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Dr Charis Theodorakopoulos

Senior Lecturer in Conservation Science

Department: Arts

Dr Charis Theodorakopoulos is a Senior Lecturer in Conservation Science in the Department of Arts. His main research focus is on the development and evaluation of conservation treatments for paintings, characterisation of artists’ materials and techniques, studies in material deterioration and comprehensive documentation of works of art. Charis collaborates with national and international research organizations and welcomes industrial and business partners, PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.

Charis Theodorakopoulos (1)Prior to joining Northumbria in 2013, Charis taught conservation of works of art and conservation science as Associate Scientist, at the Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Greece (2007-2013). Prior to that he was a Research Assistant and Research Fellow at the University of London, Birkbeck College, Department of Biochemical Sciences (2004-2008) where he contributed to several EU projects (4th, 5th and 6th FPs). During his doctoral research (Hellenic State Fund 2001-2004) he contributed to the optimisation and the evaluation of laser cleaning of paintings using UV pulsed (excimer) lasers at the Royal College of Art, in collaboration with IESL-FoRTH in Greece (EU TMR DGXII and TMR 5th CSF funds 2002-2003) and FOM-Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF) in Amsterdam (funded by FOM program 49 and NWO). He has employed laser-induced analysis, mass spectrometry, optical spectroscopy as well as thermal analysis to study a wide range of artist’s and heritage materials, including the study of paintings and the characterisation of dyes, binding media, paints and coatings. At TEI-A he developed novel cleaning materials for varnished and unvarnished tempera paints, murals and gilded panels with advanced gel formulations. He is collaborating with practicing conservators, conservation scientists, preventive conservation experts as well as scientists at diverse disciplines and sectors. He has contributed to a number of international research projects and he is member of national and international professional conservation bodies.

Campus Address

City Campus
001 Burt Hall, Northumberland Road
Newcastle upon Tyne

0191 2274611


PhD, BA/DipCons 

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Charis is member of the Northumbria University Visual and Material Culture research group in the Department of Arts and works closely with the Department of Applied Sciences and the Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering

He has a particular interest in the study and the development of:

  • Conservation treatments, in particular laser cleaning and smart gel systems for works of art, such as varnished and unvarnished pre- and post- twentieth century paintings, drawings, coatings, gildings and plastics
  • Technical and analytical studies - surface and bulk characterisation and analysis of works of art, using spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, microscopy and multi-/hyper-spectral imaging methods to evaluate treatments and to investigate the deterioration of artist’s materials
  • Monitoring and evaluation methods for practicing conservators, curators and art history scholars
  • Materials for conservation applications and treatments
  • Early warning systems to prevent deterioration of displayed and stored works of art and collections to contribute to environmental and preventive conservation studies
  • Comprehensive artwork documentation for general public, conservation and conservation science

Charis welcomes industrial and business partners, PhD students and postdoctoral researchers focusing in research, implementation and evaluation for art conservation 

Key Publications


Book Section

Conference or Workshop Item

My Northumbria Research Link 

Sponsors and Collaborators


  • Tyne and Wear Museums
  • NEXUS National EPSRC Facility


  • Woon Brothers Foundation, Singapore

Current/Recent Projects

Professional Activity

  • Consultancy and service (please contact me)
  • ICON Network Working Group Member: Collaboration for the establishment of the Documentation Group in ICON (2014 – current)
  • Er: YAG Laser Workshop attendance (16 June 2015) Tate Britain with Gianfranco Pocobene, chief conservator, Gardner Museum Boston USA, and Ed Teppo, laser physicist, founder and former president of Big Sky Laser Technologies, Inc.
  • TEDx venue talk on the impact of modern conservation in cultural heritage, TEDx Heraklion, Beyond the Walls (28 February 2015) -
  • Keynote speaker and professional workshop on “Smart gel systems for the cleaning of painted works of art” 28 May 2014, at TEI-A, Greece. Funder: EU NSRF -

Postgraduate Supervision

Vanessa Johnson: “Degradation-induced fluorescence patterns of zinc white in watercolours” Principle supervisor, Research Development Fund PGR research, estimated submission: 2018

Current Teaching Activity

  • VA0740 Conservation Science, Module Tutor
  • VA0742 Conservation Project, Tutor
  • VA0796 Conservation Theory and Practice 1, Tutor
  • VA0797 Conservation Theory and Practice 2, Tutor 


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