RAMPS Research Group (Wren Lab)
RAMPS is the research group of Dr. J. Clara Wren in the Department of Chemistry, Western University, London, Ontario. Dr. Wren is an international leader in radiation-induced chemistry processes and their impact on the corrosion rates of industrial alloys. Her group is one of only a few in the world doing radiation-influenced corrosion chemistry research. The interdisciplinary nature of this research means that graduate students in the group emerge with a through grounding in in radiation chemistry, corrosion kinetics and electrochemistry.
Graduate students in the group have many opportunities to interact with engineers and scientists from our industrial partners. Such contacts provide valuable industrial background experience, and can provide future job opportunities. This is evidenced by the employment rate of the group's students. To date nearly all of the students that have graduated from the Wren Lab have immediately obtained jobs that are directly related to their training.
Students in the group are given opportunities to present their work at scientific conferences and technical meetings. This is an established practice in the group and many of our students have been invited to give presentations at prestigious conferences (and have won many awards).
We are currently looking for graduate students (MSc and/or PhD) and postdoctoral fellows with strong chemistry backgrounds. If you are interested, please contact us.
OUR RESEARCH INTERESTS
We are interdisciplinary chemists who apply chemical kinetics analysis and modelling to complex chemical systems of practical interest.
Applied chemical kinetics have a wide range of practical applications, from environmental studies to industrial problems, such as the rate of ozone depletion in the atmosphere, contaminant transport in ground waters, chemical evolution of mine tailings and the rates of pipeline corrosion. We use an integrated approach to such problems, combining experimental and modelling studies.
Our primary focus is the study of the chemical reactions and transport phenomena occurring in ionizing radiation environments. A detailed understanding of these is crucial for assuring nuclear safety and materials integrity.
High radiation fields create a dynamic chemical environment, particularly in systems where water is present. Radiolysis of water produces highly reactive radicals (•OH, •H, e¯(aq), •HO2 and •O2– ) and molecular species (H2, O2 and H2O2). The reactions of these species are often responsible for the evolution of the chemistry and the degradation of the materials of nuclear reactor systems.
Some current research areas:
- Corrosion kinetics of alloys used in nuclear power plants. Determining mechanisms and developing predictive models.
- Radiolytic corrosion of copper.
- Radiation-induced metal oxide nanoparticle formation: detailed kinetic and mechanistic studies.
- Modelling of water radiolysis kinetics at a range of temperatures and pressures, and in supercritical water.
- Encapsulation technologies for radioactive waste materials.
- Laser ablation for stripping radioactive oxides from metal surfaces.
We have several well-equipped laboratories. Our electrochemistry laboratory allows us to study the kinetics of corrosion under a range of conditions of temperature, pressure and solution environment. Our other laboratories house analytical instruments such as a high magnification optical microscope, gas chromatograph, and an inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES) for measuring the concentrations of dissolved metal species. We also have a high-powered IR laser that we are using to develop an efficient method for stripping radioactive oxides from metal surfaces.
In addition to this, we have access to instruments at Surface Science Western, allowing us analyze surfaces using techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Auger electron spectrosocopy (AES) and surface Raman.
cHEMISTRY dEPARTMENT AT WESTERN uNIVERSITY
"The Department of Chemistry at Western is dedicated to the discovery, dissemination and application of chemical knowledge through research, teaching and public service. We seek to maintain and enhance the stature of our Department as one with foremost research and teaching programs in the University and in Canada. We promote diversity through interdisciplinary programs of teaching and research while retaining a focus on excellence in all endeavors."
CITY OF lONDON
London is a city of 380,000 people and is the main metropolis of Ontario west of the GTA. Known as the Forest City, London boasts numerous green spaces and the famed river bike paths. The city has an international airport, well-developed dining and shopping districts, and, of course, the beautiful campus of Western University.
More information about London can be found here: