Rideal Travel Bursary recipient, Vincenzo Calabrese, reports from Belgium

06 January 2020

6 Jan 2020

Vincenzo Calabrese was awarded a Rideal Travel Bursary to attend the European colloid and interface society (ECIS), in Leuven, Belgium. Here, he tells us about how the conference helped to broaden his perspective on research and the opportunity to share ideas and network with others.

‘I am at the end of my PhD at the University of Bath, under the supervision of Dr Karen Edler and Dr Janet Scott. My work aims to explore new strategies of assembly of cellulose nanoparticles using a combination of scattering and rheological techniques.

‘I was awarded to the Rideal Travel Bursary which supported my attendance to the European Colloid & Interface Society (ECIS) conference from the 8-13 September 2019 in Leuven (Belgium). Before the starting of the conference, I had the opportunity to attend a two days training course “Microfluidics and Surface Rheology” organised by ECIS. This course was extremely helpful to gain and refresh principles of fluid dynamics. The course nicely merged fundamental information with more practical perspectives. During the second day of training course, I had the possibility to share my work entitled “Charge-driven interfacial gelation of cellulose nanofibrils across the water/oil interface“. From this presentation, I had fruitful comments and the possibility to share opinions with experts in the field.

‘Despite the world “European” embedded in the name, ECIS is one of the best conferences in colloidal science in the world. This was witnessed by the surprising number of people coming from all around the world. For instance, during the opening ceremony, it was underlined that the number of Japanese scientists registered for the event was far greater than Italian and British scientist together.

‘The conference had four parallel sessions with separate topics, ensuring talk of interest for each taste.  The first day I attended the session entitled “Colloidal Gels and Network structures” which gave me the chance to learn the latest progress on this field. The following day, I followed talks from different sessions, shifting from fundamental to more applied research. In the afternoon I presented the poster entitled “Charge-driven interfacial gelation of cellulose nanofibrils across the water/oil interface“. Although I found the poster session pretty intense, it was encouraging seeing many people interested in the work. The following day I carried on following sessions regarding self-assembly and supramolecular systems and rheological sessions where I had the chance to see and listen to many people which I only knew from their publications.

‘Overall this conference gave me the opportunity to broaden my perspective on research, providing me with the chance to meet people and share ideas, getting to know the latest advances in research and, understanding where researchers are directing and why.

‘I am thankful to SCI-RSC for awarding the Rideal Travel Bursary to me. I would also like to thank my supervisor and colleagues for support.’

Vincenzo Calabrese
PhD student
University of Bath

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