Laura Deeming was awarded a Rideal Travel Bursary to attend the Gordon Research Conference: Neutron Scattering for a Sustainable Society from the 25th-30th June at Ventura, California. Here she tells us about her research and her highlights from the conference. Read her report below.
'I am a 3rd year PhD student at Lund University, Sweden and our research group moved to Sweden from the University of Bath, UK last year. My research focuses on the characterisation of biobased cyclic-containing sulfonate surfactants with neutron scattering being a key technique throughout my work. I’m partially funded by Unilever where their long-term goal is to replace the petrochemically derived surfactant currently most used in laundry detergents.
'I was an attendee at the Gordon Research Conference for Neutron Scattering from the 25th-30th June at Ventura, California. The talks were exceptional and varied completely across all fields of science from topics such as magnetism and soft matter all the way to dinosaurs and astronomy. The highlight of the conference however was the networking opportunities as it was unlike anything I’ve experienced at a conference previously. It was a fairly small-scale conference with a strong focus on socialising across all career levels with all meals being eaten together and the ability to meet new people at afternoon activities such as harbour visits and playing football on the beach. In particular I met some inspirational women, experienced researchers in the field, who I’ve kept in touch with after the conference and will be invaluable to my career progression.
'I also presented my work through an oral presentation and poster at the Gordon Research Seminar prior to the main conference. These few days were aimed towards mostly the PhD students and Postdoctoral researchers and allowed for a lot of feedback on my work and the ability to discuss how Neutron scattering varied between the different fields which is fascinating as somebody who has only every considered its application to colloidal systems.
'This conference exceeded all of my expectations and progressed my academic career through its unique networking and fascinating talks. I would like to thank the organisers of the conference for allowing me to present my work and also SCI-RSC Rideal Travel Grant for providing the funds to support my attendance at this conference.'
Lund University, Sweden