Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science

NICAS Colloquium

10Nov2016 12:00 - 13:00


We are very pleased to announce the next edition of the NICAS Colloquium on Thursday 10 November from 12.00 to 13.00 hrs. The colloquium will be chaired by Lambert Baij (Rijksmuseum, UvA-HIMS), PhD-researcher.

PLEASE NOTE: this time the colloquium will take place in the main conference room on the ground floor of the Bureau of the Rijksmuseum (Hobbemstraat 20, Amsterdam), NOT in the Atelier Building itself.

The presenters during the colloquium are:

  • Birgit van Driel - Titanium white paint surfaces & their aging mechanisms

Titanium white pigments can cause degradation of oil paints through photocatalytic degradation processes. However, not all titanium white pigments initiate degradation of the paint. Furthermore due to the relatively young age of titanium white containing paints, the degradation processes have often not occurred yet. This PhD study is focussed on increasing the understanding of the photocatalytic degradation of linseed oil via TiO2-initiated radicals, possibly for the determination of early warning signs, in order to predict and prevent degradation. Here we present the investigation of reconstructed paints with ATR-FTIR, AFM-IR and high resolution carbon XPS to better understand the chemical changes in the binding medium during aging.

Birgit van Driel has obtained her bachelors in Chemical Engineering from TU Delft, with a minor in Art History from the Free University in Brussels and a Masters in Material Science from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. During her Masters she did an internship at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where she operated the Bruker M6 XRF-Scanner.  She is currently in the 3rd year of her PhD. This research is carried out under collaborative supervision by the Rijksmuseum, TU Delft, the cultural heritage agency of the Netherlands and AkzoNobel.


  • Tom Callewaert - Controlled shedding of light on cultural heritage: Optical Coherence Tomography

As a novel technique for material science research, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is capable of imaging transparent layers. This non-destructive/non-contact method can render stratigraphy/topology maps via tomographic reconstructions of point scans, making more information available to conservators and restorers about the condition of an object. The lecture will focus on the advantages and latest innovations made within this field of research, and compare its results to other established techniques. Furthermore, it will be shown how digital image processing can be exploited in order to reduce experimental artefacts within both OCT and Optical Microscopy data.

Tom Callewaert obtained his MSc in Physical Chemistry at KU Leuven in 2014, specialising in nonlinear optics and molecular photonics.  Currently serving as a PhD Candidate for the Imaging Physics research group at TU Delft he develops experimental imaging solutions as well as image processing algorithms for use within the cultural heritage community.  His main research topics are now related to the advancement of Optical Coherence Tomography as a non-destructive measurement tool within material science research applications.

More information about the NICAS Colloquium can be found here.

Published by  NICAS