An introduction to Claudia Petrucci; GERC PhD student in geophysics

By Claudia Petrucci; GERC PhD student
That's me!
I would like to introduce myself, I am Claudia Petrucci and as of November 2015 I’m a PhD student at the GeoEnergy Research Centre (GERC), a joint venture between the University of Nottingham and British Geological Survey. 

As my name could suggest I’m Italian. I was born in Naples where I have lived and studied until I moved to Nottingham a few months ago. My origins from a city which has to deal with a famous active volcano (Vesuvius), a less famous caldera (Campi Flegrei) and tectonic earthquakes from near faults have always pushed my interests in the Geoscience field. 

However, after my graduation in Physics with specialization in Geophysics and a thesis in seismology, I wanted to expand my knowledge in the geophysics sector and eventually apply it in other scientific fields that could be defined far ( at a first sight) from Earth Science. The GERC gave me exactly this opportunity with this PhD: working on the design and development of new quantum chips based on cold atoms which can be used in geophysics explorations mainly as gravity sensors. 

Therefore my PhD has many and different objectives: 

1.       make use of the inverse methods (which have historically been broadly used in Geophysics) to optimize the geometry of the chip and of its components

2.       study the impact that these new devices will have for gravity exploration, both in terms of processing and analysis of the data, and in terms of optimization of the surveys 
Fieldwork at the British Geological Survey

Given my current interest in the “Sensor field” the GERC gave me the opportunity to take part in the “KTN Environmental Sensing for Sustainable Development workshop” held in London on the 18th February. 

The aims of the workshop were to bring together environmental industry communities, environmental sensing technology providers and novel sensing researchers to share knowledge and generate new ideas in the environmental field. 

Arriving in London for the KTN workshop
The conference was mainly focused on the monitoring and control of environmental pollution and the speakers touched on several different interesting themes: water and air quality control, contaminated land, opportunities in the blue economy and oil and gas decommissioning. The central theme to all these talks was the importance and necessity of the development of sensors which should have, at the same time, reliability, sensitiveness and portability. 

Much emphasis has also been given to the necessity of developing sensors both capable of performing analysis onsite, rather than been just able to collecting data to be analysed in laboratories, and to be connected in a network configuration for Real Time analysis. 

I also appreciate the genuine interest that the industrial partners showed in my research during the networking time of the workshop and their words of support in hearing that I was only in the first few months of my PhD. It is always a pleasure to meet professionals that are sensitive and encouraging! 

Therefore the whole experience has been really positive for me. I had the opportunity to travel South (which is always a pleasure given my origins!) have a glimpse of London and listen to the very latest innovations in the environmental sensor field. 
*You can keep up to date with GERC activities on our social media channels*