POLY-CHAR 2019 [Kathmandu], also known as International Polymer Characterization Conference, under the auspices of the Scientific Committee of POLY-CHAR and IUPAC, was hosted by the Nepal Polymer Institute (NPI) and the Research Centre for Advance Science and Technology (RECAST), Tribhuvan University, Nepal at Park Village Resort, Kathmandu, 19-23 May 2019. The theme of the conference was “Polymer for Sustainable Development.”
POLY-CHAR is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization devoted to create a friendly environment to share information, organize student exchange and cooperation, to hold international meetings and to provide a platform in the field of Materials Science, in particular Polymer Materials Science and Technology, for scientists from all over the world, disregarding where they are from. An important goal of POLY-CHAR is to offer a conference for PhD students and young researchers, so that they will create their own scientific networks and experience a true scientific community. POLY-CHAR is rooted in polymer synthesis, characterization, processing, application, recycling, education and its environmental/social consequences.
A total of 7 keynote speakers, 30 invited speakers, 28 oral speakers, 45 poster presenters and 50 participants from 16 countries with more than 50 % of international participants participated in POLY-CHAR 2019 [Kathmandu]. This inaugural conference conducted two special symposia on
NMR on Biomolecules, and
Polymers Nanotechnology for Nepal.
The conference presentations were organised under the themes of:
Advances in Polymer Synthesis
Biomolecules, Biomedical Materials and Biotechnology
Nanomaterials, Smart Polymers
Polymer Degradation, Recycling and Environment Protection
Polymer Electronics and Bioelectronics
Polymer Physics, Theory and Simulations
Rheology and Processing
The inauguration of the conference was made by Jhala Nath Khanal (Former Prime Minister of Nepal); the other dignitaries were Er. Ganesh Shah (former Science Minister of Nepal), Rajesh Pandit (President of Nepal Polymer Institute), Rameshwar Adhikari (Organizing Chair of POLY-CHAR 2019), Jean-Marc Saiter (President of POLY-CHAR Scientific Committee), Michael Hess (Vice President of POLY-CHAR Scientific Committee) and Melissa Chan Chin Han (IUPAC Representative).
The POLY-CHAR Short Course was held on the first day of the conference, including five graduate-level tutorial presentations on the following topics:
PVT for characterization of polymers; (Jürgen Pionteck, Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden, Germany)
Thermal analysis: a focus on thermogravimetry; (Jean-Marc Saiter, Onyx Development, Nutriset Group, France)
Viscoelastic properties of polymers; (Michael Hess, University of North Texas, USA)
Morphology, mechanical properties and nanoscale analysis of polymer systems with atomic force microscopy; (Holger Schönherr, University of Siegen, Germany)
Electron microscopic methods to investigate morphology and micromechanical processes of polymers; (Sven Henning, Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems, Germany)
Outstanding researchers were honored with the POLY-CHAR awards, which are named in honour of three distinguished Nobel Laureates:
The Richard Robert Ernst Award went to Chuanliang Feng, Shanghai Jiaotong University, China; the Jean-Marie Lehn Award went to Ralph Paul Cooney, The University of Auckland, New Zealand and Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Award was awarded to Mehrdad Negahban, University of Nebraska, USA for their exemplary research work.
The POLY-CHAR Best Oral Presentations were awarded to:
Jiji Abraham, Mahatma Ghandi University, Kottayam, India, for her work on Ionic liquid modified carbon nanotube based styrene butadiene rubber nanocomposites
Rongyu Xia, Peking University, China for his work on Effect of fiber treatment and process and process variation on morphology, thermal, mechanical and water absorption behaviours of natural fiber nanocomposites
Netra Lal Bhandari, Tri-Chandra Campus, T.U. Nepal, for his work on Steering elastic sheerhorizontal waves by tunable locally resonant metasurface
Bhim Kafle, Kathmandu University, Nepal, for his work on Reduced graphene oxide (rGO) films for hole transport layer for perovskite solar cells.
Three IUPAC Awards for Best Student Posters were awarded to:
Arpita Roy, IIT (ISM) Dhanbad, India for his work on β-cyclodextrin based dual responsive hydrogel for colonic drug delivery
Achyut Nepal, Department of Physics, Amrit Science Campus, Kathmandu, Nepal for his work on TiO2 nanoparticles as an electrode of dyes sensitized solar cells (DSSC)
Chanda Bhandari, College of Biomedical Engineering and Applied Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal, for her work on Application of zinc oxide nanoparticles loaded with slug slime as surgical glue for wound closure and healing
Three POLY-CHAR Best Student Posters were awarded to:
Lucas Grossmann, Hof University of Applied Science, Hof, Germany for his work on Investigation of the influences of composition and processing of pressure sensitive adhesive polymeric materials laminated with textiles
Tabli Ghosh, IIT Guwahati, Guwahati, India, for her work on Development of non-toxic magnetic cellulose nanofiber dispersed chitosan based edible nanocoating
Yuchen Shi, Heifei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, Heifei, China, for his work on Novel electrochromic-fluorescent bifunctional devices based on aromatic viologen derivates
The coming POLY-CHAR conferences were planned for POLY-CHAR 2020 [Venice], Italy, 18-22 May 2020 and POLY-CHAR 2021 [Auckland], New Zealand, 25-29 January 2021.
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