Recruitment of staff and the establishment of lab facilities and offices located at SMK have been a primary task of the first years of CATS existence.
Recruitment of staff
From the official start date the 1st of June 2011 Dr. Jørgen Wadum has been Director of CATS, and additional staff has been recruited commencing with the employment of Research Coordinator Miriam Watts in a half time position from 1 September 2011, extended to a full time position per 1 June 2012. Lab Technician Johanne Marie Nielsen was employed full time on 25 June 2012, and leading up to her full time position as Senior Researcher & Conservation Scientist in CATS from 1 July 2012, Dr. Anna Vila has been consulted and acted as advisor as regards particularly the furnishings and equipping of laboratories in CATS. From September 2012 Project Assistant Clara Lauridsen has been working for CATS in a temporary research position.
Planning, building and working in the CATS offices and laboratory facilities located at SMK
The planning of the laboratories has taken place in close collaboration with the Project Group and colleagues of the collaborating institutions as well as the senior researcher in conservation science. Advised by these parties Erik Møller Arkitekter designed the office and lab spaces, where after the actual construction was coordinated by technical assistant at SMK Bodil Olsson. The building process was primarily undertaken by Jönsson A/S, and LabModul was commissioned to supply and adapt the furnishings. As a parallel activity the CATS office and reading room were adapted from existing offices, admitting five workspaces and six study spaces.
The four laboratories are designed individually to cover specific analysis and research purposes within the scope of CATS activities:
- One wet chemistry and sample preparation space furnished with the appropriate fume-hoods, cabinets, and lab benches as well as the installation of a safety shower and the purchase of laboratory fungible material.
- One microscopy room where the optical microscope has been placed together with the SMK collection of samples, stratigraphies, and historical reference materials.
- Two laboratories where spectroscopic equipment will be located, one with all light blocked to perform Raman spectroscopy analysis and one with the presence of a lead wall for performing X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy in-situ analysis. The latter laboratory has also been planned and designed to be suitable for a potential Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer coupled to a microscope, to perform measurements that can complement results obtained by Raman spectroscopy and XRF elemental analysis.
Before acquiring the necessary equipment to the CATS labs, the Senior Researcher & Conservation Scientist cooperated closely with the researchers and scientists at the National Museum and School of Conservation, working on the evaluation and selection of the best Raman, XRF, and micro-FTIR analytical equipment. They have assessed which range and settings are needed of the apparatus/equipment from the main commercial brands to chemically characterize the material composition of artworks subjected to analysis.
Parallel to this task the CATS Lab Technician and Project Assistant have been working on implementing and establishing report routines and lab protocols with the aid of the Administration of CATS, SLKE (Slotte og Kulturejendomme, Head Consultant Kim Funk delivered information about the administrational processes of purchase) and the private consultant FRIT (Forskningsrådenes Instrument Tjeneste, was a valuable support in their capacity of consultancy bureau, which advises on issues pertaining to major investments in scientific equipment).
Presentation and demonstration of facilities
During Spring 2013 when all the equipment has been delivered and installed in the labs, these facilities will be demonstrated by CATS staff and partners on a seminar held in conjunction with one of the regular Tripartite meetings between the founding institutions.
Establishment of the CATS home page
With the aid of in-house web staff the CATS home page was established in February 2012.The site is still under development and will be more attractive when the research results start ticking in, but at present the site presents the CATS organisation, programme and activities, news items and a calendar for CATS events and staff activities. The website is based on information from the three partners and is maintained by the Research Coordinator.
Description of the lab facilities on the home page
An in depth description will be added to the more general presentation of the labs and the small News item on the home page of CATS.