36th APS: The wrap up
by Anna Gemmell (PhD Student, University of Queensland)
On Sunday November 20th the 36th Australiasian Polymer Symposium began in Lorne. From our arrival at Melbourne airport we piled
into a bus and were transported to gorgeous ocean views as we made our way along the Great Ocean Road. Around 300 academics, researchers, research students and industrial professionals from universities, research organizations and polymer industry in the polymer field in Australia, New Zealand and around the world came together to engage in all things relating to polymers.
The symposium opening plenary set the stage for the engaging days to follow with a last minute cancelation resulting in Prof Tom Davis stepping in to give a review on the exciting work currently being u
ndertaken across Australia within the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology. Once the plenary came to a close the first of the social events began. The welcome reception, held at Lorne Surf Life Saving Club, provided the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends not seen over the past year and to meet new faces joining the polymer community in Australia.
Monday morning commenced with barista-made coffee sponsored by Perkin Elmer as everyone made their way to the second plenary of the conference. After more coffee, the session streams began. Engaging presentations ensued in each session covering a range of different polymer applications from nanomedicine and biosensors to education, industry and synthesis. The student poster session and happy hour concluded the first day with a showcase of fascinating work presented from students involved in various polymer chemistry fields. All those who presented their posters conversed with their fellow researchers answering questions and sharing insight from their individual experiences before the VIP cocktail event sponsored by Davis Collison Cave commenced drawing all those invited to another evening of socialising.
Tuesday brought another day of talks, discussions, and opportunities to develop ideas along with copious amount of caffeine. Conversations filled the passages and dining room between each session as the attendees visited the exhibitors’ stands, enjoying the food on offer and each other’s company. To conclude the day’s events, members of the RACI attended the annual general meeting for the Polymer Chemistry division before all remaining students promptly made their way to the Student night at the Lorne Hotel to meet and mingle with other students, drink free beer and eat free pizza.
The final day saw the last of the talks given in each of the sessions and concluded in a fascinating final plenary given by Takuzo Aida from the University of Tokyo on Stimuli-Responsive Smart Soft Materials. Despite being the final presentation of the symposium Takuzo’s talk and videos did not fail to entertain and engage and left everyone in the audience wanting to know more. However, with the talks concluded we all departed the venue in time to prepare for the last event, the conference dinner.
The ‘Surf’s Up’ themed conference dinner certainly didn’t disappoint as one-by-one attendees dressed in their best board shorts, zinc and beach attire travelled through the crisp 11°C wind and patchy rain before being welcomed into the warm venue. Surf boards with glowing blue and orange lighting decorated the room as we all took out seats. Awards were presented, food and drink were consumed, dancing was encouraged and good times were had by all. The inflatable shark also met his share of new friends on the dance floor and was glad to survive the night in one still-inflated piece. Many thanks to the dinner sponsors Hitachi and NewSpec.
A massive thank you must go to the conference convenor, Prof. Greg Qiao, the organising committee, Leishman Associates, along with all the event sponsors and exhibitors, without whom the 36th APS would not have been such a wonderfully successful and enjoyable event.
For more conference photos, please head here