School of GeoSciences


News for May 2019

PR&STS News – May 2019

The Physical Resources and Scientific Technical Services team consists of the Physical Resources team, Technical Services team, Analytical Services and Organic Geochemistry facilities, Health and Safety, teaching support and outreach.

We aim to provide a high quality service to all teaching, research and support activities in the School.


Farewell Graham

Graham Walker retired at the end of April after 28 years working for the School or one of its precursor brands and after 41 years on the KB campus! Thank you to all of you who attended his farewell drinks, I know graham appreciated all the support and appreciation he received.


New Equipment

Since the last newsletter, staff have been successful in bidding for numerous items of equipment from the Schools Equipment fund. These are available for staff/students to use either personally or through a facility manager. These include:

  • Downdraft bench for use in the new Deep Time Palaeontology Lab – This will enhance the labs fossil preparation capabilities.
  • Microtomography reconstruction workstation to aid in the processing of data from synchrotron x-ray microtomography. This is an expanding area of research and requires significant processing power to produce the images from the raw data.
  • Hydrogen Flow Rig – This equipment is specifically to support Katriona Edlmann in her new position as a Chancellors Fellow and will allow development of new research looking at Hydrogen storage.
  • Lathe Digital Readouts have been purchased for the Mechanical Workshop. The DRO’s allow the machine operators to concentrate on the readouts for their precision work rather than hand dials (which are often in imperial measurements).
  • Raspberry PI Accelerometers (raspberry Shakes). A set of 6 Raspberry Shakes have been purchased to be turned into field seismometers. Their initial application is to test bedload movement in mountain rivers. Contact Mark Naylor for more information on this project.



Over the past few months we have been returned a few rooms from Timetabling that have previously been centrally managed. These are 302 and 304 in Crew and the Old Library in Geography. We are consulting with users about the best use of these locations.


Works over the next few months:


  • GeoSciences

Most GeoSciences refurbishment works are in Geography this summer. 1.26 (MSc Teaching and study computer room) is undergoing a full refurbishment. The computers will be relocated to the Open Access computer room (2.02) for the summer and GeoSciences will have sole access to the room. 1.22 and 3.08 will be converted into 1 and 2 offices respectively.

In Grant the new Deep Time lab is pretty much complete (more about this in the next newsletter).


  • Kings Buildings

Phase 1 of the Nucleus has now been approved and work has commenced with the demolition of the Ann Walker Building. The KB centre will also be demolished. For further details on the Nucleus project please visit here:


New Team members

Due to people retiring or leaving we have recruited two new people:


  • Philip Wilson – Deputy PR&STS Manager

Phil has been recruited to fill the role vacated by Graham Walker who has recently retired. Phil starts on the 1st July 2019 and will be based in Rm 201 in the Crew Building. Phil used to work in the Ashworth Labs before moving to a role at Heriot Watt University a couple of years ago so he is familiar with the University but not with our School.


  • Craig Dickson – Building Support Officer - Geography

Craig is replacing Samantha Purves who moved to the law School in April. Craig has been the servitor for the grant institute for a number of years so is familiar with GeoSciences. He is very excited about joining the team and providing an excellent service to the School and Geography and ECCI in particular. Craig starts in this role on 27th May 2019.


Contacting the team

If you have any or experience issues relating to the infrastructure of the GeoSciences Estate and your work environment remember to contact the team via the Technical Service mailbox:


If you require technical support for teaching or research purposes then please contact myself directly.


Many thanks