Roxanne Radpour, a UCLA Ph.D. student in materials science and engineering, will spend the 2016-17 academic year in Cyprus, studying Classical, Roman and Byzantine era wall paintings in carved-out tombs.

Radpour will use portable imaging and spectroscopy techniques to figure how what materials they’re made of, their integrity and what was used to make them. The work will be part of her doctoral thesis.

“Archaeological and other cultural heritage materials are finite, rare, and delicate, so we want to avoid taking samples and instead use non-invasive analytical techniques at the site,” Radpour said.

She’ll be examining tombs at the site of the ancient town of Nea Pafos.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program was established in 1946 for the “promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science.” The federally funded program awards approximately 8,000 grants each year and current operates in more than 160 countries.

“The fellowship is going to be a great experience for me to work on my Ph.D. research abroad while getting more fieldwork experience,” she said. “I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the culture of Cyprus and serving as a cultural exchange ambassador.”

Radpour, who is advised by Professor Ioanna Kakoulli, will be hosted at the Ledra Laboratory in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Cyprus. She will also work with the Cyprus’ Geological Survey Department. Radpour departs for Cyprus in October.