Artistically linked research

Not a Hedgehog

Last week I read an excellent blog post by Johanna Kieniewicz on about the combination of art and science. The post details why blending art and science is important and how it can be highly productive for both groups. I am not very artistic (as my previous drawings demonstrate) but I enjoy exploring some of the more aesthetically pleasing areas of my work. Before coming to Cranfield I worked briefly as a consultant for an artist and it was very enlightening look at differing perspectives on the products of science. Reading the article at PLOS not only reminded me of Continue reading

The Funding Cycle

Round and round we go

When we started up this blog I had hoped to post a bit more educational content on the workings of the sensors we develop and the research that we do. Sadly, however, I have been nowhere near a lab in what feels like months. Partly this is because I have just migrated from being a PhD student where I was scrambling to finish my thesis, a task that never required moving far from my keyboard. However, mostly the lack of practical science on this blog is due to a much more depressing problem, the funding cycle. As a new research Continue reading

Notes on my brief time at SpotOn 12

Open science and science communication is something I have come to slowly, over my career. I’ve always been passionate about science and many a trip to the pub results in my friends rolling their eyes when I begin to wax lyrical on some topical point. Over the last few years I have been able to share this passion though schemes like the STEM ambassador program, our blog here and in the future: our massive, year long, crowdfunded openscience project. However, little did I know that while I was quietly working at all these projects, a group of like minded people had been Continue reading

History lesson: The birth of fibre optics

No fictional lab partners were harmed in the making of this cartoon

The actual start/discovery of fibre optics is like most things in history, a little hazy. It is better to first look at the first use/discovery of total internal reflectance, the property on which fibre optics were first based the history of which is also a little hazy. You just can’t win with poorly documented historical facts. Total internal reflection is where the angle of the light reflected within a medium is such that all of the light is reflected back into the medium. Only light of a particular angle will be reflected back, any other light will be refracted out Continue reading

Remember, remember the 1st of movember


This is just a short post to let you all know that some of the department are growing (or trying to grow) moustaches for Movember this year. This campaign is to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer. Wile these cancers are well known to most people, they are still two conditions that most men are very reluctant to talk about or even get checked for. In my previous job I worked on developing a rapid prostate cancer test and I got to know some of the charities involved in raising awareness. These charities worked tirelessly to promote testing and publicising Continue reading