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Cultural Heritage: NTU's first Research Peak

NTU present the first research peak – a new approach to sharing research which exemplifies excellence and impact

Cultural Heritage at NTU
Left: ISAAC Lab Spectral Imaging System. Right: CAUGH Digital survey, study and analysis of historic structures in Baghdad, Iraq.

Research Peaks at NTU represent a renewed approach to defining, resourcing and promoting our research and enterprise. Drawn from across our strong research base, a Peak will represent an area of research that exemplifies NTU’s core research hallmarks: high quality and readily understood impact. As such, a Peak is an exemplar of our broader approach to excellence.

Cultural Heritage is NTU’s first Research Peak. As a field of research and innovation at NTU with international and world-leading standing, Cultural Heritage demonstrates significant disciplinary breadth, bringing together scientific methods for analysing and preserving heritage with an understanding of the cultural context.

Drawn from Global Heritage, one of NTU’s existing strategic research themes, Cultural Heritage presents two of our world-leading researchers and their teams. Professor Gamal Abdelmonem and his team at the Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Global Heritage, and Professor Haida Liang and her team at the Imaging and Sensing for Archaeology, Art History and Conservation (ISAAC) Lab, will jointly lead the Research Peak.

Cultural Heritage connects science and technology with an array of subject areas including archaeology, art history, history, art conservation, architecture, literature, social sciences, and art and design, producing scientific innovations and cutting-edge technological applications.

Centre for Architecture, Urbanism & Global Heritage
Digital surveying of Nottingham Castle

The concept of ‘Heritage Science’, first coined a decade ago, is central to our Cultural Heritage Research Peak. It is the interdisciplinary domain of scientific study of cultural heritage, drawing on diverse humanities, sciences and engineering disciplines. It addresses research problems through collaboration with researchers and professionals across cultural institutions and academia. Recognised by UKRI as an integral element of the UK’s research infrastructure, NTU is leading on developing cutting edge research infrastructure for heritage science.

At the core of Cultural Heritage is also smart and sustainable preservation, management and development, spanning multiple research institutions, technology industries, local and international stakeholders, governmental and funding agencies.

Combining research methodologies, scholarship and solid scientific innovations, Cultural Heritage research at NTU has been active since the early 1990s. NTU researchers in this area have collaborated with research teams, cultural institutions, international organisations, private enterprises and governments in over 20 countries, responding to different challenges and informing policies and best practices.

The vision for Cultural Heritage Peak is to expand this engagement with international organisations, building further strategic partnerships with the international research community to influence, advocate and support novel strategies and policies for the preservation and protection of heritage. It aims to strengthen and broaden the scope of our innovative research through the application of science to a broader range of heritage, arts and humanities research problems.

ISAAC OCT Machinery
Optical Coherence Tomography

The Research Peak has significant and expanding international collaboration in Europe, the Middle East, China, India and the USA, and this international focus combines well with the local focus on NTU’s involvement with the Nottingham Castle development, and our commitment to working closely with local communities, heritage institutions and museums.

A further aim is to develop innovative cross-disciplinary learning activities to enrich the experience of NTU students, and to deliver research-led practical education, professional training and specialist courses for academic and non-academic beneficiaries.

With this existing world-leading expertise in heritage sciences and management, Cultural Heritage represents NTU’s gateway to multi-disciplinary research excellence in heritage research that engages with stakeholders from international governments to local communities. The scope is global, yet integrated with local communities in Nottingham and the East Midlands. The Research Peak provides a well-established base for highly specialised and unique professional qualifications, innovative provision and professional support including consultancy, specialist services to external clients and partners. The Research Peak will make spin-off impact in industry and other academic disciplines.

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Cultural Heritage: NTU's first Research Peak

Published on 15 December 2020
  • Category: Research

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