Jacek Olender

Colour portrait photograph of Jacek Olender, researcher and TAHG member at the University of Glasgow

Jacek Olender

AXA Art Postdoctoral Fellow

History of Art, University of Glasgow

Current Projects

Jacek is currently an AXA Art postdoctoral fellow at the University of Glasgow, where the focus of his research is on gecko-inspired dry adhesives for packing, transport and display in museum collections.

Materials engineers have become fascinated with the incredible walking-and-sticking abilities of geckos, and attempts to recreate the technology in the laboratory date back to the early 2000s when the true nature of gecko adhesion was understood. The materials made in this process are known as Gecko-Inspired Dry Adhesives, or simply GDAs. Even though state-of-the-art research in this field is not quite there yet in terms of imitating gecko ability, some GDAs are already available that perform quite well. Our aim is to create a suite of new, safe and effective adhesives for museums and galleries to further develop best practice in transport, packing and display; with an emphasis on exhibition mounting. To achieve this, Jacek is working in collaboration with the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre and The Hunterian at University of Glasgow.


Jacek took up his AXA Art postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Glasgow after finishing his PhD thesis at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London in 2019. He trained as an art conservator at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland, where he received his MA in 2014. He worked as a conservator and conservator-researcher in private studios in Poland and interned at the office of regional heritage conservator in Bodø, Norway.

His research interests revolve around new technologies in conservation, especially new materials and progress in materials science. Apart from that he is interested in the philosophy of science, and in materiality of scientific examination as well as the connection between the materiality of artworks and the aesthetic experience.

Useful Links

For more details, please check out Jacek’s university homepage and ORCID entry.