by Stephan Lenz & Gregor Hofer
This year the Young Crystallographers of the DGK held a lab meeting in Darmstadt (Germany) at the impressive facilities of the famous diffractometer manufacturer STOE & Cie GmbH. Almost 30 participants met from the 8th until the 9th of September 2015. This meeting gave Master and PhD students as well as Post Docs of the broad field of crystallography the chance to connect with each other and to present their latest research results. Furthermore, the participants attended lectures on X-ray diffraction and gained insights into the STOE company. This meeting was based on four pillars: networking, knowledge transfer, lightning talks and social activities. Thanks to the enthusiastic effort of all employees at STOE, it was a very pleasant and enjoyable meeting.
We were greeted cordially at STOE shortly after noon with refreshing drinks and something little to bite. After a warm welcome by Oliver Pecher and the Chief Executive Officers of STOE Martin Fark and Jens Richter, Thomas Hartmann (STOE, Sales and Powder) gave us a brief introduction about the company, the friendly working atmosphere and how STOE recruits their scientific staff. He was followed by Thomas Doert (TU Dresden) who gave a lecture on the principles of single-crystal X-ray diffraction. After a short coffee break, we split up into smaller groups for the first training session. During this session, the first group had the possibility to discuss our scientific problems with senior employees of STOE. The other group had the extraordinary opportunity of a guided tour through the powder diffraction laboratory and thus to look behind the scenes, where all the various and famous STOE diffractometers are made.
The heavy discussions and amazing sights were followed by the lightning presentations of our posters. Each participant should give a five minute impression of what could be expected from his or her poster. Afterwards, one of the corridors was re-purposed for the poster presentation. Here we had the chance for further in-depth discussions about our research topics.
As the sun started to set, STOE invited us all to their backyard where they had prepared a magnificent barbecue for us. The rest of the evening was very comfy with chats about almost everything. One the more funny anecdotes of the night was told by one of the attendees. He told about a prank he played on a student. He gave him the task “Für diese Messung müssen wir in ein anderes Labor. Geh bitte zur Sekretärin und hohl den Schlüssel zum reziproken Raum!” which roughly translates to “We need to go to another lab. Please ask the secretary for the key to the reciprocal room! [literal translation of reciprocal space from German]”.
We started bright and early the following day with two talks by STOE, one from Friedemann Hahn (Software and Single Crystal Diffraction) about the development of the STOE IPDS and one from Steffen Sander (Sales), who gave an overview of different types of X-ray detector techniques STOE is working with. These talks were topped off by Robert Dinnebier (Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, photo) who gave a highly enthusiastic talk about powder diffraction and about reciprocal space.
Afterwards followed the second lightning talk / poster / training session where all participants were highly motivated to make the best out of their limited time. A particular highlight was the guided tour through the single-crystal X-ray diffraction laboratory where the IPDS is produced.
The meeting closed with the prize of the three best posters, awarded to Tina Weigel (TU Freiberg), Olufunso Abosede (Federal University Otuoke) and Gregor Hofer (ETH Zürich). Interviews with the winners will follow soon, so check back later!
We parted in a good mood and with the hope that our future gatherings will be as pleasant as our two days at Stoe!
At last, we would like to thank the organisers Oliver Pecher and Julia Dshemuchadse from the Young Crystallographers and Thomas Hartmann and Martin Fark from STOE & Cie GmbH for the lab meeting and its smooth course. Furthermore, we would like to thank the German Crystallographic Society (DGK) and the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (FCI) for providing travel grants for the participants. We hope to see you all at DGK meeting in Stuttgart (Germany) in March 2016 or at the 2nd meeting of the Young Crystallographers in Berlin (Germany) in September 2016!