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Meet the YCG – Alex Cousen

Up next in Meet the YCG is Alex Cousen! Alex is our Industrial Group (IG) representative and the second in our mini series to introduce our group reps. Just a reminder that Meet the YCG is a weekly series of interviews with YCG members starting with the committee.


Name
Alex Cousen

Current position
PhD researcher for the EPSRC Future Manufacturing Hub in Continuous Crystallisation and Advanced Crystallisation, based at the University of Bath

What do you currently research?
Development of novel multi-component materials (co-crystals, salts, etc.) for enhanced pharmaceutical performance for end-patient use or during the manufacturing process. Specifically, my research focusses on developing novel multi-component materials for the selective crystallisation of chiral pharmaceuticals.

What is your favourite thing about being a crystallographer?
Crystallography is an amazing area of science. There are few disciplines where you can observe and rationalise the structure, understand how materials are constructed, whilst still being able to physically see the beauty of the crystals themselves.

Who, or what, inspires you to do science?
My roots in Crystallography, and science in general, take me way back. If pushed, I would pin my interest down to two people and a distinctly 90s TV programme. The first of these was my chemistry teacher at secondary school. “Sir”, as I then called him, really made chemistry come alive. He explained the subject so well and really had a passion for the subject, which is hard to find these days. The second figure is that of Michael Faraday. From humble beginnings, he rose to the top of the scientific world, making key discovers in a range of areas, but, and most importantly, he never forgot his roots. Finally, my scientific career would never have taken off, if it hadn’t been for the 90s kid’s programme ‘HOW 2’. If you have never seen it, go watch it now. It opened up the world of science and engineering to kids, and no doubt inspired many like me.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to anyone starting out in scientific research?
Work hard, take every opportunity you can, but always make sure that you love what you do!

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
In my spare time, I am a keen hiker. I love nothing more than going for a long walk in the Lake District on a warm summer’s day (or in torrential rain come to think of it). I love my rugby, a passionate Sale Sharks fan, and do enjoy a pint or two in the pub with my mates. Currently trying to learn to salsa dance… baby steps.

Hot Topics In Contemporary Crystallography 2018 (HTCC2018)

Registration and bursary application for the Hot Topics In Contemporary Crystallography 2018 (HTCC2018) are now open.

HTCC2018 will be held in Bol, on the island of Bra?, Croatia, from Sep. 23 to 27, 2018.

The three hot topics to be tackled this year are:

  • Crystallography under extreme conditions (HT1)
  • Total scattering and PDF analysis of complex materials (HT2), and
  • Dynamical crystallography (HT3)

Bursaries are available to PhD students and Postdocs employed by a public university or research institution.

Now is your chance to get involved with the YCG!

This years’ YCG Satellite Meeting at the BCA Spring Meeting sees a number of committee positions opening up as members are finishing out their two year terms. The following positions are now open for nominations.

Chair (Sam Horrell stepping down)

  • Liaison to the BCA council and management of the group at large

Secretary/Treasurer (Elliot Carrington stepping down)

  • Handles the groups finances, takes minutes at meetings etc

Chemical Crystallography Group Representative (Claire Hobday stepping down)

  • Represents the specific interests of young crystallographers in Chemical Crystallography

Physical Crystallography Group Representative (Charlotte Kirk stepping down)

  • Represents the specific interests of young crystallographers in Physical Crystallography

Industrial Crystallography Group Representative (Alex Cousen stepping down)

  • Represents the specific interests of young crystallographers in Industrial Crystallography

Ordinary Member (Genevieve Baker stepping down)

  • Generally helpful person whenever they are needed

If you are interesting in working as part of the YCG committee to represent the interests of young crystallographers to the BCA and help in planning the YCG Satellite meeting along with education and outreach events in any of the above roles please contact the current chair ([email protected]) and secretary ([email protected]). Nominated persons will be voted on at the YCG annual general meeting at the BCA Spring Meeting in Warwick. If you are unable to attend a member of the committee can read out a preprepared statement on your behalf.

I look forward to seeing you all at the YCG meeting in March, watch this space for further updates on the meeting.

Sam Horrell

YCG Chair

Parkin Lecture, 2018 – Nomination Deadline 26th of January

To recognise the outstanding achievements of the late Dr Andrew Parkin in his roles as scientist and teacher, the YCG holds an annual Parkin Lecture at the YCG satellite meeting. The YCG satellite directly precedes the BCA Spring Meeting, which this year takes place at the University of Warwick from 26 – 29 March 2018. The prize lecture is awarded to a Young Crystallographer who has been recognised for outstanding contributions to promoting science, raising public awareness of science, teaching crystallography/science or showing originality in outreach and teaching activities.

Friday 26th January is the deadline for nominations by peers and/or supervisors. If you know someone deserving of this award, please nominate them! Full details can be found here.

BCA Spring Meeting Abstract Deadline – 10 Days to Go

The abstract deadline for the BCA Spring Meeting is only 10 day away now!

Please submit your abstracts here for Friday the 26th of January.

Remember that all abstracts for the YCG Satellite Meeting are submitted as posters for both the YCG and the Main Meeting. Oral presentations at the YCG Satellite Meeting will be based on the submitted Poster abstracts. As many authors as possible will be given the opportunity to make an Oral presentation in addition to their Poster presentation.

If you are a Young Crystallographer (YC) submitting an abstract to the Main Meeting, please identify yourself the submission process! We are trialling this to gauge YC participation throughout the Spring Meeting and to offer the option to present your work at the YCG Satellite Meeting as well as the Main Meeting.

Good Luck!

BCA ABBF Bursary Deadline Approaching

Bursaries to attend crystallographic related meetings including the BCA Spring Meeting are available now. These are open to PhD students, Postdocs, and Independent Research Fellows.

The next deadline for application for the BCA’s ABBF bursaries is 31st January 2018.

This is for conferences beginning March 2018 to June 2018 and applications will only be considered for meetings/conferences, which begin approximately six weeks after the deadline. This allows time to process applications.

For more information and how to apply please follow this link: www.crystallography.org.uk/prizes/bursaries/abbf-bursaries/

Final reminder – BCA IG/CCG Autumn meeting

EXTENDED REGISTRATION – 13th November

Registration for the BCA IG/CCG joint Autumn 2017 meeting on 21st and 22nd November, at Downing College in Cambridge closes on very soon! The aim of the meeting is to discuss the design of crystalline products and the prediction of properties from pharmaceuticals to porous materials.

This promises to be an exciting meeting with session topics on

  • Crystal Engineering
  • Property Control & Prediction
  • Crystallisation & Crystallisability
  • Pharmaceutical Product Design
  • Plus a focussed early career session.

Confirmed speaker include Mike Zaworotko (Limerick), Simon Lawrence (Cork), Vijay Srirambhatla (Strathclyde), Andrew Bond (Cambridge), Aurora Cruz-Cabeza (Manchester), Monika Warzecha (Strathclyde), Graeme Day (Southampton).

Registration for the meeting closes on 13th Nov! We hope to see you at the meeting.

Registration link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/design-of-crystalline-products-igccg-joint-autumn-meeting-tickets-35631083530?utm_term=eventurl_text

CCG/IG Autumn Meeting 21st-22nd November 2017

The joint CCG/IG Autumn Meeting 2017 will be held on 21st – 22nd November 2017 at Downing College, University of Cambridge.

The theme is ‘Design of Crystalline Products’.

Session topics include: Crystal Engineering, Property Control & Prediction, Crystallisation & Crystallisability, Pharmaceutical Product Design plus a focused early career session.

Concession registration rate available for students – £90

Flyer with more information can be found Here.

Registration details can be found Here.

See you there!

HERCULES 2018 – European School

HERCULES is a European course for PhD students and young researchers using Neutrons and Synchrotron Radiation for applications in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Hard & Soft Condensed Matter.

The 1-month school (25 February-30 March, 2018) includes lectures (60%), hands-on practicals and tutorials at partner institutes (Elettra and FERMI in Trieste, Italy, ESRF, ILL in Grenoble, Soleil and LLB in Paris-Saclay, PSI in Villigen, Switzerland) and Grenoble Laboratories (CEA, CNRS, EMBL, IBS).

The school includes a common part and two parallel sessions:
– Biomolecular, soft condensed matter structure & dynamics
– Physics and chemistry of condensed matter

Bursaries/reduced costs
– A limited number of bursaries will be available either to reduce registration fees or cover travel costs.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: 15 October, 2017

More information
• Hercules website: http://hercules-school.eu/
• Full list of lectures: http://hercules-school.eu/24-session-program.htm
• Contact email: [email protected]

Committee Positions Available

Several members of the current YCG committee are due to finish their term at this year’s AGM. Consequently we are currently looking for new and enthusiastic members to become involved in the committee. These positions are a great way to be connected with the crystallographic community, but generally do not require much in the way of time commitment. The positions currently available are:

– Deputy Chair
– BSG Group Representative
– Ordinary Member (3 positions available)

Nominations for these positions need to be supported by two other YCG members, which should send an email to the YCG secretary, Elliot Carrington ([email protected]). The AGM will be held on Monday 10th April during the YCG Satellite meeting of the upcoming BCA Spring Meeting in Lancaster

You can still become involved in the committee even if you are unable to attend this year’s AGM.

If anyone has any queries about the positions please feel free to get in contact with Elliot or the rest of the committee. Full details of the current committee and their contact details can be found at ycg.crystallography.org.uk/the-committee/

Thanks and best wishes,
Elliot Carrington
Secretary / Treasurer YCG