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Meet the scientist at Aberdeen’s Satrosphere

Scientists from Aberdeen’s two universities will take part in a free event this weekend (Saturday August 22), celebrating Scotland’s great scientific minds.

The 'Great Minds' exhibition will take place at the city's Satrosphere Science Centre from 10am to 5pm.

Created to mark Scotland's year of Homecoming, highlights for visitors include the opportunity to meet Dr Alan Owen, from Robert Gordon University, and Dr Beth Scott from the University of Aberdeen who are working together on research into renewable energy systems.

As a mechanical engineering specialist in renewable energy, Dr Owen is heavily involved in progressing Robert Gordon University's sustainability strategy. He not only lectures in renewable energy but also has a great deal of experience in leading a waste conscious lifestyle. He lived on a completely self sufficient croft for three years in the 1990s and has reduced his domestic heating energy consumption by 68% in the last five years.

Dr Owen said: "As our technological prowess has advanced in the last 150 years, western societies have largely forgotten that humans are part of the Earth's natural systems. Energy resources are already facing significant challenges. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with members of the local community this weekend and hope to underline Robert Gordon University's commitment to fostering sustainable development."

Dr. Beth Scott is a marine ecologist who uses a combination of human observers and underwater equipment to understand how fish and seabirds use changes in tides to help them capture their food. 

Dr Scott said: "Alan Owen and I met at a conference a few years ago and realised that the research we each do in areas of high energy tidal flows could be put together. Engineers need to know how tidal flows 'behave' in the real world and seabirds very visibly change their behaviours when there are even just subtle changes in the tidal flows. Combining our approaches will help speed up the process of discovering where the best locations are for high rewards in renewable energy extraction and low risk of endangering marine animals."

Also presenting throughout the day will be Dr Ken Skeldon of the University of Aberdeen's Public Engagement with Science Unit. His 'Bright Sparks' show is a demonstration packed science show celebrating Scotland's reputation as a pioneering and inventive nation.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see high-voltage engineering close up and view their friends with a mechanical television system like those pioneered by John Logie Baird.

Other workshops at the event include a presentation on evolution, an exhibition on health and nutrition and an opportunity to see award-winning Formula one TAU racing car, built and raced by University of Aberdeen undergraduate Engineering students. Junior visitors will be also able to take part in the K'next Generation's Tiny Inventors activity.

Dr Skeldon said: "The Satrosphere Homecoming special will be a great opportunity for the public to get to grips with some of the latest topics in science, engineering and technology. There will be events to suit all ages."

The day ends with a lively café scientifique discussion on the importance of our bones, presented by Professor Miep Helfrich of the University of Aberdeen's Bones Research Group at Foresterhill.


Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Wednesday 19th of August 2009

Ref: 240scientists
Contact: Kelly Cromar

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