyper spectral cameras, a weather station and pollution monitors, to name only a few. 

The Mobile Heritage Lab made its inaugural outing at the first international SEAHA Conference on heritage science research, innovation and best practice in the interpretation, conservation and management of cultural heritage. The conference took place at University College London, 14-15 July 2015. The main discussion topic was Heritage science, a cross-disciplinary field connecting science and the humanities. The conference provided a platform for scientists, researchers, engineers, professionals, practitioners, entrepreneurs, and policy-makers, to engage and discuss emerging trends in the field.  There is an ongoing dialogue over global issues, which define the research and technological applications of heritage scientists.

During the coming academic year, the Mobile Heritage Lab is expected to participate in many research and outreach activities around the UK. To submit a request to book the mobile lab for a related project / public engagement event, please visit the SEAHA website or follow us on Twitter @UCL_ISH and @seahaCDT.