Microscience Microscopy Congress 2015 (MMC2015)
A short account a personal experience of Europe’s Microscopy Conference by Paul Lewis – Cohort 1
As part of my complex particulate products and processes (Cp3) integrated master’s program, I was given two mini research projects aimed to give me a taster to two different areas of engineering. My first mini project was based in the Institute for Materials Research (IMR) at Leeds and looked at using modelling software to predict the optimum conditions which maximises Z contrast in backscattered electron images from complex particle mixtures. Once I had gained some results, my supervisors, Rik and Nicole both suggested I could present the results at the Microscience Microscopy Congress 2015 (MMC2015) in Manchester as both a poster and conference proceedings paper.
In order to enter a poster and paper at the conference a short abstract of the research had to be approved first. The abstract was mainly based on my project report and my supervisors were extremely supportive at this stage.
MMC2015 is Europe’s microscopy conference. The conference was held at Manchester Central between 29th of June and 2nd of July and featured pre-congress workshops, poster presentations, a huge exhibition, a teaching and learning zone and the RMS International Scientific Imaging Competition. Due to other cP3 commitments I could only attend the conference on the 29th and 30th of June. I caught the train down to Manchester with three other PhD students from the IMR, two of whom I hadn’t met before. We got to Manchester for lunchtime and when registering, we all received a goody bag each with the conference program and stationary branded with names of many microscopy companies. Also I was excited to find they had a left luggage at the conference, since I worried about having to carry my bag around all day. We all attended the short course on Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy which had two speakers from Leeds University.
The course gave an excellent introduction to the field, explained different available techniques, mentioning technical advice, useful contacts, limitations and applications.
After the course we sat and listened to the plenary speakers Professor Dirk van Dyck and Professor Jackie Hunter CBE who displayed many amazing biological images and spoke about BBSRC funding. Complementary drinks were provided in the foyer after the plenary speakers and I spoke to different members of IMR, one of which had attended my school in the year above. I didn’t initially recognize him as he now had a beard. We all ended going for a Thai meal and then played cards against humanity in a pub. The next day was the exhibition, I bumped into Rik and he advised me to speak to different microscope manufacturers about the best techniques to image and analyse the wax crystals I will produce in my PhD. The exhibition consisted of stands from leading microscope manufacturers such as Hitachi, Leica, Carl Zeiss, Olympus and JEOL, and other component manufacturers. The companies ran commercial workshops throughout the exhibition which displayed advances in techniques and equipment available. In the learning zone was an array of different types of microscope to play with, a large range of samples and experts to chat about and demonstrate different areas of microscopy. Throughout the day there were many presentation sessions occurring simultaneously covering many areas of research in life and physical science. At the conference I made contacts with microscope manufacturers such as Carl Zeiss and Hitachi, played with devices which have the ability observe wax crystals and attended a couple of life science presentations not related to my research, however quite interesting. All in all MMC 2015 was both an informative and fun experience.
More information about the MMC can be found here.