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Working with C-DICE to create a facilities-based training event

Working with C-DICE to create a facilities-based training event

Based at the University of Southampton, the µ-VIS X-ray Imaging Centre responded to a call from C-DICE to develop a technical training event, with a focus of geomaterials research.

Our successful 2-day hybrid event brought together an array of researchers and engineers with varied backgrounds, all with an interest in applying X-ray computed tomography (XCT) to geomaterials and particulate media. Attendees included both new and established XCT users and Day 1 of the event engaged them with hands-on training on XCT data processing, along with shared resources to facilitate self-paced study.

Day 2 provided an opportunity to visit the UKCRIC National Infrastructure Laboratory facilities along with international plenary talks. Cutting-edge topics included: non-destructive full-field analysis techniques on particulate media; XCT and X-ray diffraction; and XCT and neutron tomography (NCT). Lively discussions ensued during the afternoon of roundtables, where barriers to accessing XCT by geomaterial researchers were hotly debated.  Potential solutions were showcased, including the NXCT and NXCT-based XCT access avenues, signposting the steps and requirements to complete an NXCT scan-time application.

The hybrid mode of delivery proved a positive new experience for the µ-VIS team, with the advantage of engaging our online attendees who were unable to attend in person.  We have decided to run this event again in the future, probably every couple of years, as it was a fantastic way to engage researchers in this field and showcase our specialist facility.

C-DICE provided expert advice and support throughout the process and helped us to promote our event across the national postdoc network. We would recommend working with C-DICE if you are thinking of creating any training aimed at postdocs and researchers.

Dr Fernando Alvarez-Borges, Research Fellow at the University of Southampton.

Fernando is a Civil Engineer with experience in the construction industry (infrastructure development) and in geomechanics research. Main interest are topics related to the use of X-ray computed tomography imaging as a research tool for geomechanics, geotechnics and geomaterials. NXCT – National X-ray Computed Tomography

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