In early September 2015, the ‘membrane’ group, myself*, Elsa, a postdoc, and my supervisor Chiara, travelled to Aachen for Euromembrane 2015. Being the largest membrane conference in Europe and debatably the world it attracted attendees from all corners of the world. And soon enough at the evening reception we were reunited with friends from all across the globe including a few all the way from Australia.
The conference proved to be a highly interesting affair catering to all aspects of membrane science with 6 parallel sessions. There were countless useful and interesting talks in fields ranging from mathematical modelling, to gas separations and novel synthesis methods. With speakers from all around the world, well over 100 posters, and attendees from both academia and industry there was never a dull moment. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the ‘big names’ of membrane science as well discuss the countless ideas presented. It was also a great chance to disseminate my work via a poster presentation to experts and peers in the field, as well as Elsa who gave a great presentation.
Aachen proved to be a great venue for the conference. A small historical town in the northwest of Germany, situated next to both the Belgian and Dutch borders, proved easy to get around as well as being a very interesting backdrop for the conference. In the breaks between sessions there was plenty time to explore the town. The Aachen Cathedral is the oldest in northern Europe dating back to the 9th century with an ornate octagonal chamber. Dominating the town square next to the cathedral is the Aachen Rathaus. The Aachen Rathaus (or city hall) is an imposing gothic structure and really highlighted the historic presence in the town. There were also plenty of bars and restaurants around the town square where we sampled the local beer and food each night. The conference dinner was a wonderful affair set in the main hall of the Rathaus. The interior of the Rathaus was just as grand as the exterior with recently renovated, ceiling high paintings and rows of towering columns leading into high archways. It was a wonderful evening and was great fun making new friends and catching up with old ones.
All in all the conference was a really interesting and inspiring experience and a great chance to catch up with far flung friends as well as making new ones. Many thanks to the UKCCSRC, my supervisor Chiara Ferrari and the organisers of Euromembrane 2015!
*Nick Bryan is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh and is working on the UKCCSRC Call 1 Project Mixed matrix membranes preparation for post-combustion capture.