Ottewill International Travel Scholarship 2020

When the UK Polymer Colloids Forum (UKPCF) closed, it assigned its residual funds for use in awarding the Ottewill International Travel Scholarship in honour of Professor Ronald Harry Ottewill OBE FRS (1927-2008).  The award (worth up to £1000) is designed to assist, each year, one outstanding UK-based graduate researcher (whose research relates to polymer colloids) in presenting their work at an international conference outside the UK.

Applications are called for the 2021 award of the scholarship.  The conditions of the award and an application form can be obtained from Craig Jones of Unilever (by email to craig.jones@unilever.com).  In short, applications must be received by 15 October 2020 and all applicants will be informed of the outcome by 30 November 2020.  The adjudicating committee comprises Brian Vincent (Bristol University), Peter Lovell (Manchester University) and Craig Jones (Unilever).

Pete Lovell

on behalf of the Ottewill International Travel Scholarship Award Committee

2020 Ottewill International Travel Scholarship – Report

A Report from the Recipient of the 2020 Ottewill International Travel Scholarship

ACS Spring 2020 National Meeting & Exposition

Philadelphia, PA, USA, 22-26 March 2020

(conference cancelled due to the
ongoing COVID-19 pandemic)

In March 2020, I was planning to attend the ACS Spring 2020 National Meeting & Exposition in Philadelphia, PA, USA. ACS National Meetings are most possibly the largest chemistry-related conferences that occur twice every year, gathering scientists of different backgrounds from all around the world. The conference typically runs over five days with parallel sessions and specific symposia for each ACS Division occurring every day at different sites (including sessions dedicated entirely to poster presentations, workshops and networking events). This year’s ACS Spring Meeting was supposed to be of particular significance to polymer and materials scientists as the main focus area of the conference was on “Macromolecular Chemistry: The Second Century”. As such, the majority of topics covered during this conference through oral and poster presentations by senior academics, post-docs and students in polymer and colloid science were expected to be closely relevant to my field of expertise and my PhD project on the preparation of polymeric vesicles with tuneable membrane properties via aqueous polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA).

I was really looking forward to attending this conference, since it was going to be the first ACS conference for me, in which I was aiming to present a summary of my PhD work through two 20 minute oral talks and two poster presentations given that my life as a postgraduate student was coming to an end in early summer of the same year. Moreover, I had already been notified that I was the recipient of the 2020 Ottewill International Travel Scholarship to financially support my trip-related expenses and conference registration fees, and that I would be also be receiving the “Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research” award along with the rest of the 2020 class by the ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry (https://www.polyacs.net/poly2020excellencesite).

To great disappointment for thousands of registrants, but definitely after careful assessment of the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the USA and Europe at that time, the organizers decided to cancel the on-site conference and move all oral and poster presentations to an online open-access platform (SciMeetings) to ensure everyone’s safety. Not surprisingly, a few days after the cancellation announcement, travel restrictions to and from the UK and USA were implemented suggesting that the right choice had been made by the conference organizers.

In particular, one of the projects I was really excited to present in front of the international polymer and colloids communities had been published only a couple of months before the ACS Spring 2020 Meeting in J. Am. Chem. Soc. The paper describes a seminal example of spontaneous, membrane tension-driven fusion of polymeric vesicles during aqueous ring-opening metathesis polymerization-induced self-assembly (ROMPISA) for formation of tubular polymersomes with controlled characteristics. Such unique behavior of synthetic self-assembled formulations hadn’t been observed until our investigations at the University of Birmingham, whilst in natural systems this process is typically facilitated by specific fusion-promoting proteins. The original article can be found online in open-access form at Varlas et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 20234-20248 (https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jacs.9b10152). Additionally, the conference abstract and presentation slides for this project can be found at the ACS SciMeetings website by following this link: https://doi.org/10.1021/scimeetings.0c00356.

Overall, I am truly grateful that the Ottewill International Travel Scholarship Award Committee and Macro Group UK Committee were very thoughtful in this unprecedented situation and have given me the opportunity to participate at an international conference of my choice in 2021 in order to present my PhD research by reserving the travel allowance for me until next year. Hopefully, the current situation with COVID-19 will improve over the next months and research, networking and organization of conferences will return to their pre-pandemic normality!

Spyridon Varlas

School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham

Young Researchers Meeting 2020

29th-30th June 2020

We are pleased to announce that this year the Macro Group UK’s Young Researchers Meeting will be held at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Almost all senior academics in the areas of polymer and macromolecular science in the UK have attended these conferences as PhDs, PDRAs and/or early career lecturers.

This conference offers to be another exciting instalment of the annual YRM meetings, with a focus on graduate student talks and posters.

We invite you to submit abstracts using the template form found on the event page. The Deadline is the 17th April at 23:59

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/polymers-and-supercritical-fluids/yrm-2020.aspx

Invited Speakers:

Dr. Thomas Hasell        University of Liverpool

Dr. Alisyn Nedoma         University of Sheffield

Dr. Fiona Hatton            University of Loughborough

Dr. Paul Thornton          University of Leeds

Dr. Luisa Ciano              University of Nottingham

More details to follow soon….

Twitter: @YRM_2020

2019 Ottewill International Travel Scholarship – Report

International Polymer Colloids Group 2019 Conference
Sentosa, Singapore, 23-28 June 2019

Andrea Lotierzo
Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick

Last June I attended the International Polymer Colloids Group (IPCG) 2019 Conference which was held between June 23rd and 28th in Sentosa Island (Singapore). The IPCG is a Gordon-style polymer colloids focused conference which is held every 2 years. In the polymer colloids field this is considered to be a reference conference to attend as it gathers research groups from all around the world, from both academia and industry. As my PhD is focused on the synthesis of polymeric colloidal dispersions, this conference was incredibly relevant in terms of the content of the talks and was key to widen my network in view of the end of my PhD a few months later.

 

The conference structure is as follows. Students can attend a three-day “pre-conference” meeting, the Graduate Research Seminar, during which they have a chance to discuss their projects, network with fellow scientists and be taught by experts of the field. This year we had master classes taught by Prof. Mohamed El-Aasser, Prof. Alexander van Herk, Prof. Joseph Keddie and Dr. Bernd Reck, who talked to us about synthesis of polymer colloids, film formation and some applications of polymer dispersions in industry. The seminar was also packed with plenty of social time and activities to stimulate connections between students. During the Graduate Research Seminar I had a chance to present my latest work regarding the use of crosslinked block-copolymer micelles, or nanogels, as polymeric stabilizers in emulsion polymerization for the synthesis of water-borne polymer dispersions of different morphologies (Janus, patchy and core-shells). My oral contribution was appreciated enough to be granted the prize of Best Student Speaker, which I am really proud of.

 

After this, the main IPCG conference started. The structure of a Gordon Conference consists each day of talks between breakfast and lunch, a free afternoon to explore, relax and network, and then talks again from late afternoon until after dinner. Among the others, particularly relevant talks to my own PhD project were those from Dr. Brian Hawkett and Prof. Michael Monteiro on controlled radical polymerization and temperature directed morphology transformation applied to the synthesis of functional colloidal architectures for different purposes. As best speaker during the graduate seminar symposium, I had the huge privilege to be able to present my project in a 30 min slot at the main conference too. Presenting my own work, while advertising the research group of my supervisor, Prof. Stefan Bon, in front of the vast majority of the international polymer community is one of the greatest achievements of my PhD. The talk animated some vivid discussion in the following poster session, with plenty of ideas on the explanation of certain results and how to continue with the project. This also came with some interesting potential career offers from both academia and industry which, as explained above, was key for me as my PhD was coming to an end.

 

Overall, what I take home from this conference is that polymer colloids are an evergreen fascinating world, with plenty of opportunities for innovative research. The welcoming international community and the tight connection with industry are perhaps what appeal to me the most. I left hoping to be able to attend the next IPCG conference, which will take place in 2021 in Kingston, Canada.

Ottewill International Travel Scholarship 2019

When the UK Polymer Colloids Forum (UKPCF) closed, it assigned its residual funds for use in awarding the Ottewill International Travel Scholarship in honour of Professor Ronald Harry Ottewill OBE FRS (1927-2008). The award (worth up to £1000) is designed to assist, each year, one outstanding UK-based graduate researcher (whose research relates to polymer colloids) in presenting their work at an international conference outside the UK.

Applications are called for the fourth award of the scholarship. The conditions of the award and an application form can be obtained from Craig Jones of Unilever (by email to craig.jones@unilever.com). In short, applications must be received by 15 October 2019 and all applicants will be informed of the outcome by 30 November 2019. The adjudicating committee comprises Brian Vincent (Bristol University), Peter Lovell (Manchester University) and Craig Jones (Unilever).

Pete Lovell
on behalf of the Ottewill International Travel Scholarship Award Committee

Job at University of Crete: Post-doctoral Fellowship in Innovative Nanomedicine

Post-doctoral Fellowship
Department of Materials Science
University of Crete

PDF version of this advert

Project: “Innovative Nanomedicine for Personalized Breast Cancer Therapy Utilizing Superparamagnetically Guided (ΝΥ2Ps) Ribonucleoproteins”
Funding is available for a post-doctoral fellowship under the Operational Programme
Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2014-2020 (EPAnEK) action “RESEARCH – CREATE – INNOVATE”
The work will involve organic/polymer synthesis and physicochemical characterization of polymers and polymer nanoparticles. The polymer synthesis will be performed using “living” or “controlled” polymerization techniques, while the molecular and structural characteristics of the polymeric materials will be determined by SEC, NMR, DLS, SEM and TEM.

Candidates must hold a PhD in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or Material Science andshould have experience in organic-synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, materials science,nanotechnology/nanomedicine or any related subject. The successful applicant will be working in a polymer synthesis group on the development of novel polymeric materials and nanocarriers for drug delivery applications.

The position is for two years (with a possibility for an extension for another year) and we are open for applications from now. Candidates should be fluent in English.
Applicants should send a copy of their CV including the names of 2 referees to:
Prof. Maria Vamvakaki
Department of Materials Science
University of Crete
Vasilika Vouton
700 13 Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Phone: +30(2810)545019, 545047
Email: vamvakak@matertials.uoc.gr

McBain Medal Meeting 2018

Making and breaking colloidal assemblies: using chemical, physical, and mechanical stimuli to control soft matter

Full details and to book:
https://www.soci.org/Events/Display-Event?EventCode=COLL537

SCI, London, UK

Tuesday 11 December 2018
Organised by SCI’s Colloid & Surface Chemistry Group and RSC’s Colloid & Interface Science Group

Synopsis

The SCI Colloid & Surface Chemistry Group and RSC Colloid & Interface Science Group are delighted to announce that Dr Valeria Garbin of Imperial College London is the 2018 recipient of the McBain Medal. Dr Garbin’s research programme focuses on fundamental aspects of microscale transport phenomena in soft and biological matter. Her team has performed the first measurement of steric interactions between nanoparticles at fluid interfaces, discovered new mechanisms of the removal of nanoparticles from fluid interfaces, and pioneered the use of optical tweezers to manipulate biocolloids for ultrasound medical imaging.

The McBain Medal is presented annually to an early career researcher (within 15 years of the award of a PhD) for outstanding achievement in colloid and interface science. This one day meeting will honour Dr Garbin and at the same time the Medal will be presented.

Attendees

Target audience: researchers from colloid chemistry, soft matter physics and chemical engineering backgrounds working in functional, responsive, and self-healing materials; controlled release; tuneable soft materials and soft actuation. The meeting will focus on fundamental aspects that underpin applications in formulations, catalysis, soft robotics, nanomaterials processing and more.

Programme

09.30 Registration
10.10 Introduction and welcome
10.15 Roughness as a design tool for soft matter systems
Prof Lucio Isa, ETH, Zurich
10.50 Unusual stability of raspberry-colloids in saline solutions 
Dr Erika Eiser, University of Cambridge
11.25 Refreshments and exhibition
12.00 Supracolloidal Gels: patchy colloids and programmable hydrogels 
Prof Stefan Bon, University of Warwick
12.35 Flash poster presentations
13.00 Lunch, exhibition and posters
14.15 Interfacial particles for creating functional materials
Dr Paul Clegg, University of Edinburgh
14.50 2D nanomaterials delamination: mathematical modelling of graphene exfoliation in sheared liquids
Dr Lorenzo Botto, Queen Mary University of London
15.25 Oil foams stabilised by surfactant or fat crystals
Prof Bernie Binks, University of Hull
16.00 Refreshments and exhibition
16.35 Making and breaking colloidal assemblies by ultrafast interface deformation
Dr Valeria Garbin, Imperial College London
17.20 Closing remarks and networking

Posters

Opportunities are available for a limited number of posters. Interested applicants should send an abstract of one A4 page or 300 words maximum, indicating title and authors, to conferences@soci.org by Tuesday 30 October 2018 with the subject line “McBain medal – poster submission”.

Confirmed speakers

Dr Valeria Garbin, Imperial College London
Prof Bernie Binks, University of Hull
Dr Paul Clegg, University of Edinburgh
Dr Lorenzo Botto, Queen Mary University of London
Prof Stefan Bon, University of Warwick
Dr Erika Eiser, University of Cambridge
Prof Lucio Isa, ETH, Zurich

Organising Committee

Dr Andrew Howe, Aqdot Ltd
Dr Wim Thielemans, Kuleuven

Exhibition and Sponsorship

An exhibition will take place alongside the conference during refreshment breaks for companies and related organisations who may wish to exhibit. For further information and prices, please email conferences@soci.org.

Venue

SCI
14/15 Belgrave Square
London
SW1X 8PS

Please click here for a location map.

Delegate Fees

Early bird fees before Tuesday 30 October 2018

£35 SCI/RSC/IoP Member
£20 SCI/RSC Student Member
£20 SCI/RSC Subsidised Member
£75 Non-Member

Standard fees after Tuesday 30 October 2018

£45 SCI/RSC/IoP Member
£25 SCI/RSC Student Member
£25 SCI/RSC Subsidised Member
£90 Non-Member

SCI Platinum Corporate Members receive 25% off the above rates.

Did you know that as an SCI member you can save on this and future event delegate fees?
Join SCI now; individual membership is only £90 pa (£75 pa direct debit). To find out more click here.

For booking terms and conditions click here.

UK Colloids 2020 – date annouced

International Colloid and Surface Science Symposium

This is the fourth colloid science conference in this series and will be held in Liverpool from July 20th – 22nd 2020. It is being jointly organised by the RSC Colloid and Interface Science Group and the SCI Colloid and Surface Science Group and will provide a perfect opportunity for UK and international researchers interested in colloid and interface science to meet, present and discuss issues related to current developments in this field.