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Owlstone Photography Competition at the Department of Engineering 2007 entries

The winning photo

Earth from 32km Henry Hallam, Robert Fryers, Carl Morland, Daniel Strange and Iain Waugh
Earth from 32km

This unenhanced photograph was taken at 105,000ft with a camera on board the unmanned "Nova 1" mission to the stratosphere. Cambridge University Spaceflight is a student-run organisation composed mainly of Engineering undergraduates who are developing balloon and rocket technology to enable cheap experiments in the near-space environment. Acknowledgements: Cambridge University Spaceflight.
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Highly commended entries

Polymer Life Amanda Wycherley
'Polymer Life'

This photo shows some hand cut milk bottle flakes that have been drawn out by hand when partially melted.
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Surface Steps on a Stainless Steel Fibre Athina Markaki & T.W. Clyne
'Surface Steps on a Stainless Steel Fibre'

Scanning electron microgragh of surface steps on a ferritic stainless steel (446) fibre, after holding for several hours at 1250 C in a reducing atmosphere. The particles (artificially coloured purple here) are Cr23C6 carbides. The steps arise from preferential exposure of low energy planes, in the absence of a surface oxide. The carbide particles, which are mostly located at grain boundaries, inhibit grain growth and also influence the local topography of the step structure.
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NWs @Tate Modern Cinzia Casiraghi
'NWs @Tate Modern'

Carbon nanotubes and silicon Nanowires (NWs) are prime candidates as building blocks for nanodevices. The image was taken with a scanning electron microscope and it shows a drop of silicon NWs suspension deposited on a substrate. The material was grown by Oxide Assisted Deposition and dispersed in water. The colour has been added by using Adobe Photoshop software. Acknowledgements to Alan Colli for growing the NWs.
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Milk Drop Shot Martin McBrien
Milk Drop Shot

A 'milk drop' shot involves capturing the moments after a drop of liquid lands in a still bath. This shot uses water instead of milk and shows the 'crown' rising out of the bath. Acknowledgements: Thery Mislick and MIT class SP.757: Digital and Darkroom Imaging
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Checksarian Source Ian Ball
'Checksarian Source'

The Rasheed family had access to one of the few springs that was still working in Bagh District after the October 2005 Earthquake. Their daughter gave me a guided tour of the village water system, taking particular delight in the high quality of the water in the village. Our discussions took in earthquake resistant housing, water supplies, and school building regulations; on the advanced side for a nine year old - surely an engineer in the making! Acknowledgement: The Rasheed Family, Checksarian village.
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Fat free fibres Kerstyn Comley
'Fat free fibres'

Porcine fat cells have a diameter of approximately 70µm. They are surrounded by a complex network of collagen fibres. Scanning electron micrographs of the microstructure of biological tissues provides insight into their mechanical properties. The image has been cropped. Cells in the background have been digitally removed to highlight the location on an individual cell. A colour wash has been applied. Acknowledgement: Jeremy Skepper at the Multi-imaging centre, Anatomy Department for assisting with sample preparation and loan of the microscopes.
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Phononic Kitchen Tiles Dr. Mahmoud Hussein
'Phononic Kitchen Tiles'

The picture shows an array of optimal designs of phononic crystals designed to minimize wave propagation across a broad frequency range. The black and white colors respectively represent materials with high stiffness and density and low stiffness and density. The ratio of stiffnesses in each design increases along the rows, and the ratio of densities increases along the columns. The designs were computer generated using genetic algorithms and finite element analysis. Acknowledgement: My collaborators Karim Hamza, Gregory Hulbert and Kazuhiro Saitou.
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On the Edge of Chaos Philip Staplehurst
On the Edge of Chaos

This rather striking black and white photograph captures water swirling around in a cylindrical tank. Turbulent boundary layers have developed at the walls and this chaotic motion is destroying the laminar flow in the centre. To visualise the flow, fish scales have been suspended in the water.
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Deep in Thought Perry Hung
Deep in Thought

A Cambridge Engineering student revising for the Tripos insists he was just "resting his eyes." Image was taken on a Nikon D50, cropped, and converted to black and white.
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Nano-jungle Dr. Qin Hu

The original black-white image was taken by Carl Zeiss 1540 FIB/SEM (Focused Ion Beams/Scanning Electron Microscopy) system at Center for Industrial Photonics on a piece of aluminium sheet showing the nucleation process of aluminium oxide monomers with a finite barrier for edge diffusion. This image was color modified by Adobe Photoshop. Acknowledgement: Sam Jewell and Dr. Bill O'Neill
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'Beam me up !!' Dick Fenner
'Beam me up !!'

This picture is of a group of graduate students on the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development and was taken during the March 2007 Field Trip to study post-mining regeneration of Cornwall. The students are visiting a clay drying facility run by Imerys who are responsible for the China Clay quarries near St.Austell.
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Small turbulent spot Rachel Fitzsimmons
'Small turbulent spot'

This photo is a compilation of 8 photos of air flow over a flat plate, taken at 0.04 second intervals. It was taken as part of a joint project with Nick Wong (Jesus), with assistance from Alex Cranstone (Girton).
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Ripples in steel ocean Sam Jewell
'Ripples in steel ocean'

This shows a steel surface which has been melted by laser light, and disturbed so that ripples have formed in the surface. It then froze again instantaneously, freezing the ripples in place. This was taken with a white light interferometry microscope, and the image generated by this microscope.
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'Eiffel Tower As Never Seen Before' Suresh P Gupta
'Eiffel Tower As Never Seen Before'

Most people are so mesmerised by the majestic view of the Eiffel Tower that they usually take its full or distant view. In contrast, this photograph shows the 'bottom view' of the tower shot from right beneath the tower. This photograph is perhaps unique in the sense that it shows a new perspective of the Eiffel Tower.
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“Micro-Mountains” on a laser cut steel surface Mr. Tao Zhang and Dr. Martin Sparkes
“Micro-Mountains” on a laser cut steel surface

The image is the surface profile of approximately 1900 x 2500 µm, the “Mountains are between 10 and15 µm high!. The material is low grade mild steel (CR4), and cut with a high power fibre laser. A Veeco White light interferometer was used to generate the digital image.
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Nano art on nanostage Dr. Yong Qing Fu
'Nano art on nanostage'

The photo shows silicon nanostruture etched using advanced technique of deep reactive ion etching. On the etched Si pillars, some nanodot agglomerates perfectly balancing on this nanostage.
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Alumni category in the photography competition
This year for the first time we have an alumni category in our photography competition and have received some excellent entries to view the winning photo and other entries visit

© Copyright notice
You may copy an image from the photography competition, reproduce it, and distribute it, but only if you clearly attribute the image to the student or academic who took the photograph, state that they work in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, and acknowledge Owlstone's sponsorship of the competition. It would also be courteous to provide a links to and We would be delighted to hear where the images have been used. Please contact to let us know.

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