A long time ago — back in mid-2010 when I was still in my thirties — I agree to join a colleague in the Department, Joe Keddie, in an EU consortium. This consortium finally become fully online this week. Its logo is above. It now even has a website! At times Joe and despaired of ever seeing it get off the ground. Years passed. I even got so annoyed with EU bureaucracy that I emailed all my local MEPs. I got only one prompt reply, from the office of the UKIP MEP Nigel Farage. It suggested the way to solve the problem was for the UK to leave the EU. As we would then no longer be eligible for the consortium this would solve the bureaucracy problem but only at the expense of not being able to join any of these consortia and so not being eligible for this research funding. So not very helpful.
Anyway, now it has started, we can actually do some science. The idea of the project is to develop coatings for steel that are ecofriendly because they are water (not oil) based but when dry are waterproof and tough for years. This is tricky, all water needs are channels a billionth of a metre wide and it can seep in. We will have to try and work out how and why these channels form, and come up with ideas to block them so water molecules can’t sneak through them. It’s a two-year project, so it’s us against water for two years.