MCEC School 2020

MCEC School 2020 (Online)

On October 26-28, we organized the 5th MCEC School for the PhD students and Postdocs as part of their training program. Due to the rules instated to stop the spreading of the coronavirus, this year’s school has been organized from our home offices. The program consisted of basic and advanced lectures with emphasis on multiscale and multidisciplinary approach. 

See the MCEC School 2020 program

On behalf of the Education Committee, a warm thank you to all who participated in this year’s MCEC School. We look back on a very informative week in which we enjoyed a lot of interesting guest lectures  as well as research talks from MCEC members, and overall learned a lot of new things.

With several introductory talks and the close involvement of our students, this year’s digital MCEC School featured a lot of made-to-measure knowledge. The lectures and tutorials, combined with a pubquiz and some highly interactive case studies, as well as good company and conversations, made for a very insightful three days.

Introduction Monday
After a word of welcome from the chair of Team Education Hans Kuipers, the first day of the MCEC School 2020 started off with a lecture on ‘Mass transport for Membrane Technology’, given by Prof. Rob Lammertink. At Twente University, Prof. Lammertink works in a cluster on membrane science and technology. His group deals with transport aspects near interfaces, such as catalysts and membranes.

After a short break we split into two groups for introductory lectures on Catalysis & Materials and Fluid Mechanics & Engineering. The first group was given a lecture by Dr. Ward van der Stam on ‘Electrochemistry’. Ward is a tenure track assistant professor at the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis group in Utrecht. Dr. Ivo Filot and Dr. Maike Baltussen (both assistant professors at TU/e) gave a lecture to the other group on ‘Convection-Diffusion-Reaction systems’. Part of their lecture consisted of a couple of hands-on exercises in the programming environments Matlab and Python.

After lunch, MCEC Project Leader Dr. Anne-Eva Nieuwelink introduced the concept of ‘PhD teaches PhD’. As might be concluded from the title, the PhD candidates got the opportunity to teach each other about one of their research techniques.

Pubquiz Tuesday
Tuesday morning was filled with two in-depth lectures: Industrial Catalysis, by Prof. Eelco Vogt (UU), and Nanofluidics by Prof. Jan Eijkel. The afternoon gave time for all PhD’s to work on their ‘PhD teaches PhD’ presentations. At the end of the day, there was room to talk and catch up during informal drinks. But since the MCEC School was moved to the digital platform of MS Teams, Team Community took it upon them to organize an online alternative in the form of a Pubquiz.

Music from the nineties was alternated with MCEC fun facts and geographical questions, all presented by PhD candidates Alessia Broccoli (UT) and Francesco Cannizzaro (TU/e).

Research Wednesday
The participants came together for the final two lectures of the MCEC School 2020. The morning started early with a very interactive lecture on ‘Advanced Characterization’ by Dr. Florian Meirer (UU). Dr. Meirer was assisted during his lecture by Laurens Mandemaker, Erik Maris and Maarten Bransen (all UU) to help manage three break-out groups wherein the participants had to figure out a solution to a real-life case. The other half of the participants attended the lecture of Dr. Fernanda Neira d’Angelo (TU/e) on the topic ‘Reaction Kinetics for Reactor Engineering’.

After a short break and more ‘PhD teaches PhD’ presentations, Dr. Freddy Rabouw gave a research lecture for the whole group. Dr. Rabouw is tenure track assistant professor at Utrecht University where he works in the groups of Prof. Bert Weckhuysen and Prof. Alfons van Blaaderen. His expertise lies in spectroscopy of luminescent materials. In this lecture he showed how understanding the luminescence of lanthanide ions can help us develop new sensors for, for example, temperature or chemical environment.

The organization looks back on an inspiring three days and would like to thank all students, members and (guest) speakers for making this online MCEC School a success!