After my PhD in environmental mineralogy at the University of Leeds I moved to the University of Manchester in 2012 for a Postdoc position in actinide biogeochemistry on the NERC funded BIGRAD project.
In 2016 I joined the University of Strathclyde on the Little Forrest Legacy Site (LFLS) immobilization project. The LFLS contains several trenches with radiactive legacy waste from the 1950s and 60s. The University of Strathclyde has a strong prortfolio in grouting techniques. For the LFLS the preferred grouting technique at present is a colloidal silica based grout due to its low viscosity, low toxicity and chemical inertness. There, are however still uncertainties how such a grout would be have within waste forms and how any radionuclides (e.g. Sr-90, Cs-137) behave during and after the injection and gelling of colloidal silica based grouts.
Since November 2019, I am a Research Fellow and Co-I on the EPSRC funded Plasma Accelerators for Nuclear Applications and Materials Analyses (PANAMA) project. PANAMA is a collaboration between the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Physics at the University of Strathclyde to utilize the laser wakefield generated particle and X-ray beams produced at the SCAPA facility to develop diffraction, spectroscopy and tomography analyses for the civil nuclear energy sectors. My main role within PANAMA is to collaborate with the department of Physics in the design of the PANAMA facility and to lead and develop the respective research programmes to utilize such facility. Such research can include anything from the behaviour of waste materials in the environment to mechanistic understanding of beam damage utilizing pump-probe capabilities of laser wakefield particle and X-ray beams.
Finally, I am always interested in developing collaborations and supporting prospective PhD students wishing to joing the University of Strathclyde.
Nucleation, growth and transformation processes of (nano-particulate) mineral phases in aquatic environments in natural and engineered environments
Surface chemical and thermodynamic control on the solubility and mobility of metals (e.g. contaminants) in natural and engineered environments
The effects of environmental engineering / (bio)remediation strategies on the geochemistry and surface chemistry of inorganic contaminants
The influence of microbial and biological activity on the formation and transformation of mineral phases in aquatic environments
- Geosciences (Journal)
- Guest editor
- The geochemistry of radionuclides in engineering for the nuclear energy sector.
- Invited speaker
- The Use of Synchrotron Radiation in Actinide Geochemistry – Geological Disposal of Radioactive Wastes
- Invited speaker
- Actinide Geochemistry in Geo-disposal Scenarios
- Invited speaker
- The behaviour of actinides in geological disposal scenarios
- Invited speaker
- In Situ Study of Uranium(VI) Oxide Colloid Formation and Their Relevance to Geodisposal Relevant Conditions
- Invited speaker
More professional activities
- PANAMA: Plasma Accelerators for Nuclear Applications and Materials Analysis (panama) - National Nuclear User Facility Phase 2
- Renshaw, Joanna (Principal Investigator) Jaroszynski, Dino (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) McKenna, Paul (Co-investigator) Bots, Pieter (Research Co-investigator)
- 01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2023
- Underpinning the safety case for the use of colloidal silica based grout for waste containment
- Bots, Pieter (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Principal Investigator) El Mountassir, Grainne (Co-investigator) Pedrotti, Matteo (Co-investigator) Payne, Timothy (Co-investigator) Renshaw, Joanna (Co-investigator)
- X-ray Computed Tomography beamtime awarded by Diamond Light Source (STFC) at equivalent funding value of £95,940.
Abstract of funded proposal:
In the proposed experiments we aim to develop the scientific case to underpin the use of novel colloidal silica based grouts for radioactive waste containment. We aim to use the element specific capabilities of synchrotron based X-ray CT at beamline I13-2 to investigate the effects of the grout injection on the geochemistry of Sr, Cs and U. We will also utilize the time resolved capabilities to determine the influence of complex solid matrices on the (injection) behaviour of the silica grouts.
- 06-Jan-2017 - 10-Jan-2017
- Access to Diamond Light Source beamline I22, SAXS/WAXS
- Turner, Ronnie (Principal Investigator) Hamilton, Andrea (Principal Investigator) Bots, Pieter (Principal Investigator)
- SAXS/WAXS investigation of biogenic and biomimetic hydroxyapatites on beamline I22 at Diamond Light Source. Project ID SM17097.
- 14-Jan-2017 - 16-Jan-2017
- Impacts of colloidal silica grout injection on the geochemistry of radioactive wastes
- Renshaw, Joanna (Principal Investigator) Bots, Pieter (Co-investigator) El Mountassir, Grainne (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Pedrotti, Matteo (Co-investigator)
- 01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2018
- Formation and stability of U(V) during biological and abiotic reduction of uranium
- Bots, Pieter (Principal Investigator) Shaw, Samuel (Co-investigator) Denecke, Melissa A. (Co-investigator) Law, Gareth (Co-investigator) Morris, Katherine (Co-investigator)
- Beamtime at the High-Brilliance X-ray Spectroscopy beamline (ID26) at ESRF, funded through ESRF.
Abstract of research proposal:
Recent studies have shown that HERFD-XANES has the potential to be used to study uranium speciation in complex environmental systems. In this study we propose to utilize HERFD-XANES to investigate U oxidation state and speciation in key abiotic and microbial biogeochemical processes, including U interaction with iron oxide minerals, and single culture microbial U reduction.
- 19-Jan-2016 - 24-Jan-2016
- In situ radionuclide reflEXAFS on I18 Atomic and Macro-scale Studies of Surface Processes (The AMASS Consortium): Towards a Mechanistic Understanding of Surface Reactivity and Radionuclide Binding Mechanisms
- Wogelius, Roy (Principal Investigator) Bots, Pieter (Co-investigator) Law, Gareth (Co-investigator) Morris, Katherine (Co-investigator) van Veelen, Arjen (Co-investigator) Mosselmans, J. Frederick W (Principal Investigator)
- Beamtime at the micro XAS/XRF beamline (I18) at Diamond Light Source for ReflEXAFS analyses, funded through Diamond Light Source.
Abstract of proposal:
Summary- Key features of this new proposal:
o Static surface resolved measurements with Np(V) (new PDRA (Dr. P. Bots) competent to do Np work added to team)
o Realistic mixed oxide surfaces studied through use of phlogopite mica single
o Further exploration of the magnetite surface attachment and monitoring of Fe mediated electron transfer. The rate of reorganization is critical.
o Experiments will be designed to test and augment complementary computational models
These proposed experiments will build on previous real-time adsorbate configuration experiments at DLS for uranium on portlandite and magnetite under conditions representative of a near-field geological disposal facility. In this next set of experiments we will incorporate improvements into our successful in situ methodology.
- 08-Jan-2015 - 30-Jan-2015
Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir Building
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