7 Aug 2014
Fanny Yuen was awarded a Rideal Bursary earlier this year. She travelled to the ACS 2014 Colloid & Surface Science Symposium in Philadelphia. Here, she reports on the symposium.
This annual ACS conference brought together 800 interdisciplinary researchers from both academia and industry in the areas of fluids, interfacial phenomena, chemistry, soft-matter science, and environmental science. This year, one of the plenary lectures was given by Prof David A Weitz who is a leading researcher in the fields of bioengineering, material science and soft-condensed matter.
In my current research, we apply a colloidal and surface science approach in order to elucidate extremophile survival mechanisms that might advance the development of new technologies for preserving biological materials. I presented an oral presentation titled 'Life in extreme environments: The role of intrinsically disordered proteins under conditions of abiotic stress'. This conference offered me a unique platform to discuss my research with an international audience. My research was well aligned with the theme of the meeting, and had many significant and novel applications that were relevant and appealing to participants. I was asked lots of questions and many people seemed interested in my work.
Since my interest spanned many topics, I attended talks in a variety of different sessions, including Biocolloids, Biointerfaces, Emulsions, Bubbles and Foams, Colloid and Surface Forces, Glasses/Jamming, Rheology and Dynamics, General Papers, Patch and Janus Particles, and Particles at interfaces, fields and liquid crystals. I particularly enjoyed the Unilever Award Lecture by Prof Lee on Janus particles at fluid interfaces.
This multi-disciplinary conference helped me put my research into context and helped me gather some new ideas of methods and techniques that may be useful in finishing up my thesis. In addition, having the opportunity to meet eminent scientific leaders and like-minded young researchers allowed me to cultivate relationships and initiate collaborations that will benefit my future scientific career.
I would like to thank the SCI and RCS for granting me the Rideal Travel Bursary to contribute towards the costs of attending the ACS 2014 Colloid and Surface Science Symposium.