Kath is the BNFL Research Chair in Geological Disposal and is based in the new Research Centre for Radwaste and Decommissioning hosted in SEES and funded via a BNFL Endowment to the University.
I am a bit obsessed with things nucleary, but I firmly believe we need the best earth and environmental scientists to tackle the challenges of our nuclear waste legacy. I think students probably know me as 'the one that gets excited about radioactivity'!
My work focuses on the behaviour of radioactivity in the environment. I use a lot of techniques from different disciplines and touch on aspects of geochemistry, radiochemistry, microbiology and mineralogy. My work is helping us to improve the way we manage radioactively contaminated land, nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste.
I love working with other people to get results as a team. As Marie Curie noted, she was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy, but this is a vibrant research environment, with excellent scientists across undergraduates, postgraduates, post-docs and research staff. The multidisciplinary research capability with in the School is extraordinary and makes my work so interesting.
Finding ways to motivate students and researchers to develop their skills so they can become robust researchers is an inspiring job.
One of the most interesting teaching experiences I had was a few days after the Fukushima Reactor Accident. I was able to discuss the reactor accident with undergraduates from the School; they were clearly concerned about the event and wanted to know more.
I am a bit of a nuclear nerd, really, but I firmly believe we need the best scientists to tackle the challenges of our nuclear waste legacy. I think students probably know me as 'the one that gets excited about radioactivity'!
I am an active researcher in radionuclide biogeochemistry - to deliver good science we constantly strive to be innovative and inspirational. I firmly believe research led teaching conveys this science to the undergraduate and postgraduate students I teach.
What makes me smile
One of my highlights has been working collaboratively with colleagues in microbiology, geochemistry, mineralogy and spectroscopy to be the first group to understand radionuclide biogeochemistry cycling behaviour. It has also been exciting to work with the highly radiotoxic element neptunium! The University of Manchester is the best place in the UK and probably Europe to do what I do.