This year's DPI Annual Meeting 2013 was held as part of a three-day event that took place at the Papendal conference centre in Arnhem (Netherlands) on 4-6 November. In a departure from the set-up of previous years, it was decided to offer a combined programme including the Annual Meeting, the Young DPI Meeting, the Technology Area review meetings, the Programme Committee meetings, the meeting of the Council of Participants as well as the DPI Value Centre's Polymer Innovation Day.
This year's Young DPI Meeting was attended by a record 45 scientists from different countries ranging from Germany to China and Brazil. The meeting met with enthusiasm all around. DPI Managing Director Jacques Joosten: "This is what DPI is all about. We bring together scientists from different countries and different backgrounds, serving the needs of both industry and academia. We have received enthusiastic reactions from many companies and institutions - the Taiwanese organisation ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute) is one of them - who like our approach. We will highlight this aspect at the DPI Pilot Networking Event we are holding in China later this month."
Click here to read more about the Young DPI meeting.
The afternoon of Tuesday 5 November was devoted to the Annual Meeting, which was attended by some 240 people. Chaired by Martien Cohen Stuart, Scientific Director of DPI, the meeting featured lectures by renowned guest speakers Professor Ludwik Leibler of the ESPI ParisTech, who spoke on the subject of vitrimers, novel organic materials made of molecular networks with original properties; and Professor Han Meijer of Eindhoven University of Technology, who spoke about "One-step Creation of Hierarchical Fractal Structures with Thermoplastic Materials". Jacques Joosten comments: "These two lectures were a delight, two perfect examples of the rich European tradition: on the one hand Professor Leibler from France with a highly imaginative and original way of looking at materials and on the other Professor Meijer from the Netherlands with a highly technical and almost formalistic presentation on viscous materials."
During the Annual Meeting, Prof. Sybrand van der Zwaag, who will succeed Martien Cohen Stuart as of 1 January 2014, introduced himself to the DPI community. And Jacques Joosten gave a presentation highlighting DPI's progress and also touching on the challenges ahead. At the close of the Annual Meeting, the winner of the Golden Thesis Award was announced.
Click here to read more about the Golden Thesis Award.
The Annual Meeting was followed by the conference dinner, a convivial gathering of some 280 people. During the dinner, Professor Martien Cohen Stuart announced the names of the winners of the Poster Award. The First Prize went to Laurens Polgar of the University of Groningen. Laurens: "With only eight candidates competing, statistically each one of us had a good chance of winning a prize. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant surprise when my name was announced. Especially because I am still only in my first year of PhD research, whereas some other candidates had been working on theirs much longer and therefore had more results to show. I am very pleased with the award and am convinced it will prove to be a motivating factor for the future." The second prize was granted to Karel Wilsens of Eindhoven University of Technology and the third to Qingbao Guan of Delft University of Technology.
To judge from the comments heard throughout the three-day event, the new format was well received. Jacques Joosten was pleased that the event had attracted some 250 participants, plus an additional 150 who came for the Polymer Innovation Day alone. Jacques: "On the whole this seems to be a good set-up, but we will of course carefully consider all the feedback we receive and see how we could make it even better. We want all our participants to feel they get what they come for, whether it is the Annual Meeting itself or one or more of the other activities."
Click here to read more about the Polymer Innovation Day.
The pictures taken at the event can be found on the DPI intranet.
Click here for a video-impression.