Micro Nano Research Facility lecture External Advisory Board member Dr Geraint (Taff) Morgan, Open University, UK.
Topic: Down to Earth: From sniffing comets to cancer, submarines, bedbugs, and more ....
Planetary exploration pushes the boundaries of science and engineering. The Rosetta mission, and in particular the plucky Philae lander, captured the imagination of the world as it boldly hopped across the surface of the comet after its ten year, four billion mile journey around the solar system. Dr Geraint (Taff) Morgan was part of the team, along with MNRF’s Dr Barbara Fairchild, that designed, built and tested the shoe-box sized Ptolemy instrument that was the first to analyse the chemical and physical composition of the comet nucleus in situ. Despite the very brief operational window, Ptolemy was able to analyse the dust thrown up immediately after landing and also the temporal changes in the gaseous emissions at its final resting site. The results were published in Science and several other journals.
Over the last decade, his Applied Science & Technology Group (ASTG) has led the OU in the translation of space-know. the Strategic relationships with external partners has resulted in a wide range of bespoke, high impact, sector disruptive solutions to terrestrial challenges; they include:
- an award winning air monitoring system for use on all future Royal Navy submarines;
- a sector disruptive sampling and analysis device for the world’s largest flavours and fragrance company, Givaudan
- a miniature fluid valve, licensed to NASA and SSTL, having the potential to revolutionise satellite propulsion and planetary science instrumentation.
- development a micro-machined gas sampling and analysis device with CSEM and ESA
- an analysis method for the detection of cancers based on compounds in the headspace above urine samples
- a fully automated method for the detection of the metabolites of cannabis in hair samples
In addition to his work at The Open University he is also the founder and director of four companies, working on:
- the development of a bed bug detector for use in hotels
- a breath analyser for the detection of the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers and cancer
- a service company developing bespoke solutions for large multinationals and SMEs
- development of an evidential breath analyser for roadside alcohol measurements
Come and hear about his ongoing journey sniffing the solar system.
Dr. Geraint Morgan FRAS MRSC is highly active in the space technology translation agenda within the School of Physical Sciences at The Open University. He spent the first half of his career working for Professors Colin Pillinger and Ian Wright, designing, building, validating and applying sample preparation systems for mass spectrometer instruments for the Rosetta and Beagle2 space missions. Most notably he was part of the Ptolemy team, on board the Philae lander, that successfully landed and analysed the chemical composition of the comet - following an epic 10 year, 4 billion mile journey around the solar system – publishing 5 papers in peer reviewed journals, including Science. Over the last decade, his Applied Science & Technology Group (ASTG) has led the OU in the translation of space-know. He led the multi-institutional consortium that was awarded a Wellcome Trust Strategic Translation Award, in 2008, to develop a novel diagnostic test for tuberculosis. In the last eighteen months, ASTG has established over a dozen new strategic partnerships with SMEs and multinational companies, many being sector-leading instrument suppliers and end-users of the portable instruments. Through these partnerships ASTG has enhanced its portfolio of world-leading analytical equipment with robotic instrumentation that fully automates sample preparation and data acquisition, an in-kind contribution of nearly £0.5 m.
In partnership with Anthias Consulting Ltd, ASTG hosts several analytical method development, training and demonstration facilities that are used by academia and commercial companies from around the world. He is also director of two start-up companies (Oxford MicroMedical Ltd and Insect Research Systems Ltd), that have recently graduated from the ESA Business Incubation Centre at Harwell and are funded by Innovate UK. He is also a co-founder of Applied Science and Technology Solutions Ltd and TEASS Ltd.
He was recently appointed to the UK Space Agency’s Strategy Challenge Panel and the International Advisory Board for the Nano and Micro Technology Facility at RMIT University, in Melbourne. He was the lead author of a chapter on Encouraging Innovation in the Government Chief Scientific Advisor’s Annual Report 2015, Forensic Science and Beyond: Authenticity, Provenance and Assurance. He represents the Faculty on the Oxford Academic Health Sciences Network R&D Oversight Committee and has recently joined the OU’s Centre for Policing Research & Learning.
He has had several PhD students industrially funded to develop novel analytical methods utilising stable isotopes and comprehensive (GCxGC) gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, in areas as diverse as: atmospheric monitoring, forensics, steroid profiling, sports testing, potable water, cancer and disease classification.
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RMIT University's Green Brain conference venue is located on the north-eastern corner of La Trobe and Swanston Streets. The lecture venue is access from the entrance of Storey Hall (Building 16). Please enter the left and choose Level 7 on the right-hand side panel.
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The RMIT University City Campus is located in the Central Business District. It is located diagonally across from the Melbourne Central Railway Station. The campus is serviced by a number of trams. There is no parking on the campus, but there is paid street parking and multi-level parking available nearby.
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Please contact Associate Professor Sharath Sriram (email@example.com), Scientifc Coordinator, Micro Nano Research Facility.
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Date and Time
Green Brain, Level 7, Enter via Building 16
RMIT University - Melbourne City Campus
344 Swanston Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000