15 Sep 2014
I am writing this report after participating at the Bicontinuous Cubic Phases Conference which was held in Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia between 30 July and 2 August 2014. I am grateful to the SCI-RSC Sir Eric Rideal travel bursary for the award which contributed towards my travel expenses to attend this conference. The award provided me with an opportunity to present a poster at the meeting to showcase some of my research work in front of the global bicontinuous cubic phases community and a valuable addition to my curriculum vitae.
The conference was a very well organized and a truly international event. There were daily oral presentations between 8.30am and 6.00pm and a number of sessions were directly relevant to my research areas. Therefore I enjoyed hearing about the work in these fields first hand, from some excellent speakers. The poster session was held on one of the evenings between 6pm and 8pm. I was really pleased that many researchers were interested to know about my work and gave positive comments and encouraging feedback. As well as presenting my work, I managed to go around and look at the posters presented by other researchers and chat to them about their work.
The event gave me a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the leading scientists from different parts of the globe who are working in the area of bicontinuous cubic phases. These scientists were names I knew previously, but only from articles. However, I now had the opportunity to meet them in person which was wonderful. Moreover, I made a lot of friends who, like me, are in their early careers. Some of these new professional contacts that I have established will hopefully turn into future productive collaborations.
In addition to all the interesting presentations and poster sessions, there were plenty of opportunities for informal discussions. On one of the evenings, there was a conference dinner where we discussed everything from food, culture and music to wildlife. My trip to Australia would not have been complete without a peek at kangaroos and koalas, hence I made sure I visited the famous Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo and stroked these animals!
Overall, the conference was a very enriching experience for me, both from a professional as well as a personal point of view. I believe that it has broadened my knowledge of science and improved my skills to share ideas. The ideas and information gathered and the professional contacts made at the conference will immensely benefit my research career. Therefore, I wish to sincerely thank SCI and RSC for giving me the Sir Eric Rideal travel bursary award which made this knowledgeable trip possible.
SCI-RSC Rideal travel award recipient