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Personal profile

Research interests

My interests cover a few areas all surrounding conservation of cultural heritage. I have interests in historic building materials, their decay and conservation; understanding mechanisms and pathways of deterioration and assessing novel methods of averting lasting damage. I have an interest in biopolymers, understanding their molecular structure and how this provides mechanical strength and durability, and their decay pathways through the actions of time and external factors.


Craig Kennedy received a degree in biochemistry from the University of  Stirling and a PhD in structural biophysics from Cardiff University,  examining the deterioration of collagen within historic parchments. This work married high-end scientific analysis (synchrotron radiation,  neutron scattering, etc.) with the practical needs of conservators  working on ancient documents. Further work at Cardiff included  examination of the structure of cellulose microfibrils from wood and higher plants such as celery, sugar beet, tunicin and flax, as well as analysis of historical materials such as silk, paper, leather and glass. The  effects of cleaning and repairs on historical materials was a major feature of this work.

Dr Kennedy joined Historic Scotland in 2006 and became Head of Science in early 2007 and Senior Conservation Scientist in 2011. As well as managing the science unit, Craig has supervised research internships, and co-supervised a number of studentships with Universities in to areas relating to historic building deterioration. The research carried out during this time included on-site analysis of Historic Scotland's Properties in Care as well as supporting and carrying out fundamental research in to building material decay and conservation.

In August 2013 Craig joined Heriot Watt University's School of the Built Environment as a Senior Lecturer. Current research includes analysis of historic glass and timber, with continuing interest in the utilisation of science as part of the conservation process.

Research Group Contact Details

Craig's current research group consists of:

Sylvester Manege (slm8@hw.ac.uk) - whole life costing of construction projects


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