European Conference on Liquid Crystals

The 13th European Conference on Liquid Crustals will take place in Manchester, 7-11 September 2015. It will bring together leading international researchers to present and discuss the latest directions in liquid crystals and soft anisotropic materials. Three of our Scientists in Charge will be participating in the conference with plenary and invited talks. Eric Grelet (Centre de Recherche Paul-Pascal, CNRS) will give a talk on “Entropy driven phase transition and chirality amplification in colloidal liquid crystals: the paradigm of filamentous viruses”, Julia Yeomans (University of Oxford) will give a talk on “Active Nematics”, where as Paul P.A.M. van der Schoot (Technische Universiteit Eindhoven) will give a talk entitled  “Tactoids Large and Small”. Moreover, DiStruc is participating in the special session on with a poster that highlights the most important aspects of the project. This is an exciting opportunity to spread the word about our project and interact with a diverse audience. Also, David Dunmur (University of Manchester) will be participating with a video presentation entitled LC past present and future and a Demonstration of magnetic-field induced Fredericksz effect. The outreach session will also include hands-on experiments and will finish with a keynote public lecture on Liquid crystals: Nature’s delicate and very prosperous state of matter. The outreach session is open to the public, so come and meet us!

Info: 5.00-7.30, Renold Building C15, University of Manchester 

30 April 2015: H2020 ITN Coordinators’ Info day

The project manager of DiStruc, Irini Hatzimichali, attended the first H2020 ITN Coordinators’ Info day that took place on Thursday 30th April (08h30 – 17h30) in Brussels. The meeting was organised by the MSCA ITN team of the Research Executive Agency (REA).

The event was addressed to the Coordinators of H2020 MSCA ITN 2014 projects. In total 114 people attended the meeting, representing 93 projects.

After registration, the session opened with a review of the objectives and main features of the MSCA 2014 call. The presentations that followed addressed issues such as Recruitment (Sandrine Jacobs, REA A.1); Financial management (Sally Taylor, REA A.1); Reporting (Marcela Groholova, REA A.1); IPR Management in Horizon 2020 (Jörg  Scherer, European IPR Helpdesk); Open Access in a European Policy Context (Daniel Spichtinger, EC DG RTD A.6); Communication and public engagement (Alexandra Ruete,EC DG RTD A.1); Ethics and Scientific Integrity (Audrey Arfi, REA A.1); Best Practices (Sergio Mastropierro, REA A.1 & Barth F. Smeth, Technical University of Denmark). The presentations of the speakers can be found here

Each session was followed by a Q&A where the participants had the opportunity to pose specific questions to the speakers. In the afternoon there were three parallel sessions for EID, EJD and ETN projects respectively. The DiStruc project manager had the opportunity to meet with the Project Officer, Ms. Athina Zampara and informed her on the progress and the future plans of the project.

6-8 January 2015: DiStruc Kick-off meeting

The kick-off meeting of DiStruc was held on 6-8 January 2015, at the Denys Wilkinson Building in Oxford. The meeting was attended by Dirks Aarts, Julia Yeomans, Jonathan Doye and Roel Dullens from the University of Oxford,  Pavlik Lettinga from Julich, Paul van der Schoot from the Technical University of Eindhoven, Eric Grelet from CNRS/Bordeaux, George Petekidis from FORTH, Erik Westenhoff from Tejin Aramid, Krassimir Velikov from Unilever, Simon Jestin from Canoe/Adera, Deniz Gunes from Nestlé and David Dunmur from Manchester University. Also Maria Vamvakaki from FORTH, Zvonimir Dogic from Brandeis University, and Patrick Davidson from CNRS who could not attend the event, contributed through skype video calls.

Each beneficiary and partner presented his/her current scientific interests, the way they intend to contribute to the DiStruc project and their relevant scientific goals. Each Work Package and its deliverables were discussed separately per node and per ESR.

The beneficiaries also specified the desirable background of the ESR(s) they wish to hire and discussed the secondments they can offer.

The coordinator gave a presentation covering the practical aspects of the Network: management structure, procedures, finances, recruitment process and dissemination of results (including the open access obligation of the beneficiaries and the visibility of the EU emblem and funding). The attendees discussed their ideas on these practical issues and how they can meet the deadlines specified in the Grant Agreement. 

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