|Alan Boyle's Home Page - Research|
My research falls into two major strands: geological and pedagogic.
My geological research concerns the relationship between tectonics, texture development, and pressure and temperature evolution during orogenesis at mid-to-lower-crustal levels. I have completed exhaustive field studies in arctic Scandinavia, and significant field studies in Connemara, Ireland, and Saudi Arabia. My focus now is in detailed study of well-constrained materials from these areas, in particular using the two leading edge Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) in the Microstructures Research Group. By understanding how geological materials behave on the grain scale at different strain rates and PT conditions, it is then possible to understand better how the lithosphere behaves on the mountain belt scale. Current projects concern the controls on inclusions in porphyroblast, and the behaviour of pyrite during deformation under metamorphic conditions. The former is testing the fundamental assumption made by metamorphic petrologists that included phases in porphyroblasts are representative of earlier conditions, while the latter is seeking to provide a better tool for constraining the evolution of sulphide ore bodies.
Since 2009 I have been involved in geopolymer concrete projects funded by the Carbon Trust and NW Development Agency in the UK.
The following pdf versions of conference posters illustrate some of my work:
Pedagogic researchSince 1993 I have been involved in the development of computer-based learning and assessment materials, together with research into how to implement their use. This has been supported by a series of grants from TLTP, FDTL, JISC and EDRF, as well as the University of Liverpool's L&T Fund. Some key projects include: