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Rideal Travel Bursary recipient, Kirsty Stark, reports from New York

Kirsty Stark

30 August 2017

Kirsty Stark was awarded a Rideal Travel Bursary in April 2017 to attend the 91st ACS Colloid & Surface Science Symposium, held at The City College of New York from 9 to 12 July 2017. Kirsty is a fourth year PhD student at the University of Leeds who gave an oral presentation entitled ‘Metallic encapsulation of low molecular weight species and associated delivery strategy’. Here she describes how her attendance has developed her presentation skills, broadened her scientific interests and expanded her professional network.

'The ACS Colloid & Surface Science Symposium promotes interaction amongst both academics and industry on the latest research in areas from fundamental colloid and surface science to the application in industries such as medicine, personal care and energy, functional nanomaterials, coating and biotechnology.

'I delivered a presentation titled ‘Metallic encapsulation of low molecular weight species and associated delivery strategy’. The talk focussed on my research on the encapsulation of small actives using metallic encapsulation of emulsion droplet templates. The (Pickering) emulsions are stabilised by catalytic nanoparticles, on which the metal film is grown. The catalyst is localised at the emulsion interface allowing metallic growth to only occur on the droplet, with negligible growth in the bulk. This method solves the challenge of long term encapsulation of small molecules for the first time. The presentation covered the synthesis method and demonstrated control over key parameters. Additionally, I demonstrated how metal shell fracture can be achieved using directly applied pressure or remotely via ultrasound, which provides scope for future applications. My talk was well received and by presenting my work I was able to develop my presentation skills and engage in meaningful conversation with other scientists about my research.

'The conference had thirteen technical themes which encompassed an extensive range of topics and excellent presentations from international speakers. I was able to broaden my knowledge and understanding by attending talks in fields both related to my own research and also on other subjects. This has helped me to develop my own research and discover other interesting avenues which I may pursue after my PhD. I was able to gain insight into areas where I could apply my skills after my current studies, which I had not considered before. Additionally, I received some interesting questions both after my talk and later in the conference during networking sessions and was able to promote the research carried out in our group.

'Attending the conference has given me an insight into potential areas I may wish to pursue in the future and developed my communication and networking skills which will be very valuable for my career. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the SCI-RSC Rideal Trust for awarding me this travel grant. Without this funding it would not have been possible to attend this international conference and present my research. I am also thankful to the conference organisers for a great meeting and those who have supported me through my PhD, in particular my supervisor Dr Olivier Cayre.'

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