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DiStruc Newsletter - Issue 1, 2016  


Welcome to the first Newsletter of DiStruc! 

DiStruc (Directed Structure at the mesoscale.) is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network funded by the EU. The goals of DiStruc are three-fold: (i) scientifically, to understand and direct structure formation in dispersions of elongated colloidal particles by internal and external means; (ii) practically, to exploit this knowledge for rational product development of fast moving consumer goods and high-performance fibres; (iii) to train the next generation of European researchers at the highest level with a multidisciplinary academic and industrial skill set. DiStruc runs for four years (2015-2018), and brings together partners from 6 different European countries including universities, research institutions and industries.

In this issue we introduce our fellows and we highlight the events organised so far: the two DiStruc meetings organised in Heraklion (September 2015) and Eindhoven (February 2016), the 3rd Playing Colloidal Mikado workshop and the public event organised in Eindhoven. 

Dirk Aarts
DiStruc Co-ordinator, University of Oxford


Meet the DiStruc Fellows 

Louis Cortes, Christian Lang, Inna Moroz, Andrii Repula, Lucille Chambon, Weichao Zheng, Mohandas, Shari Patricia Finner, Maxime Tortora, Run Li, Mariana Oshima Menegon, Luuk Metselaar, Roland Gouzy, Marie Föllmer, Blandine Barabé.  


DiStruc provides integrated training for fifteen Early Stage Researchers (ESR). The DiStruc fellows originate from 8 different countries: Austria, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Netherlands and Ukraine. They will spend three years of study (leading to a PhD) in 6 different European countries and 9 different academic and industrial research groups. This vibrant international  community is the key to the success of the DiStruc Project. Secondments to different institutions will strengthen their collaborative skills and add to their mobility. 

Find out more about our fellows

Heraklion, September 2015

Sunny Heraklion provided the perfect setting for the first DiStruc meeting, hosted by FORTH on 21-24 September 2015. Four days of intensive scientific training were combined with social events to get to know each other and enhance the team spirit of the researchers and their supervisors. Scientific training was expertly delivered by Jan Mewis, Julia Yeomans, Paul van der Schoot, Patrick Davidson, Marisol Ripoll, David Dunmur, Maria Vamvakaki and Pavlik Lettinga and covered theoretical, computational and experimental aspects of liquid crystals.
More info

Eindhoven, February 2016  

The second DiStruc meeting took place in Eindhoven on 15-18 February 2016 and was hosted by TU/e. It began with the progress meeting, where the researchers presented their individual projects and discussed with the other members of the Network. The progress meeting was followed by a full day of scientific training with lectures given by Rik Wensink, Jan Vermant, Jan Dhont, Paul van der Schoot and Patrick Davidson and a two day international workshop (see below). This rewarding week was completed with industrial training at the premises of Teijin Aramid in Arnhem and lectures given by Ulrike Jacobi, Deniz Gunes and Célia Mercader.
More info

3rd Playing Colloidal Mikado workshop 

The 3rd Playing Colloidal Mikado workshop forms part of a series of workshops which bring together experimentalists and theoreticians working in the field of Soft Matter. The aim of these workshops is to discuss current developments and advances in the chemistry and physics of non-spherical colloidal particles with a focus on colloidal rods. The 3rd Mikado workshop kicked-off with a session open to the general public, whereas the 'hardcore' scientific programme covered experimental, theoretical and computational aspects, presented by 18 invited speakers. Many thanks to all the speakers and the participants of the workshop for making it successful! 

The 4th Playing Colloidal Mikado workshop is scheduled for November 2016 in Bordeaux. It will be a student-led workshop organised by the DiStruc fellows. We look forward to welcoming you there! 
More info

Public Engagement

DiStruc is committed to engaging with the public and creating awareness about the work and events within the scope of the Network. 
To this end, a session open to the public was organised as part of the 3rd Playing Colloidal Mikado workshop. Two lectures and a do-it-yourself experiment highlighted certain aspects of colloidal particles: Prof Roel Dullens showed how lasers can be used to trace and manipulate particles and Prof David Dunmur narrated the fascinating story of liquid crystals. The lectures were followed by a hands-on demonstration performed by Inna Moroz (ESR12), Erik Westerhof and Wido Nijenhuis from Teijin Aramid which showed that rod-like colloidal particles can also be used to make super-strong fibers. All the videos of the event are available on the DiStruc YouTube channel
The next public event is scheduled on 9th July in Oxford. It will be an event open to families with lots of hands-on experiments and games prepared by our fellows. More information to follow soon. Stay tuned! 
Read more

Dates for your diary

  • 9 July - DiStruc public event, Christ Church, Oxford, UK
  • 11-15 July - DiStruc Meeting, Oxford, UK
  • 14-18 November - DiStruc Meeting, Bordeaux, France
  • 16-17 November- 4th Playing Colloidal Mikado workshop, Bordeaux

In the next Issue:

  • News from our Fellows
  • Public engagement: Oxford event
  • Details about the 4th Playing Colloidal Mikado Workshop
This issue was edited by Irini Hatzimichali.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 641839.
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