- Gain knowledge about current research themes and methods in mineralogy, mineral physics and petrology.
- Learn how to apply quantitative models to metamorphic and mineralogical questions.
- Gain awareness of analytical techniques available to study mineralogical research questions.
- Acquire the ability to understand and critically examine scientific literature in this field.
Development of transferable skills
- Recap of: Mineralogy and crystallography including bonding and electronic structure of solids, point and space groups for crystal symmetry, surface to bulk properties of materials.
- Introduction to advanced analytical tools including electron beam techniques, spectroscopic methods, synchrotron methods, atomic force microscopy.
- Introduction to modelling mineral systems.
- Introduction to mineral/rock-fluid interaction.
- Hot topics in biomineralization.
- Applications will be illustrated with case studies. Examples are: interfacial processes during mineral weathering, biomineralization, hydrothermal systems in solid Earth, industrial metamorphism including CO2 sequestration, nuclear waste disposal and unconventional hydrocarbons. Where possible external speakers will be invited to present cutting edge research currently conducted in different industrial sectors to study mineralogical questions.
- Written communications skills: The coursework of this course includes a written component, both as practical reports and a scientific abstract writing exercise in which phrasing, grammar etc is also part of the grading scheme. Students are expected to hand in a first draft on which they receive feedback on the science and writing style from the lecturers before handing in the final version.
- Verbal communication skills: During this course we hold a mini conference linked to the abstract writing exercise. The students are given a recent scientific article covering one of the areas discussed during the course and must produce a short presentation to teach the rest of the group about the subject. Feedback is given on presentation skills by both the lecturers and the student’s peers.
- Problem solving skills: throughout the lectures and practical sessions students are given tasks that require mathematical, kinesthetic and/or reasoning methods to approach the problems and find the solution. This includes examining/processing data.
- Technical skills: the students are introduced to the following techniques during the course: scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM/TEM) including focused ion beam milling, infra-red and Raman spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and interferometry.
- Analytical/quantitative skills: Students are given data from TEM, AFM, and Raman spectroscopy investigations to analyse during the practical assignments. The student’s use various analytical programs to analyse the data (Fityk: Raman data, Nanoscope Analysis: AFM) as well as working on paper. The students also learn how to perform models using SUPCRT, PHREEQC and PERPLEX.