Research impact - Protecting the Mary Rose

Karen Baxter

A case study submitted to the Research Excellence Framework 2014 demonstrating the impact of the University's research.

Timber ships that have been raised from the seabed are prone to erosion when they come into contact with the air. However, when the Mary Rose was raised from the seabed after half a millennium, she was protected by pioneering techniques developed at Kent. Led by Professor Alan Chadwick, alongside Professor Bob Newport of the School of Physical Sciences, the research involved the discovery of a compound to treat the ship’s wood and to prevent the deposits of sulphur salts on its surface.

Shipspray on the Mary RoseNow exhibited in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the Mary Rose is one of the most important additions to UK culture in recent times – as a warship, she served in Henry VIII’s navy for 34 years and sank while engaging the French navy in 1545.

The Research Excellence Framework 2014 showed that Kent ranks 17th in the UK for research intensity, has world-leading research in all subjects and that 97% of our research is deemed to be of international quality.

Contributing to the University’s REF success were the number of our world class publications, the number of research active staff and the demonstrable impact our research has made to the sciences and to economic, social and cultural understanding.