Dr Natasha Stephen

An academic at the University of Plymouth has been invited to join a national organisation charged with promoting electron microscopy to a wider audience.

Dr Natasha Stephen, Director of the Plymouth Materials Characterisation Project (PMCP) within the University’s Electron Microscopy Centre (PEMC), has been appointed to the national committee of the Royal Microscopical Society.

The role will see her working alongside other academics advising on a range of national issues, as well as helping to coordinate and organise training courses, and arranging outreach activities.

The Royal Microscopical Society has been at the forefront of microscopy and imaging since 1839, and its Electron Microscopy Section was founded in 1965 to foster interest in all types of electron microscopy and analysis in academia and industry, in the UK and beyond.

Dr Stephen, also a Lecturer in Advanced Analysis (Earth and Planetary Sciences) in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, said:

“This is a huge personal honour at such an early stage of my career. It is also fantastic in terms of raising the profile of the Electron Microscopy Centre here in Plymouth. I am excited to be working with like-minded people from across the UK, and beyond, to increase awareness of electron microscopy as a tool, and to enhance knowledge of the benefits it can bring to academics, students and industry alike.”

The PMCP will see the Electron Microscopy Centre open its doors to businesses in Devon, and work alongside them in using its specialist facilities for research.

Backed by European funding, it will enable the institution to invest more than £1million in a state-of-the-art dual beam microscope that can analyse substances and construct three-dimensional images on a nanometre scale.

It will complement the University’s existing collection of Scanning and Transmission Electron microscopes, and enable to it to undertake new work and bid for specialist research funding.

Geology students on field trip to Dartmoor with Professor Gregory Price