One-third semester update

Almost unbelievably we are a third of the way through the Autumn Semester. Here’s a record of some of the highlights so far.

I’ve been teaching my Forensics Arson module for 3 weeks now, and last week we had our now traditional arson demonstration from John Caulton. This year the weather held, and the students seemed to enjoy it and find it interesting. As an added bonus we had an appearance by Jack the ADC (accelerant detection dog in normal parlance). Here’s a typical photo from the demonstration:

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I have two more lectures in this module, and next week we will look at data from Kuwaiti oil fires!

My project students have all made a good start. One of the projects has started with looking at doped SrAl2O4 for sensor applications, inspired by Philippe Smet’s talk at Eurodim14 back in July. Another project is looking at zeolites for environmental applications; this is a trip down memory lane for me, since I haven’t worked on zeolites for many years (the last publication was in 1998!) We started with zeolite A, but have moved on to heulandite/clinoptilolite. With Keele’s focus on environmental issues this topic seemed appropriate. The third project is a spin off from my teaching; transparent conducting oxides are materials of current interest, and doped ZnO/ZnS have applications here. Although my methods can’t handle the electron behaviour, we can get some useful information about the energetics of doping these materials.

Finally, a week ago my visiting researcher from Brazil, Giordano Frederico da Cunha Bispo, arrived in Keele. His first week was taken up largely with administration, but I’m looking forward to him getting his project underway.

Looking ahead, I have my new lectures in Quantum Chemistry coming up, as well as my contribution to the new Materials Chemistry and Catalysis module. Plenty to keep me busy for the next 8 weeks!

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