Rideal Travel Bursary recipient, Rohan Pokratath, reports from Liverpool, UK

31 July 2023

Rohan Pokratath, Rideal TB awardRohan Pokratath was awarded a Rideal Travel Bursary to attend UK Colloids 2023: An International Colloids and Interface Science Symposium in Liverpool, UK. Here he tells us about his research and his highlights from the conference. Read his report below.

"The UK Colloids 2023 conference was a remarkable event that brought together leading scientists, researchers, and industry professionals from around the world to discuss the latest advancements in the field of colloids. The conference spanned over three days, featuring insightful plenary presentations, themed sessions, and thought-provoking poster sessions. As a speaker, I had the privilege of participating in this enriching experience, broadening my knowledge, and engaging with fellow enthusiasts. Distinguished researchers delivered captivating keynote speeches, highlighting the current state of colloidal research and its diverse applications in various industries. The talks sparked my curiosity and inspired me to explore new areas within the field.

"The conference kicked off with an evening welcome and registration event at The Beatles Story, the world’s largest exhibition devoted to the lives and times of The Beatles. The social event was a perfect icebreaker before the conference. The scientific part of the conference started with a plenary lecture by Prof. Jayne Lawrence. After the plenary session, I attended various parallel sessions that covered different aspects of colloids, including synthesis techniques, characterisation methods, and applications in pharmaceuticals, food, and nanotechnology. The presentations were engaging, and the Q&A sessions provided an excellent platform to clarify doubts and delve deeper into the topics.

"My presentation was scheduled in the afternoon with the nanoparticles and nanostructured materials themed session, and I was eager to share my work with fellow researchers in the field. The room was filled with attentive faces, and the engaging atmosphere encouraged me to deliver my best. Following my talk, a Q&A session commenced, allowing the audience to seek clarification and provide valuable feedback. The questions were insightful and demonstrated the audience's deep interest in the subject matter. I appreciated the opportunity to address queries and engage in meaningful discussions, which expanded upon the themes of my presentation. After my talk, I had the opportunity to network with fellow researchers who shared similar interests. Many attendees approached me to discuss my research in more detail, offering constructive feedback and suggestions for future studies.

"These interactions were invaluable as they provided new perspectives and opened the door to potential collaborations. One of the highlights of the conference was the poster session, where researchers showcased their recent work. The poster session provided an excellent opportunity for researchers from different backgrounds and specialities to engage in fruitful discussions. I would like to mention the interesting discussion with Gaurav Yadav from IIT Ropar about nanobubbles. His work was later selected for the best poster prize.

"The industry exhibitions at the conference were bustling with activity, featuring booths from various companies dedicated to colloidal science and its applications. Each exhibitor presented their latest products, technologies, and services, tailored to meet the needs of researchers and industries utilising colloidal systems. Exploring the exhibits allowed me to gain a first-hand understanding of the practical applications of colloidal science in real world scenarios. The industry exhibitions provided an excellent opportunity to network with industry professionals as well. Engaging in discussions with representatives from different companies enabled me to learn about the latest advancements in the field, potential collaborations, and upcoming trends. The interactions were not only informative but also highlighted the significance of bridging the gap between academia and industry.

"On day 2, there was a conference dinner and social event, providing a relaxed atmosphere for attendees to interact and build connections outside of the academic setting. Engaging in casual conversations with researchers from diverse backgrounds was an enriching experience, and I appreciated the opportunity to share ideas and experiences.

"The conference closed with a farewell session, where organisers thanked the attendees, sponsors and contributors for making the event a success. I left the conference with a sense of fulfillment and a desire to implement the knowledge and connections acquired during these three days.

"Attending the UK Colloids 2023 conference was a memorable and valuable experience. The conference provided a platform to learn about cutting-edge research, connect with experts in the field, and gain a broader perspective on colloidal science. The interactive sessions, talks, and networking opportunities have left a lasting impact on my professional development. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this esteemed event and look forward to applying the knowledge gained to contribute meaningfully to the field of colloids in the future.

"I would like to express my sincere gratitude to SCI-RSC Rideal Trust, the Swiss Society for Crystallography, and the University of Basel for the funding that generously supported my participation in the UK Colloids 2023 conference. Without their financial assistance, attending this prestigious event and presenting my research would not have been possible".

Rohan Pokratath
PhD Student
University of Basel

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