2 Jul 2017
Matthew Reeves was awarded an SCI/RSC Rideal Travel Bursary in 2015. Here, he reports on his participation at the 15th Congress of the International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists, which took place on 24-29 May in Mainz, Germany.
‘The 15th Conference of the International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists was held during the 24-29 May in Mainz, Germany, the home of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. The meeting was organised around the main topic areas of biocolloids, responsive systems, foams/emulsions, fine particles, wetting, surface forces, molecular assemblies and technologies. Plenary speakers included Jean-Francois Joanny of the ESPCI, Bjorn Lindman of Lund University and Steve Granick of the IBS Center for Soft and Living Matter.
‘Many stimulating talks were given on the above topics. Audiences were highly engaged and eager to put questions to the speakers. The most relevant and interesting to me were the talks on Pickering emulsions and fine particles. Highlights included a keynote lecture on the commercialisation of particle stabilised foams via their transformation into porous ceramics, talks discussing the properties and applications of microgels (a new type of Pickering emulsifier), and a presentation about a new method for determining the contact of angles of colloidal particles at liquid interfaces in situ – the film calliper method.
‘My own presentation, entitled ‘Topological Analysis for the Optimization of Bicontinuous Pickering Emulsions’, was well received, and allowed me to inform the wider scientific community of my active research in this very niche area. Numerous productive discussions were had with both fellow PhD students and more senior academics. The conversations allowed me to test my own knowledge of the field and related topics, whilst at the same time gauging relative interest and seeking out new perspectives and opinions. I also made many useful contacts that will serve me well in the search for further research opportunities and/or employment.
‘The conference was very successful with a turnout of over 600 delegates, 300 presentations and 300 posters. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and strongly feel that it contributed to my development as a soft matter scientist, as well as allowing me to expand my professional network. I am immensely grateful for the SCI/RSC Rideal bursary which made my attendance at the conference possible.’
PhD student, University of Edinburgh