8th Triennial Congress of the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists by Amalia Poblador-Bahamonde (WATOC 2008), Sydney,14-19 September 2008

Thanks to a bursary from the Messel fund, I attended the Eighth Triennial Congress of the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists (WATOC 2008) in Sydney, Australia from 14 - 19 September 2008.

My own research involves computational modelling of transition metal catalysed C-H bond activation, a fundamental reaction step that has huge potential for exploiting simple hydrocarbons as chemical feedstocks, as well as the development of clean and energy efficient chemical technologies. It was useful to attend this conference and gain a broader understanding of theoretical techniques used by researchers around the world.

During the six days of the conference I was able to choose between nearly 200 plenary/invited lectures and more than 100 oral communications held in four parallel sessions. This allowed me a vigorous interaction and stimulating discussion with major figures in the field. Poster sessions were held after the parallel sessions, with almost 500 posters on display. The poster presentations were judged on the content, presentation and clarity of the poster and the understanding and communication of the presenting author. The judges were members of the WATOC Board and other senior members of WATOC.

When I presented my own poster I got some good suggestions about how to improve, continue and understand the mechanism of the acetate-assisted cyclometallation process. And, as a theoretical meeting I received really good advice about how to approach other techniques plus how to improve the use of DFT calculations that I am applying in my research. Seeing the C-H bond activation is a very valuable, and I was awarded with a poster prize.

My poster award shows the importance of the research conducted by Professor Stuart A. Macgregor’s group as well as the support given by SCI. I would like to thank SCI for its support which gave me the opportunity to attend this international conference. Attending greatly benefited my work and my future career as well as promoting the university as a strong centre for research on an international level.

Amalia Poblador-Bahamonde

Heriot-Watt University

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