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.

Meet the YCG – Sam Horrell

Sam Horrell

Current position
Post Doc at the University of Hamburg in the Pearson group and Chair of the YCG

What do you currently research?
I am currently working as part of a team to design, build and eventually test a new end station at PETRA III to enable time-resolved serial crystallography experiments on fixed targets. P14.EH2 (we’re working on a better name) will be a dedicated Time-resolved X-ray Crystallography beamline using Hadamard Time-resolved X-ray Cryatsllography (HATRX) to produce high quality pump-probe serial diffraction data for the study of structural dynamics in biomolecules. Also, there will be lasers. I’ll be talking about this at the BCA Spring meeting this year if you want to learn more.

What is your favourite thing about being a crystallographer?
I like how varied the field of crystallography can be, I started off as a biochemist and am now helping build a beamline. If you told me at the start of my undergraduate, I’d have worked at two particles accelerators by age 27 I wouldn’t have believed you. But my favourite part of crystallography has to be when you get that new structure that nobody else has seen, and you get to dig into the fine detail of how exactly it works.

Who, or what, inspires you to do science?
I’m sure everyone has had that moment at school where a teacher tells you what you learned a few years ago was actually a massive oversimplification and life is in fact a lot more complicated. Respiration is not just breathing, and the cell doesn’t look like a fried egg, etc. This always annoyed me and made me want to know more about what w

as really going on. A healthy obsession with Sci-Fi and comic books probably helped lead me down this road too.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to anyone starting out in scientific research?
If you are going to start a PhD make sure of two things, that it is a subject you are interested in, and your supervisor is someone you can work and get along with. If either of these are not right, it’s going to be a very long 3-4 years.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I have recently moved to Hamburg for my new job so outside of work I have enjoyed exploring a new city, I’d definitely recommend moving to a new country if given the opportunity. One of the great perks of a career in science. But in addition to that, I enjoy playing ultimate Frisbee, board games and the guitar.

Meet the YCG – Charlie McMonagle

This is the first in a new series of interviews conducted on members of the YCG. We are going to start with the members of the current committee in the run-up to the BCA Spring Meeting and see how we go from there! If you enjoy these posts, please like and share.

Charlie McMonagle

Current position
PDRA Newcastle University / YCG Webmaster

What do you currently research?
My work at Newcastle is to develop and uses the extensive facility’s here to do ultra-low temperature and high-pressure single crystal diffraction experiments. Currently I am looking at a range of magnetically interesting compounds at temperatures as low as 3 K, and this will be coupled with low-temperature high-pressure measurements in the new future. I am also finishing up my PhD that was joint between the University of Edinburgh and I19 at the Diamond Light Source. This focused on looking at porous materials at pressure and the development of new techniques to do this. During my PhD I developed a pressure cell that will allow you to perform single crystal X-ray diffraction from 0 to 1400 bar, a pressure range is currently very difficult to investigate with common high-pressure cells.

What is your favourite thing about being a crystallographer?
Probably my favourite aspect is how collaborative it is. I have the good fortune to work with many different scientists that are experts at their niche speciality and their enthusiasm for their work is infectious. Being able to bring your own expertise to the table is also great and providing the key to unlock new problems is something that has always driven me.

Who, or what, inspires you to do science?
Breaking new ground is probably what I find the most inspiring thing about science. Whether it is new experimental set-ups, novel compounds or just new ways to make something work it all adds up and it’s amazing just how many things there are still to do!

What is the one piece of advice you would give to anyone starting out in scientific research?
If you want something done right, do it yourself.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Having been living in Scotland and now in Northumberland, I have the great opportunity to make the most of the outdoors. Walking in the Highlands, the Pennines, or the Alps are great ways to unwind and exploring a new city and region is also fun.

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:

Final reminder – BCA IG/CCG Autumn meeting


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:

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.


More information
• Hercules website:
• Full list of lectures:
• Contact email: [email protected]