Interdisciplinary blog

sotonDH Small Grants: Introducing ‘Mapping Libel Performance in Early Modern Devon’

June 30, 2013
by Clare Egan via Digital Humanities | Digital Humanities

Accounts of early modern libel survive in the Star Chamber records, from which I have transcribed the Devon cases; these libels, I argue, should be seen as public performances and analysed in light of this. Having received a SotonDH grant, work has begun on a digital mapping resource which aims to present instances of performance-based libel from the county of …

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Digital Transformations in the Arts and Humanities: Big Data Workshop

June 25, 2013
by Graeme Earl via Digital Humanities | Digital Humanities

I spent today at the fascinating AHRC Big Data workshop: If you got lost (like me) @ahrcdigitrans Big Data workshop is under here 🙂 — Graeme Earl (@GraemeEarl) June 25, 2013 I made notes of what I saw as the headline issues, relating to the forthcoming funding call and what the AHRC considers of interest in the context …

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MDR Vacation bursary project: Repair Methodologies for Composite Materials

June 24, 2013
by Anna McIlwaine

By Anna Pascale Mcilwaine, undergraduate student , Faculty of Engineering and the Environment

I’m a 3rd year Ship Scientist at the University of Southampton. After my interest in composite materials was sparked during an individual project focused on the subject, I decided to further my knowledge on the subject through a research internship.

Composites are becoming increasingly popular in industry, particularly the marine industry, as their applications widen due to the increased levels of research into their mechanical behaviour is carried out. Within this, Sandwich Structures are greatly favoured due to their high stiffness to weight ratio, high energy absorption capability and buoyancy. They are often used in the place of metals such as aluminium alloys or steels due to their increased 2nd moment of area and resistance to bending without any weight penalty.









Damage to these composite structures is almost inevitable due to them being exposed to extreme conditions in the marine environment. This damage may be caused by growth of a defect produced in manufacture, impact whilst in service, long term water exposure or excessive wear or loading. This is why it is crucial that repair methodologies of composites are developed in order to allow the structure to perform with its original structural integrity. It is hoped that through this research project conclusions will be made that will aid the design and implementation of future composite repairs.

The project is closely linked with the RNLI and aims to closely follow their repair specifications to allow the findings to be as applicable to industry as possible. During the research project comparisons will be made between a traditional wet lay-up repair, which is commonly used at the moment and a Glass Structural SPRINT repair. SPRINT repairs have the capability of saving time and hence money in industry. Hence it is envisaged that this project can go some way to proving the structural competence of SPRINT compared to a wet lay-up.

The stresses and strains within the repairs and the surrounding area will be analysed using strain based and non-destructive testing techniques, namely Digital Image Correlation and Thermoelastic Stress Analysis which is based on measurements using an IR detector. The aim being to assess which technique is more effective in judging the quality of the repair.















Following on from this research internship I will be back at the University of Southampton to study for a masters in Ship Science. Through this I will be partaking in a group design project of a Paralympic Va’a canoe. I hope to be able to apply the knowledge I have gained through working with composites to the design, providing it with an advantage against its competitors.

I would like to express a huge thank you to DIAB and the RNLI for their support of this project. Without their generous donations of materials and ongoing advice and expertise it would not be possible.


Tweet summary of great #web observatory event at #ODI

June 22, 2013
by Lisa Harris via Digital Economy USRG

@nigel_shadbolt introducing #webobservatory and #opendata update for business at #ODI — Lisa Harris (@lisaharris) June 20, 2013 @tommyh discussing new open data certificates at #ODI. Great step forward but still many unresolved qtns — Lisa Harris (@lisaharris) June 20, 2013 @DameWendyDBE : “Mapping the digital landscape in real time all the time” = […]

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Gender Equality at Work … an Unfinished Job

June 21, 2013
by Pauline Leonard via Work Thought Blog

This has been a busy few weeks for those of us interested in issues of Gender Equality at Work. First, a report produced by Women’s Aid and the Fawcett Society in May showed that current government spending cuts have hit women disproportionately hard and are threatening to reverse any gains in gender equality which have […]

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Gender Equality at Work…An Unfinished Job

June 21, 2013
by Pauline Leonard via Work Thought Blog

This has been a busy few weeks for those of us interested in issues of Gender Equality at Work. First, a report produced by Women’s Aid and the Fawcett Society in May showed that current government spending cuts have hit women disproportionately hard and are threatening to reverse any gains in gender equality which have […]

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Open Data Open Day 26th June

June 21, 2013
by Lisa Harris via Digital Economy USRG

Meet the Open Data team! We’re putting on an open day for all members of the university to come and discover what we do and how open data can help. We’ve booked the Access Grid Room and the Coffee Room in Building 32 (EEE) and will be running a series of talks, workshops and general […]

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MDR Vacation Bursary Project: Nano-scale semiconductor light-emitting and distance sensing probe for combined super-resolution fluorescence and topographical live imaging

June 18, 2013
by Steven Linfield

By Steven Linfield, undergraduate student , Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences

The area of electrochemistry that this project focuses on is electrochemical deposition. By applying a voltage across a solution, electro-active species can either gain electrons (reduction) or lose electrons (oxidation). Since the electrons are passed through the electrodes, electro-active species tend to gather around the electrode that they interact with. By holding the potential at a constant value, the electro-active species is constantly deposited onto the electrode. This offers a cheap, efficient and simple method for synthesis of many materials.

The aim of the project is to achieve the electrochemical deposition of two semiconductors onto two electrically conductive carbon nano-wires. One of the semiconductors will be nitrogen-doped zinc selenide, an n-type semiconductor, and the other will be gallium-doped zinc selenide, a p-type semiconductor. The formation of a p-n junction, between the two carbon nano-wires, will be attempted, allowing the nano-wires to be used as a nano-scale LED. The light emitted from this LED could be used to excite fluorescent molecules such as green fluorescent protein, which would enable super resolution fluorescence live imaging.


Electrochemistry is a vast area of research and the Southampton electrochemistry department has a great reputation. This Vacation Bursary project has given me a great deal of work experience, which will be useful for a future career in chemistry. I have learned many electrochemistry techniques, which will stay with me throughout my career. I have also been taught the principles of electrochemistry, something that will be useful in later modules of my degree.


MDR Vacation Bursary Project: Magnetic Skyrmions in thin films

June 18, 2013
by Luke Goater

By Matthew Corcoran, undergraduate student , Faculty of Engineering and the Environment

I am an undergraduate student studying Mechanical engineering at the University of Southampton. I have just completed my third year of a four year masters course with an advanced materials theme. The chosen research field is micromagnetic simulations. The studied material is usually ferromagnetic and it is the magnetic moments of the material that are of interest with this type of research.

During my third year individual project I investigated magnetic Skyrmions in thin films. This research was carried out using Monte Carlo simulations: these simulations utilises random numbers in the main algorithm of the simulation, they work by random sampling of possible configurations to minimise the energy of a system. Skyrmions are topological stable spin textures, where the magnetic moments carried by the atoms form a special kind of vortex as is shown in the figure.  The formation of Skyrmions is attributed to three competing energy terms on neighbouring lattice sites: Exchange, DMI, and Zeeman energy.

One image produced from the results from my project is shown above; the results from this simulation are consistent with other skyrmion simulations. From the image it can be seen that there are 22 skyrmions in the geometry. The centre of the skyrmions points in the opposite direction to the applied magnetic field, toward the reader. The vectors not grouped into a skyrmion have a lower total energy and tend to align in the direction of the applied field. The vectors on the boundary are aligned parallel to the boundary and rotate in an anticlockwise direction. The external magnetic field was 0.4 Tesla and the geometry was 100 nano meters in the x direction 100 meters in the y direction and 1 nano meter in the z direction. The mesh size was 50, 50 and 1 in the x, y and z directions respectfully. This research is being continued over the summer starting with an investigation into Skyrmion hysteresis using Southampton’s own Finmag simulation software.

There appears to be lots of scope for work to extend my summer project, including the exploration of the Skyrmions for data storage. This is an area of research that is just starting to emerge, and it is difficult to predict the range of possible applications at this stage.

Wikipedia for Smaller Museums

June 17, 2013
by Nicole Beale via Digital Humanities | Digital Humanities

Today, the Museums Association published the new issue of Museum Practice. This month the magazine focuses on Wikipedia, and I contributed an article providing practical advice for smaller museums. The journal is behind a paywall, but the Museums Association have kindly agreed to let me share a draft of the article here at the Digital Humanities blog. The final article …

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