Beatrice Boggio-Robutti was awarded a Rideal Travel Bursary to attend the 9th International Tribology Conference from 25th-30th September in Fukuoka, Japan. Here she tells us about her research and her highlights from the conference. Read her report below.
"This year, I was given the fantastic opportunity to attend ITC23, the 9th International Tribology conference taking place in Fukuoka, Japan, between 25th and 30th September 2023. I would like to express my gratitude to the Rideal Travel Bursary for supporting my attendance to this event, where I was able to present my PhD work and network with an international audience.
"I am a 4th year PhD student at the University of Cambridge, where I work under joint sponsorship of EPSRC and Infineum UK. My research focuses on the study of amphiphilic, aminic surfactants for use as friction-reducing additives in motor vehicles. The aim of this work is to further the fundamental understanding between molecular structure, surface structure, and friction-lowering ability of organic friction modifiers (OFMs). This is achieved by working across colloids, tribology, and surface science, with neutron scattering being the main technique utilised throughout my research.
"Attending ITC23 has enabled me to be a part of the discussion on the future global direction of tribology. Fuel economy is a field of study fundamental to the global transition, and tribology is an incredibly invaluable tool to explore novel scientific routes that can help tackle friction and wear-related losses. Through the wide-ranging talks I attended, I was able to gather an in-depth overview into both well-established and developing tribology-related areas. As well as experimental work, which is what I usually focus on, I heard about the present and future of large-scale molecular dynamics simulations. This was particularly compelling to me, since it has the potential to be a low-waste comparative technique to laboratory-based analysis.
"Thanks to the conference lasting five days I also had many opportunities to network with peers. I was able to make lasting connections with colleagues working all around the globe, which not only meant that I had a very enjoyable time at the event, but also it allowed my research to have wider reach. Through my oral presentation I received very useful feedback, and this spurred many ideas on avenues that might be worth exploring in more detail before I start writing up my thesis.
"This year’s slogan for ITC23 was “Reunite, Invigorate, Create an Inspiring Future”. As I approach the end of my PhD studies, being part of such a fantastic event has given me renewed excitement in looking forwards to the future of tribological additives and of my personal scientific career.
"I would like to thank the conference organisers for allowing me to present my work, and the Rideal Travel grant as well as other funding bodies for supporting my attendance at this conference and allowing me to experience the beautiful country of Japan!"
University of Cambridge