12th European Student Colloid Conference,15 -18 July 2009 University of Almeria, Spain

I was awarded a Sir Rideal Bursary to travel to the University of Almeria, Spain, to attend the 12th European Student Colloid Conference. The European Student Colloid Conferences are a series of international conferences promoted by the European Colloid and Interface Society to give PhD students the opportunity to present and discuss their work in an international conference in a relaxed atmosphere.

The conference was organised by local PhD students and involved students and young research scientists from Europe and further afield. The meeting was attended by more than 120 students from 16 different countries working on the field of Colloid and Interface Science.

I was given the opportunity to present my work in a talk, showing the research I have carried out during my PhD. The talk was well received and it was fruitful to be given suggestions by other students working on similar fields and using the same kind of techniques.

Overall, the quality and the level of the talks given by the students were very high, and covered a wide range of topics from microgel to Monte-Carlo simulations, from nanoparticles to polymer and surfactant systems. Parallel sessions were organised each day to allow most of the students to present their work in an oral presentation. A plenary lecture was given by Prof Brian Vincent, who explored all the opportunities and challenges in the world of colloid and interface science.

During the whole conference the environment was friendly, allowing students to approach each other easily to discuss about science and share their PhD experiences. Moreover, the University of Almeria is located by the seaside and that made all the social events very enjoyable.

In the past three years I have been organising a Colloid Symposium involving PhD students working on colloid and interfacial science on the South West region of the UK. Attending this international student conference was a valuable opportunity to learn more about the organisation of a similar event in an international scale as well as expanding the network of people working in the same field within Europe.

I would like to thank the SCI and the Sir Eric Rideal Trust for allowing me this travel bursary, which made it possible for me to take part to this conference.

Paola Occhipinti
Cardiff University

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