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 we 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, Professor Robyn Sloggett, Dr Petronella Nel.

2015 - Leila Alhagh ‘Artistic and literary aspects 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, Professor Robyn Sloggett, Dr Petronella Nel.

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

2013 - Claire Tindall ‘Three Dimensional printing in cultural materials conservation’, PhD, Dr Petronella Nel, Dr Deb Lau (CSIRO), Professor 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, Professor Robyn Sloggett, Dr Petronella Nel and Dr Uta Willi.

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

2009 - Melina Glasson ‘Tracking PVAc deterioration in modern Australian art’, PhD, Professor Robyn Sloggett, Dr Stephen Best and Professor Carl Schiesser.

Research projects

2016 - ARC Linkage Project 'A national framework for managing malignant plastics in museum collections', Dr Petronella Nel, Professor Robyn Sloggett, Professor Ken Ghiggino, Stuart, Dr R Polpeka-Filkoff, Assoc. Professor Andrew Jamieson, Helen Privett, Sue Gatenby, ter Bogt, Walshe, Dr Margaret Sawicki. For further details see the project website.

2015 - ARC LIEF Project 'A new national electron microprobe facility: Precise chemical microanalysis underpins research on Earth materials', Professor Robyn Sloggett with 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', Professor Robyn Sloggett, Professor Antonia Sagona and Deb Lau.

2001 - ARC RIEF Grant 'Cathodoluminiscence Electron Microscope Imaging and Elemental Analysis Facility', Wallace Earth Sciences, Woodhead, Cartwrite, Buick, Sloggett, the University of Melbourne, Monash and Latrobe.

1999 - ARC RIEF Grant 'Distributed national network for the scientific analysis of artworks', Professor Jaynie Anderson, Professor 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.