Category Archives: Everything Else

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PCG Intensive School in Physical Crystallography

Registration is now open for the first PCG Intensive School in Physical Crystallography taking place from the 18th – 21st of June 2018, Cosener’s House, Abingdon. The instructors and topics covered on the course will be: Translational Symmetry and Reciprocal Space – Mike Glazer, Oxford Phonons and the Theory of Soft Mode Phase transitions –… Read More »

Meet the YCG – James Cumby

This is our last Meet the YCG post before the BCA spring meeting! This week we have the pleasure to introduce James Cumby who sits on the YCG  committee as an ordinary member. Name James Cumby Current position Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions and School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh. What… Read More »

Meet the YCG – Elliot Carrington

Time for another Meet the YCG! This week we move on to our secretary/treasurer Elliot Carrington.

Elliot Carrington

Current position
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Liverpool

What do you currently research?
My research interests lie in the crystallographic characterisation of porous materials, particularly ones which exhibit stimuli responsive properties. These materials often contain large internal voids which can adapt their shape to accommodate different shaped guests, offering applications in gas or molecular separations

What is your favourite thing about being a crystallographer?
I enjoy the 3D visualisation aspect combined with the constant need to solve new problems.

Who, or what, inspires you to do science?
I don’t think I have any one person which inspires me. I’ve always enjoyed learning about new things and I am mostly driven by wanting to find answers to unknown problems.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to anyone starting out in scientific research?
I would say it’s really important to think about what you want to do career wise. Once you know this make sure you take every opportunity you can to make it happen. It can be quite tough to get a job in research, so give yourself the best chance

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love the countryside and take any opportunity to get out. My favourite activity is rock climbing, but I also enjoying running, cycling and hiking.

Meet the YCG – Claire Hobday

Its again time for Meet the GCY, this week is the last in our group representative mini series and time to introduce Claire Hobday! Claire is our group rep for the Chemical Crystalography Group (CCG).

Claire Hobday

Current position
Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bath

What do you currently research?
At Bath, I work with porous materials and how we can really understand the adsorption process. I do this through molecular simulation, using both quantum mechanics and simpler empirical force fields. What I want to grasp is how the structure of a material is related to its function, so we can develop better adsorbent materials. I did my PhD at the University of Edinburgh, where I used a combined approach of high-pressure crystallography and computational methods to study mechanical and adsorption properties of porous materials.

What is your favourite thing about being a crystallographer?
Only one thing is such a difficult question. I’d have to say it’s seeing the brilliance of symmetry in a diffraction pattern.
I have worked on cubic, high symmetry porous materials and once they’re in the x-ray beam, the resulting diffraction pattern is dazzling – check out the picture below! And to think from these images we can work out what atoms compose the crystal and how they are connected, is always something which amazes me!

Who, or what, inspires you to do science?
Initially, I was inspired by my chemistry teacher at school. I had the same teacher for six years and he made the magic in chemistry really come alive! I’ve been really lucky that all through my academic life, I’ve had great mentors and been surrounded by amazing research. This really makes me want to do the best I can in my own research. There is also a great satisfaction when you finally understand why something works the way it does – and it was your work that helped reach that conclusion!

What is the one piece of advice you would give to anyone starting out in scientific research?
Make sure it’s on a topic you want to know about! Enthusiasm is the key to doing really great research. When you start out on a project, you might not know all the science behind it, but if you are really interested in uncovering what is going on, that will help you the most!

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I’m into running. It’s the perfect way to clear your head after work. Also, if I visit new cities, I always try to get in a run, it’s a great way to see the sights! I’m also really into cooking and like trying out new recipes. I like to think I’m quite adventurous when it comes to cooking and eating, I’ll always try something at least once!

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.

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: