UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


UCL ISH academic Dr Katherine Curran launches ERC Starting Grant studying plastic heritage

27 April 2017

ISH academic Dr Katherine Curran launches her prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant in April 2017.

nir spectroscopy

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ERC this year, Katherine was recently included in a list of Irish ERC awardees promoted by Science Foundation Ireland.

Katherine’s interdisciplinary project, ‘COMPLEX: The Degradation of Complex Modern Polymeric Objects in Heritage Collections: A System Dynamics Approach’, will explore a new approach to polymer degradation, aiming to help museums, art galleries and archives preserve the plastic objects in their collections for future generations. 

Speaking about her work Katherine states:

Plastic objects are a very important part of our cultural heritage, currently at risk due to their instability and a need for new knowledge in this area. My project will develop a new way of modelling and understanding the degradation of plastic objects in collections by combining system dynamics with polymer chemistry.

The ERC was set up in 2007 to promote excellent frontier research in Europe, across all disciplines and nationalities, with the aim of making Europe a global centre for excellence in research.  In its 10 year history, it has awarded €12 bn to almost 7000 researchers, and has been acknowledged in almost 100,000 international scientific journal articles.

For more information about the ERC and its 10th anniversary celebrations see: https://erc.europa.eu/ERC10yrs/home