School of Physical Sciences

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Enterprise and Services

The School of Physical Sciences has provided consultancy services to businesses for more than two decades. Services offered utilise state of the art laboratory equipment operated by our experienced experimental staff. Please contact us for pricing and further information.

The work carried out [by the School of Physical Sciences] has allowed Hilger Crystals to regain its position in a very niche area for X ray security imaging.

~ Jim Telfer, Managing Director of Hilger Crystals

We also welcome interest in potential collaborative research projects with industrial partners. Previous projects have attracted financial support from the Technology Strategy Board and Kent Innovation Voucher scheme.
Click here for a case study on our highly successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Hilger Crystals.

Contact us

Dr Stuart Gibson; Director of Innovation and Enterprise

Analytical services

For further details about the facilities available to businesses please contact us.

  • Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS)
  • Fourier Transform Infra-Red spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Gas-Chromatography Mass-Spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)
  • Raman Spectrometer
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

Equipment list

List of functional materials equipment available for collaborative research projects (subject to approval by Head of Functional Materials Group).

Equipment potentially available Description/notes Contact person

Amorphous and Nanostructured Materials

FTIR spectrometer

includes diffuse reflectance and acoustic detection options

Prof. R.J Newport

vis-UV spectrometer

includes reflectance and in situ oven (to 600ºC)

He pycnometer

accurate density measurement of rigid materials (incl. powders and porous materials)

N2 adsorption

determination of pore volume/shape and of internal surface area of porous materials

High temperature furnace

to 1800ºC; small volume, bottom-loading; Pt/Au and Pt/Ir (to 1720ºC) crucibles also available

Other tube furnaces/ovens

small volume, some vertical some horizontal; Oven to ~200ºC, two furnaces to 1000ºC and one to 1600ºC

X-ray diffractometer

Cu anode; powder crystallography

Prof. A.V. Chadwick

X-ray fluorescence analyser

multi-sample elemental analysis (down to Z ~ 14)

AC conductivity bridges

AC conductivity in range 5 Hz to 13MHz




Soft Functional Materials

Size exclusion chromatography (aka GPC)

molecular weights 500 – 1,000,000+; organic solvent soluble polymers; RI and dual channel UV detectors.

Dr. S.J. Holder

Differential scanning calorimeter (DSC)

Perkin Elmer DSC7; N2(l) cooled;  -150 to 600°C operating range.

DSC/thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA)

mass loss as a function of temperature

Leica optical microscope

camera (DC300) and image acquisition software; cross-polarisers; heating stage.


Standard 1dm cell. Digital readout.

Dr. S.C.G. Biagini

Industry engagement talks

This short series of talks represent an opportunity for companies/organisations to explain their core business to academics and students in a presentation lasting I hour. Speakers are encouraged to identify potential areas of collaborative work and to outline career paths for science graduates. All science and faculty members and students are welcome to attend. These talks complement the School’s extensive Research Seminars and Colloquia programme.

Colin Hayhurst, Innovations and Partnership Fellow, University of Sussex
30th March 2016, 2pm – 3pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre

Colin will be describing his role with SEPNet as Innovations and Partnerships Fellow and the services provided to SEPNet partner institutions. He will also talk about his own research on finite element analysis which he subsequently commercialised. The resulting product is called Autodyn and is widely used in industry and academia (including within the School of Physical Sciences).

Principles of Technology Commercialisation

Richard Oldroyd, Associate - UK & European Patent Attorney, Elkington and Fife LLP
25th February 2015, 2pm – 3pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre
Taking new technology from concept to market is a complex, risky and challenging process.  A key part of early stage development (for example arising from academic research), where revenue generation is likely to be several years away, is the capture of intellectual property before its release into the public domain.  This can substantially improve the potential value, and hence attractiveness to investors, although can conflict with an academic’s responsibility to communicate the results of their work to society at large.  The presentation aims to provide some principles behind technology value and investor confidence, and how potential conflicts between freedom to publish and maintaining commercial value can be mitigated.

Medical Physics: Applications of Physics in Healthcare

Mark Knight, Consultant Medical Physicists, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust
21st January 2015, 2pm – 3pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre
This presentation will review the exciting opportunities for the Physicist to be involved with diagnosis and treatment of patients in healthcare. Medical Physicists and Technicians are closely involved in areas such as cancer treatment, medical imaging and scientific computing. Current research interests in radiation shielding for novel radiotherapy technologies will be discussed and the talk will also cover career paths in Medical Physics.

Astrium (Airbus) Career Paths Presentation

Izabela Zajac, Astrium (Airbus) 5th November 2014, 3pm – 4pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre.
[Hosted in conjunction with Employability Week]
Airbus Defence and Space is Europe’s leading space company. We employ over 3000 people in the UK’s Space Systems sector, 18,000 worldwide and have over 40 years of experience in the design and manufacture of satellites, launchers and scientific space missions. This talk aims to give an insight into the working world of the space industry at Airbus Defence and Space and what career paths are available for graduates.

LISA Pathfinder Gravitational Waves Space Mission

Izabela Zajac, Astrium (Airbus) 5th November 2014, 2pm – 3pm, Ingram Lecture Theatre.
[Hosted in conjunction with Employability Week]
Virtually our entire knowledge of the Universe is based upon the observation of electromagnetic waves, such as visible light, infrared, ultraviolet, radio, X-rays and gamma rays. The LISA Pathfinder spacecraft, which is currently under construction at the Airbus Defence and Space site in the UK, will pave the way to a completely different method of observing the Universe: detecting gravitational waves. Within this colloquium a general overview of the LISA Pathfinder mission will be presented, including details on the scientific motivation, mission objectives, engineering challenges and current project status.

School of Physical Sciences, Ingram Building, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NH

Enquiries: contact us

Last Updated: 21/10/2016