8th Triennial Congress of the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists (WATOC 2008), Sydney,14-19 September 2008

The Eighth Triennial Congress of the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists (WATOC 2008) was held in Sydney, Australia from 14-19 September 2008.

During the six days of the conference there was a choice of nearly 200 plenary and invited lectures and more than 100 oral communications held in four parallel sessions. I chose the discussions most applicable to my work, presented by leading academics in the field. There were three well-attended poster sessions held after the parallel sessions. Researchers of all levels presented posters, with PhD students and post-doctoral researchers given the opportunity to win a prize for their presentation.

I presented a poster discussing the theoretical approaches I am employing in my investigations and our experimental work at Heriot-Watt University, and got some good suggestions about how to improve, analyse and understand the mechanism of paracarborane reduction.

Given the meeting was for theoretical and computational chemists, I received excellent insights into the validity of my computational model of a complex chemical system, and advice about how to approach other techniques to complement the DFT calculations I reported. I was also able to cite my first publication on my poster, which was produced through a collaboration within Heriot-Watt University, generating interest from several overseas researchers.

Attending this conference and broadening my exposure to the international academic community has greatly benefitted my work and my future career as well as promoting the university as a strong centre for research on an international level.

I would like to thank SCI for its support which gave me the opportunity to attend this exciting event in Australia.

David McKay,
Heriot-Watt University

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