DH Richards Travel Bursary Report 2018

By Rachel Atkinson who attended the IUPAC World Polymer Congress (Macro 2018), 1st-5th July 2018, Cairns, Australia.

With the support of the D H Richards Memorial Bursary, I was able to attend the IUPAC World Polymer Congress (known as Macro 2018) from the 1st-5th July 2018. This is a world-renowned polymer conference which takes place biennially, this year in Cairns, Australia. The 5-day conference covered a wide range of topics within polymer chemistry and attracted a large number of leading researchers from around the world.

This was the first international conference I had attended, and I was very pleased to be given the opportunity to give an oral presentation at such a large scale event. I presented my work, titled ‘Synthesis of Renewable, Hard-Soft Block Copolymers via the RAFT Polymerisation of Terpene (Meth)acrylates’ within the ‘Renewable Resources and Biopolymers’ theme. I was asked thought-provoking questions about my work and where I hope to take it, and received several useful suggestions from people during and after my talk.

I saw a huge number of talks that were very engaging and often useful for my own research. I particularly enjoyed seeing the other presentations from the renewable resources theme, as this is related to my current work. However, I also was very interested in research presented in other themes such as ‘Recent Developments in Polymer Design’, ‘Smart and Functional Polymers’ and ‘Innovation and Industry’ in which I got the chance to see cutting edge research that is going on around the world.

Overall, this experience has improved my confidence and I appreciated having the opportunity to promote my research. I also learnt a lot about the field in general, as well as gaining ideas for my own work, and building contacts who might be able to help me in the future. I would like to thank Macro Group UK for awarding me the D H Richards Memorial Bursary, which made this possible.