The fourth annual Workshop of the Department of Physics and Materials Science (DPhyMS) gathered PhD candidates, researchers and the technical team for a day full of insightful talks, networking, and an enjoyable evening with live music at the Maison des Arts et des Etudiants (MAE) – Campus Belval on 28 November 2023.
Chaired by the head and the deputy head of Department, Prof. Alexander Tkatchenko and Prof. Andreas Michels respectively, the event welcomed more than 150 participants, including collaborators from the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), marking it as a pivotal moment in the department’s calendar.
The highlight of the event was the presence of an External Guest Speaker, Prof. Marc André Meyers from the University of California, San Diego. Prof Meyers’s talk entitled “Biological Materials Science: biological materials, bioinspired materials, biomedical materials” captivated the audience, offering insights into his research on mechanical behavior of materials and sharing samples from Brazilian tropical forests with the attendees.
The scientific programme continued with the department research talks, featuring five selected presentations that showcased significant recent contributions to DPhyMS’s topical clusters:
- Soft and Living Matter Cluster: “Robust cholesteric liquid crystal elastomer fibres for mechanochromic textiles”, Nature Materials (2022) by Dr Yong GENG
- Photovoltaics, Sustainable Energy Cluster: “Diode Factor in Solar Cells with Metastable Defects and Back Contact Recombination”, Advanced Energy Materials (2022) by Susanne SIEBENTRITT
- Spectroscopy & Functional Materials Cluster: “Ferroelectric/para electric super lattices for energy storage”, Science Advances (2022), by Dr. Hugo ARAMBERRI (LIST)
- Statistical Physics & Machine Learning Cluster “Freedom of design in chemical compound space: towards rational in-silico design of molecules with targeted quantum-mechanical properties” , Chemical Science (2023), Dr Leonardo MEDRANO SANDONAS
- Quantum Science & Technology Cluster: “Ultimate speed limits to the growth of operator complexity”, Communication physics (2022), by Stylianos Apollonas MATSOUKAS-ROUBEAS
The Research Support Team presentation added another layer of depth to the workshop, shedding light on the vital “behind-the-scenes” work that contributes to the department’s achievements. The team, represented by Robert Himelrick, Dr Ulrich Siegel and Dr Bernd Uder provided valuable insights into their collaborative efforts with concrete project examples.
The workshop featured an award ceremony with two prizes for the best oral presentations. The second-best presentation was awarded to Dr Yong GENG for his captivating talk on liquid crystals, while the first prize went to the Research Support Team for their outstanding teamwork presentation.
Additionally, during the coffee break, a poster section offered researchers the opportunity to showcase their research group activities to colleagues, fostering even more interaction and knowledge-sharing.
Starting at 18.00, the atmosphere shifted to a more relaxed setting with a networking reception. Attendees had the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations, fostering collaboration and strengthening connection within the Physics and Materials Science community. The live music of the music band “Les Roosters” created a great atmosphere for relaxing and chatting, making it a friendly and celebratory environment.