SEAHA Centre for Doctoral Training


SEAHA partners with industry on heritage science projects

4 July 2016

Hend Mahgoub Brodsworth Hall

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage & Archaeology (SEAHA) is proud to have partnered with many industrial, heritage and research organisations before and since its inception in 2014. Collaborations are varied and include research collaborations, public engagement events, providing access to facilities and funding SEAHA Studentships. SEAHA prides itself on working closely with the sector in order to address challenges set by the heritage sector, government and industry, in order to:

  • Train researchers internationally to embed new knowledge in best practice addressing the scientific and engineering research needs of the arts, heritage and archaeology sectors.
  • Engage with industry in developing of instruments and tools.
  • Engage practitioners with novel ways of understanding material change.
  • Engage the public with novel ways of presenting and interpreting heritage.

Hend Maghoub is a second year SEAHA student, and is working with GILDEN Photonics on her research project looking at quantitative chemical hyperspectral NIR imaging of historic cellulosic materials. On describing her experience of working with GILDEN, she said:

“Having the opportunity to take a training within my industrial partner GILDEN Photonics was very rewarding, particularly in the early stage of my PhD project. It allowed me to gain valuable hands-on experience and gave me the skills required to start working on my research using hyperspectral imaging. Interacting with professionals who were generous with their time and support, provided me with wide-ranging experience and allowed me to grasp the potential of my research not only in heritage and academia but also in industry. I am convinced this will have a significant effect on my progress and future plans.”

On working with Hend, Dr John R Gilchrist, Managing Director at GILDEN Phonics Ltd, said: “GILDEN Photonics are pleased to be able to sponsor a SEAHA student, Hend Mahgoub, for her PhD in hyper-spectral imaging of Islamic documents.  This exciting work started only in October 2015 and yet has already borne significant images and results in both academic and potentially commercial environments.  We have worked closely with Hend to develop new algorithms for image and colour analysis and the solid ground work that she has developed and proven at UCL is now being converted to high efficiency directly coded algorithms at GILDEN Photonics. I believe that this partnership and the complimentary expertise, that it has, is really a great strength to both parties and we are very much looking forward to a strong, open, and continued exchange of great ideas and capabilities between SEAHA and GILDEN as her PhD progresses.”

Over the last two year, SEAHA have held a range of events aimed at engaging and collaborating with industry. On the 8th march 2016, SEAHA, in collaboration with the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), organised an industry workshop on Sensors in the Arts, Heritage and Archaeology. The aim of this workshop was to highlight challenges, currently faced by the heritage community, and engage the help of the broader sensors & instrumentation sector.

These challenges were presented by representatives from the Natural History Museum, Historic England, Birmingham Museums, Historic Royal Palaces, the University of Oxford and University College London, followed by roundtable discussions, led by each presenter. There were 40 attendees from a mix of heritage and technology background, including representatives from both academia and industry. Outcomes from the event were captured in a report which can be downloaded here.


Image: SEAHA student Hend Maghoub working at Brodsworth Hall (English Heritage) with ISH student Mel Keable, perfoming Multispectral Imaging.