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NICAS Colloquium online

12 November 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CET


We are pleased to announce a new, online edition of the NICAS colloquium on Thursday 12 November 2020 from 12.00 to 13.00 hrs. The colloquium will take place online through Microsoft Teams


Throughout the year, NICAS organises a bi-weekly Colloquium consisting of two short research lectures. It provides researchers with the opportunity to present ideas for, updates on or results of their activities. The NICAS Colloquium allows people to stay informed on a regular basis about the latest developments and results of research and to exchange information and expertise.



The chair of this colloquium will be Francien Bossema (CWI).


The presenters are:


Yoram Goedhart – Forensic investigation of microtraces on an item of Dutch 18th century clothing in the Rijksmuseum collection


The study explored to what extent a modern forensic approach can contribute to the documentation, identification and analysis of highly fragmented and aged materials in a case of cultural heritage. To reach this goal, a forensic trace investigation was conducted on a pair of 18th century breeches, that have been retrieved from an anonymous grave on Spitsbergen. These breeches contain unidentified materials, among which possibly human traces. Trace material was examined using a microscopy-based approach. It appeared that the breeches contained mainly traces of biological origin. Energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) and Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy indicated the remains of human skin. With the identification of the unknown material, it was concluded that a modern forensic approach can successfully be applied to a historical object within cultural heritage and can help decision-making regarding possible future conservation of the object.


After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), Yoram Goedhart looked for a study program with a more direct connection to society. He chose Forensic Science, also at the UvA. During those two years, he specialized in forensic biology, while learning various other disciplines. As a lover of art and museums, the Rijksmuseum already sparked his interest as a possible place to do his research project while he was still in the first year of the master program. He was able to do so in his second year to finish the master. His project at the Rijksmuseum has been the greatest challenge he has had so far and required a lot of knowledge from various fields of expertise. Now that the project has ended successfully, he is working at the Netherlands Forensic Institute, where he is in training to interpret complex DNA-profiles and write reports for the Dutch police. In the future, he would like to continue his career in human biological traces.


Gijs Eumelen Modelling chemo-mechanical damage of historical oil paintings



The formation of crystalline metal soaps in paint materials is threatening a large percentage of historical oil paintings worldwide. Despite being linked to phenomena such as crack formation and paint delamination (loss of paint), very little research has been performed on the coupled chemo-mechanical behavior of historical oil paintings under the formation of crystalline metal soaps. In this work, a chemo-mechanical model has been developed that is capable of simulating the growth of metal soap crystals and the corresponding cracking generated in the paint layer. The model is capable of qualitatively predicting the formation of metal soaps and surface cracks as observed in historic oil paintings. To improve the quantitative predictions of the model, ongoing research focuses on the experimental calibration of the mechanical and diffusion-reaction properties of the constituents. The model may assist conservators in the determination of conservation strategies and decisions.


Gijs Eumelen obtained his Bachelor of Built Environment degree at Avans University of Applied Sciences in the direction of Architecture and Construction Engineering, specializing in Structural Design. He then continued his studies at the Eindhoven University of Technology, studying Architecture, Building and Planning with the specialization in Structural Design. He obtained his Master of Science degree, cum laude, on the topic “Numerical Modelling of Metal Soap Growth and Damage Formation in Paint Layers”. Continuing on this topic, Gijs was appointed a PhD position in the group of Applied Mechanics of the Department of the Built Environment at the Eindhoven University of Technology, and is supervised by Prof.Dr. Akke Suiker and Dr. Emanuela Bosco.


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12 November 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CET
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