Monthly Archives: August 2011

Citizen Science

Oxford has led the development of online “citizen science” programmes, which use the web to recruit hundreds of thousands of volunteers to assist researchers in sorting through their images.
The first project, Galaxy Zoo (, launched in 2007 and has proved wildly successful, producing more than 20 papers and generating follow-up efforts with major facilities including the Hubble Space Telescope. Chris Lintott ,


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Defects in Crystals investigated

Michael Whelan (Emeritus Professor, Department of Materials, University of Oxford) was awarded the 2011 Gjønnes Medal in Electron Crystallography for the development of the dynamical theory of diffraction contrast of defects in crystals, and other major pioneering contributions to the development and application of electron microscopy, diffraction and spectroscopy of materials.

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Driving Innovation: Sensors Prototyping

Sensors and Imaging KTN Report:

This opportunity covered sensors using photonic technologies and is estimated to be a £26B market by 2020. Apart from security and defence, the drivers in this market are pollution detection in air, soil and water; the use of sensors for driving assistance in cars in areas such as driver vision enhancement; surveillance cameras to detect driver drowsiness, and sensors used to monitor the status and performance of equipment and optimise production processes.

Many of the UK’s universities have a research capability in optical sensors and this research base has over several years generated companies serving this market.

Barriers identified were the cost of prototyping and fragmented markets for which it was difficult to justify the cost of investment. To address these barriers a Photonics TIC should undertake prototyping, system integration and bespoke packaging. Also a TIC should be involved in software and algorithm development.

What are the global growth opportunities in photonics accessible to the UK?………Comment: “Laser development, optical sensors and imaging, communications, lighting, energy. A photonics TIC would strengthen the ability of the industry, particularly in the components sector to provide the building blocks for larger companies which use photonics technologies as part of their overall products.”

KTN: Interim Report on Photonics Technology Innovation Centre Consultation Workshop

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Nuclear Materials – Ion Implantation as a Neutron Irradiation Analogue

Oxford 26-28 September 2011

This workshop will explore how we can use ion implantation as a “physical model” for neutron irradiation of materials. Keynote speakers will address the basic principles, experimental methods and facilities, post-irradiation examination and property evaluation, in-situ methods and the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques. There will be ample time for discussions. Work-in-progress will be presented in substantial poster sessions.

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Oxford Scanning Electron Microscopy Tutorial


The Department of Materials in Oxford University in collaboration with SEEDA (South East England Development Agency) is working with schools in the regions to give teachers and pupils live access to a Scanning Electron Microscope. Microscopy can take the young into a microscopic world that can’t be seen with the naked eye. When 6- or 7-year-olds see ‘hundreds and thousands’ through a simple light microscope, or an ant or a fly or sugar magnified 20-fold, their eyes light up with excitement. However, by the time they reach senior school, the things that they are taught about the microscopic world are often out of reach, either because the light microscopes available to them aren’t up to the task, or because the topics of study are beyond the resolution of a normal school microscope. So lessons and assignments rely on textbook images, and the opportunity for hands-on discovery of the microscopic world, and the fascination that this can bring, is lost.

Oxford SEM tutorial

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