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Jake Surman

Research student

LEC Building

Lancaster University


Lancaster LA1 4YQ

United Kingdom


Research overview

My project has involved developing novel methods for measuring the mobile radionuclides Sr-90 and Tc-99 in contaminated waters.

This original research has led to the development of a new extraction chromatographic resin that is capable of binding strontium directly from environmental waters, enabling the creation of a rapid Sr-90 in water determination method. A rapid Sr-90 in water method enables the high through-put of samples required by monitoring schemes at nuclear sites and, importantly, the rapid analysis of water samples in cases of nuclear accidents.

I have also developed the diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT) passive sampling method to measure Tc-99 in freshwaters. A Tc-99 DGT device avoids the separation of large samples and the subsequent complex separation chemistry (complicated by issues with yield tracers). Additionally Tc-99 DGT represents a method of obtaining time-integrated, in situ data.

Before starting my PhD research I completed a BSc in Earth and Environmental Science at Lancaster University in 2008 and then spent the following year working as an environmental analyst at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.