Katrin is a DPhil candidate in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, and within it a member of the Oxford Rock Breakdown Laboratory (OxRBL). Her current studies are funded by Proceq© and EPSRC. After working as a stone mason and practical conservator for several years, she studied cultural heritage conservation science. In 2011 she graduated with a Diploma in Art Technology, Restoration and Conservation Science from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany. The dissertation focussed on ancient roman wall plaster techniques (II.Style) and the research was conducted at the Casa di Obellio Firmo in Pompeii, Italy. With her current research in the field of heritage stone conservation science she aims at bridging the gap between practice and science. The focus of her thesis is on improving non-destructive analysis methods in order to investigate the state of preservation of architectural heritage.
Degree completed in 2016.
Improving non-destructive techniques for in situ stone weathering research
- Improvement of non-destructive analysis methods for on-site application at heritage sites
- Salt induced stone weathering of architectural heritage
The field of architectural heritage conservation is highly interdisciplinary, and in her research Katrin draws together the fields of art history, architecture, archaeology, engineering and statistics. By combining these disciplines and applying them to conservation science, Katrin develops methodologies and recommendations for good preservation practices. In particular, she is looking to improve non-destructive methods for on-site analysis of cultural heritage sites. Furthermore, the results of the non-destructive investigations enhancing the understanding of stone deterioration processes in-situ.
Katrin has been involved in a variety of international research projects, including:
- 2014 - Planned pilot study on remote data logging systems Pompeii
- 2014 - Planned conservation and research at Baba Dülük Tepesi in collaboration with Prof. Engelbert Winter from the research centre Asia Minor at the University Münster, Germany
- 2013 - Preliminary investigation of the state of preservation of the archaeological site Baba Dülük Tepesi the origin and central sanctuary of Jupiter Dolichenus, a god worshipped throughout the Roman imperium. Furthermore, developing and conducting of an emergency conservation plan. The project was in collaboration with Prof. Engelbert Winter from the research centre Asia Minor at the University Münster, Germany
- 2013 - Collaboration with Eric Poehler from the Pompeii Quadriporticus Project (PQP). Main aim of the project was to distinguish different ancient building phases of the Quadriporticus in a non-destructive way.
- 2011 - Association with the project 'Vitruvius and the antique techniques of plaster work and mural paintings'. Organization of experimental archaeology workshop to reconstruct ancient mural plaster and painting techniques. (see link in English)
Awards and Funding
- 2011 - EPSRC Studentship
- 2011 - Proceq Research Grant
- 2012 - DAAD Doctoral Research Grant
- Wilhelm, K., Viles, H. and Burke, Ò. (2016) Low impact surface hardness testing (equotip) on porous surfaces - advances in methodology with implications for rock weathering and stone deterioration research. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.
- Wilhelm, K., Viles, H. and Burke, Ò. (2016) The influence of salt on handheld electrical moisture meters: Can they be used to detect salt problems in porous stone? International Journal of Architectural Heritage.
- Coombes, M.A., Feal-Perez, A., Naylor, L.A. and Wilhelm, K. (2013) A non-destructive tool for detecting changes in the hardness of engineering materials: application of the Equotip durometer in the coastal zone. Engineering Geology, 167: 14-19.
Fig. 1 - Turkey, Gaziantep, Dülük Baba Tepesi, excavation site
Fig. 2 - Turkey, Gaziantep, Dülük Baba Tepesi, aerial image of excavation site
Fig. 3 - Turkey, Gaziantep, Dülük Baba Tepesi, Hellenistic floor in the front and Iron Age walls in the upper left corner
Fig. 4 - Turkey, Gaziantep, Dülük Baba Tepesi, testing surface hardness changes with Proceq© Equotip Piccolo 2 after application of consolidating slurry on limestone
Fig. 5 - Italy, Pompeii, Quadriporticus overview
Fig. 6 - Italy, Pompeii, Quadriporticus, room 006 (NE), application of Proceq© Equotip Piccolo 2
Fig. 7 - UK, Oxford, St Mary's church the Virgin, 14th century, variety of limestones from different centuries, application of Proceq© Pundit Lab+