The Department of Physics provides a range of specialist technical services, which all members of the Centre for Materials Physics students are welcome to use to support them in their studies and research.
- Mechanical Workshop
- Electronics Design & Development
- Research & Teaching Technicians
- Communications Support
- Electron Microscopy
Please note the technical support booking system does not apply to the electron microscope facility; please contact your supervisor if you wish to use this facility.
Any technical support request that will take longer that two hours to complete should be processed through the Physics Department's Online Technical Support Booking System. This allows the Centre for Materials Physics to accurately record its expenditure on technical support. This can hence be accounted for when submitting research grants. It also ensures requests don't 'slip through the net' and become unnecessarily delayed.
The Technical Support Booking System can be accessed online in the Physics Department's database (accessible on the Physics Department's homepage). Once you have logged onto the database 'Technical Support bookings' can be found under the 'Departmental' section. After you have entered the details of your request your PI (Principle Investigator) will notified and their approval requested. If your PI consents, the work will go ahead. In many situations it will be necessary to speak directly with the technical service at this point to ensure the details of your request are clear.
Mechanical Workshop (Location)
The Mechanical Workshop is managed by Mr S Lishman (Mechanical Workshop Supervisor) and is supported by seven workshop technicians Mr A Davies, Mr M Clarey, Mr M Robertshaw, Mr LJ Bainbridge, Mr A Crosby , Mr K Ring, Mr K Whatcott. The Mechanical Workshop provides a professional and very efficient service for the Physics Department at Durham University.
We design and construct equipment for teaching, research and support areas within the Physics Department, using CAD drawing packages and CNC machines.
The Mechanical Workshop also provides a contract service to other departments within the University, for those who do not have access within their own departments to our specialised skills and equipment.
Mechanical Workshop Services
Design and Construction
- We design any required mechanical equipment with the use of the latest computer software packages in Computer Aided Design.
- Highly trained mechanics operating 2, 3 and 4 axis CNC milling machines
- A comprehensive welding facility using both TIG and MIG welders
- We design, construct and support all departmental research activities even when they require us to work off site.
- We run formal teaching courses in Mechanical Workshop Techniques for any Undergraduate or Post Graduate Student.
- We provide general advice and guidance on mechanics and mechanical theory and best working practices, including relevant safety issues.
Please download, fill out and send copy of job requisitions form to Phil Armstrong
- Mechanical Workshop Requisition Form (last modified: 11 August 2010)
Electronics Workshop (Location)
The Electronics Workshop is located on the first floor in Room 133 and is supported by three Electronics Technicians Mr JF Scott, Mr D Allan and Mr S Clifford. They provide a high quality professional Electronics service within the Department of Physics. The main work carried out within the Electronics Workshop is the production of printed circuit boards and an equipment repair service. They are also available to provide general advice and guidance on all electrical and electronics theory.
Electronics Workshop Services
Printed Circuit Boards
- Printed circuit board manufacture is a major part of the work carried out in the Electronics Workshop. We can take an initial circuit drawing or concept, develop it if required, produce an appropriate circuit board, populate it, evaluate its performance and house it in an enclosure to give a completed and professional piece of equipment ready for use.
Equipment Repair Service
- We provide a professional equipment repair facility for the Department's student laboratories as well as any of the research groups, covering both analogue and digital electronics.
Portable Appliance Testing
- For research groups within the Department who do not have their own technical support we carry out Portable Appliance Testing.
- We have a front panel Sign making facility that can produce images up to A3 size in a range of materials such as aluminium or plastic.
- We provide general advice and guidance on all electrical and electronics theory and best working practices, including relevant safety issues.
Electronics Design and Development was set up in August 2000 to provide a Professional Engineering support service to both Research Groups and Teaching Laboratories. Its mandate is to provide a one-stop Electronic Design capability, with the aim of producing Electronic Instruments or Engineering solutions, often from first principles.
- Original Equipment design
- Printed Circuit Board Design
- Mechanical Drawings
- Project Management
Original Equipment Design
E D&D will undertake Original Electronic Equipment Design both for Research and Teaching limited, only by equipment, manpower etc. The group is there to give Professional Electronic Engineering support and it is not intended to replace any function of a Research group, merely to supplement and support their effort.
Printed Circuit Board Design
The Staff of E D&D have over fifteen years experience with state-of-art CAD Systems for Designing Printed Circuit Boards. The main software package used is "Personal Automated Design System" - PADS, although experience with other packages exists within the group, such as ORCAD and VIEWLOGIC .
The group will undertake the Mechanical Drawings insofar as they relate to the Electronic instrument or P.C.B. under consideration. The CAD packages used are AUTOCAD and DRAFIX.
The Group will undertake the Project Management insofar as the design of the Electronic instrument or P.C.B. is concerned. It will if required liaison with the other agencies both inside the University i.e. Electronic and Mechanical Workshops and outside i.e. Printed Circuit Board Manufacturers.
Tom Jackson - Supervisor
Tel: 0191 3742125 / 0191 3343545
The Research and Teaching Technicians are supervised by Norman Thompson (Research) and Wayne Dobby (Teaching). They are supported by a team of ten technicians.
The Research Technicians are Mr David Allan, Mr John Bate, Mr John Dobson, Mr Duncan McCallum and Mr David Pattinson. The Research Technicians are able to assist with and advice on experimental set up and equipment throughout the year. They also assist with the disposal of certain waste materials.
The Teaching Technicians are Mr Paul Foley, Mrs Susan Hilton, Mr Ian Manfren, Mr Reece Stockport and Mr John Summerill. The Teaching Technicians are responsible for setting up and maintaining the equipment for undergraduate laboratories during the teaching terms. Outside of the teaching terms they support the experimental research groups in the Department.
Physics IT (Location)
The Information Technology (IT) section is managed and supported by Mr JC Hinson (IT Network Manager) Mr A Hunter (IT Technician) and Mr IJ Johnson (IT Technician) and Mr M Short (Computer Officer). IT is located on the ground floor (Room 21) in the Physics Department. IT provides a broad range of high quality network and computing services, ranging from departmental network setup to administrative computing needs.
IT is also the main support and resource provider of Information Technology for all teaching, learning, research and administrative activities within the Physics Department.
- Responsibilties include set up and maintenance of the internal network including configuring/patching.
Departmental Administration computing requirements
- Installation of required computing software, servers and backup systems.
- IT is also responsible for the day to day solving of technical problems that occur within the Administration section accross the Department.
Liaison with computing managers within the Department
- Support and advice for the departmental computing managers.
Collaboration with Communications Support
- Technical advice and support for video streaming and live web access.
- Network access for conference and video downloads.
General IT and technical advice to all teaching, learning, research and administrative sections
- Includes providing and installing computer software, information and advice on the latest advancements in computer technology.
- Support in all network issues accross the departmental sections.
Communications Support (Location)
The Communications Support Administrator Mr Greg Robson is responsible for the management of the Department’s Communications activities and is assisted by Communications Support Officers Mrs Victoria Greener and Mr Steven Berry
Communications Support has been supporting the Physics Department at Durham University for the last 25 years. Throughout this time the service has gone through many changes, mostly due to the introduction of new technology and the constant demand for new ways to share information. These changes have been made available by the introduction of computers and digital technology.
Communications Support is located on the ground floor of the Rochester building, Room 23. Tel. +44 (0) 191 33 43587 / Email: email@example.com
- Including and up to A0 poster printing, laminating and framing
- Including and up to A0 high quality photographic prints
- A4 OHP colour prints
- A4/A3 black and white reprographics
- A4 colour/Black and white scanning
- Documentation of research experiments
- Outreach events including school visits and NAGTY
- Images for publications and journals
- Documentation of VIP events and group conferences throughout the year
- Staff and student identification photographs
- Passport Photos
- Research experiments
- Annual Lectures
- Group conferences
- Video downloads/Podcasting
- DVD and CD production
- Information and advice on page set up and document layout
- Production and design of powerpoint slide shows
- Poster design and print production up to size A0
- Design of information signs, badge labels and function invitations
- Day to day management of the Departmental Web Content
Management System (CMS)
- Production and design of new section/centres web pages
- Videos/Podcasts for the web downloads
Please note: The Electron Microscopy Facility is not booked through the technical booking system. Please contact Dr Budhika Mendis if you would like to use the facility.
The Durham GJ Russell Microscopy Facility is a joint facility between five Faculty of Science departments (i.e. Physics, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Engineering and Biology). It is based in the Ogden Centre, Department of Physics. Using state-of-the-art microscopes we can extract structural and chemical information at the nanometre and atomic scale. A wide range of specimens, including semiconducturs, oxides, magnetic materials, minerals and nanostructures are currently being investigated. Furthermore, using a focused ion-beam microscope novel structures, such as MEMS and NEMS devices, can be engineered. We also have extensive specimen preparation facilities which cover many of the techniques commonly used in the physical sciences.
Researchers from Durham University are particularly encouraged to use the electron microscopy faciltiy (please also see the user access terms and conditions). A team of dedicated staff are on hand to provide any technical assistance that may be required; Service Manager Dr Budhika Mendis, Experimental Officer Leon Bowen and Service Director Prof Ken Durose. For more information please see our brochures or contact the service manager, Dr Budhika Mendis, directly.
More information can be found on the Electron Microscope Facility webpages.