Materials characterisation, technical developments and treatment studies

Bringing together the scientific, technical and conservation treatment domains of practice, the Grimwade Centre investigates conservation methods and materials, their ageing and application properties as well the novel use of analytical instrumentation to develop new knowledge in cultural materials conservation. At the Grimwade Centre have access to advanced microscopy, and UV and IR examination techniques. Researchers in the Faculty of Science provide analytical expertise and access to equipment including SEM, FTIR, Raman, PIXE, XRD and XRF. Recently the Australian Synchrotron has also been used in the materials characterisation and treatment studies.


Dr Petronella Nel, Professor Robyn Sloggett, Dr Nicole Tse, Susie Collis

Research supervisions

2015 - Qui Yue ‘Development of new non-destructive diagnostic method based on fine structural chemical shift for the characteristion and identification of cultural material by ED-XRF', PhD, Prof. Robyn Sloggett, Dr Petronella Nel.

2015 - Leila Alhagh ‘Artistic and literary aspeccts of "Sad kalamih Shah Vilayat (One hundered sayings by Ali)": An analytical study of MUL17 (a manuscript from the Melbourne University Islamic manuscript Collection)’, PhD, Prof. Robyn Sloggett, Dr Petronella Nel.

2014 - Seyed Zekrgoo ‘Identification of Persian Inks Using Non Destructive Analysis Techniques’, PhD, Prof. Robyn Sloggett, Dr Petronella Nel.

2013 - Claire Tindall ‘Three Dimensional printing in cultural materials conservation’, PhD, Dr Petronella Nel, Dr Deb Lau (CSIRO), Prof. Andrea O’Connor, Dr Nicole Tse.

2013 - Emily Noake ‘Deteriorating cultural heritage:  placing a framework around malignant cellulose nitrate in museum collections’, PhD, Dr Petronella Nel.

2011 - Mahmod Youssif Mohammed ‘Degradation mechanisms in archaeological wood’, PhD, Prof. Robyn Sloggett, Dr Petronella Nel & Dr. Uta Willi.

2009 - Elaine Miles ‘Non-invasive image techniques for the investigation of cultural objects’, PhD, Prof. Robyn Sloggett & Prof. Ann Roberts (Physics).

2009 - Melina Glasson ‘Tracking PVAc deterioration in modern Australian art’, PhD, Prof. Robyn Sloggett, Dr Stephen Best and Prof. Carl Schiesser, (leave of absence until 12 January 2017).

Research projects

2016 - ARC Linkage Project ‘A national framework for managing malignant plastics in museum collections’, Dr Petronella Nel, Prof. Robyn Sloggett, Prof. Ken Ghiggino, Stuart, Dr R Polpeka-Filkoff, A Prof. Andrew Jamieson, Helen Privett, Sue Gatenby, ter Bogt, Walshe, Dr Margaret Sawicki.

2015 - ARC LIEF Project ‘A new national electron microprobe facility: Precise chemical microanalysis underpins research on Earth materials’, Prof. Robyn Sloggett with the The University of Melbourne, Geoscience Australia, Monash University, University of Wollongong, La Trobe University, Federation University Australia (administered by the Australian National University).

2007-2009 - ARC Discovery Project Grant DP0879758 Archaeological conservation:  the development of analysis and assessment protocols for adhesives used on archaeological pottery’, Prof. Robyn Sloggett, Prof Antonia Sagona & Deb Lau.

2001 - ARC RIEF Grant ‘Cathodoluminiscence Electron Microscope Imaging  and Elemental Analysis Facility’, Wallace Earth Sciences, Woodhead, Cartwrite, Buick, Sloggett, Uni. of Melbourne, Monash & Latrobe.

1999 - ARC RIEF Grant ‘Distributed national network for the scientific analysis of artworks’, Prof. Jaynie Anderson, Prof. Robyn Sloggett in conjunction with the School of Fine Arts, Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Australia, Artlab Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of Queensland and the University of Canberra.