2nd STOE Lab Meeting

by Wilhelm Maximilian Hützler

Report from the 2nd Lab Meeting of the Young Crystallographers held on 05 & 06 September 2017 at STOE & Cie GmbH in Darmstadt

After the huge success of the 1st Lab Meeting of the Young Crystallographers at STOE in 2015, 24 enthusiastic young crystallographers travelled to Darmstadt to join the 2nd Lab Meeting at STOE, eager to have two great days meeting their peers working in the field of crystallography or working with crystallography. Among the participants were six postdocs, fifteen PhD students and even three BSc/MSc students from the field of chemistry, physics, geology and material sciences. The lab meeting was based on four pillars: networking, knowledge transfer, lightning talks and social activities, similar to the 1st meeting. We had the chance to get in close contact with the people from STOE who welcomed us with hospitality and kindness, making us feeling at home right from the start, and we also listened to two great lectures from experienced researchers on X-ray diffraction.

Participants of the 2nd Lab Meeting @STOE

At the first day, we were welcomed in the early afternoon with some coffee and small snacks to refresh after the travel. The meeting started with a short welcome note by the Co-CEOs Jens Richter and Martin Fark, who then continued with an overview on the history of STOE. The company was founded in 1887 for the manufacturing of equipment for the optical analysis of crystals (X-rays were not yet discovered at that time) before they became pioneers in X-ray diffraction in the 1960s. Today, STOE is a specialist in single-crystal and powder X-ray diffraction and has a huge number of long-standing loyal and satisfied customers worldwide. One of the most impressive facts is that the business still is operated almost exclusively from the home base in Darmstadt. In the following talk, Jens Richter (Co-CEO & CTO of STOE) reported on the latest developments of STOE in the field of single crystal X-ray diffraction, before Dr. Semën Gorfman (University of Siegen) gave a great lecture on “How X-ray crystallography helps to understand the materials functions”. Later in the afternoon, we split to smaller groups to have a guided lab tour and thus we could have insights into, for example, STOE’s single crystal lab, the powder lab, and the workshops.

Visit in the Single Crystal X-ray lab.

Afterwards, twelve participants took the “stage” for the first session of lightning talks, in order to give a five minutes “teaser” as a warm-up for the following poster session, where they had the chance to present and to discuss their own research with the other participants. The first day was closed with one of STOE’s famous barbecues, including some delicious beer from a small local brewery ;-), where the participants, the people from STOE and the experienced scientists joined together for an unforgettable evening in a relaxed atmosphere.

Impressions of the poster session.

The second day started with Dr.-Ing. Thomas Hartmann (STOE Sales and Powder) giving some insights in the latest developments of STOE in the field of powder diffraction. The second day’s scientific lecture was given by Dr. Leonore Wiehl (TU Darmstadt) on “X-ray diffraction under high pressure”. After a short coffee break, the remaining twelve participants were next to give their lightning talks in order to make the others curious for the second part of the poster session. As a hungry stomach is no good listener, we went to our hotel across the street for having a lunch break which was generously sponsored by DECTRIS AG. After the second poster session, Jens Richter and Thomas Hartmann gave us some insights on how they became a member of STOE, or like Thomas Hartmann said, how they were “shanghaied” by STOE. And with that, an extraordinary interesting and magnificent meeting was almost over, but not before the poster prizes were awarded to:
Marius Kremer (RWTH Aachen)
Nils Nöthling (Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim an der Ruhr)
Falk Meutzner (TU Bergakademie Freiberg)
They were the lucky three who came out on top “in a field of participants of extraordinary high quality”, quoting Thomas Hartmann as a representative of the jury.

From left to right: Melanie Nentwich (YC Chair), Dr.-Ing. Thomas Hartmann (STOE Sales and Powder) and Khai-Nghi Troung (YC Chair) with the three winners of the poster prizes: Marius Kremer (RWTH Aachen), Nils Nöthling (Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim an der Ruhr) and Falk Meutzner (TU Bergakademie Freiberg). Congratulations!

To summarize, the meeting was a huge success and we are looking forward to meet you all at the future meetings of the Young Crystallographers! Take the chance to join, it is definitely worth it! Here some of the next important dates: The Annual Meeting of the DGK 2018 will be held from 05 – 08 March 2018 in Essen where the Young Crystallographers will organize dedicated Lightning Session(s). And in September 2018 (exact date to be announced) the 3rd Meeting of the Young Crystallographers will be held at the RWTH Aachen. For any news, check


Finally, we would like to thank the organizers of the meeting for their excellent work: Our DGK YC Chairs Melanie Nentwich and Khai-Nghi Troung, Thomas Hartmann (STOE Sales and Powder) and Martin Fark (STOE Co-CEO and CFO). In addition, we gratefully acknowledge the financial and organizational support provided by STOE & Cie GmbH and DECTRIS AG during the organization of this meeting. We would especially like to thank Christine Heil and Martin Fark (STOE) as well as Sarah Diallo (DECTRIS) for their help. Furthermore, we thank the German Crystallographic Association (DGK) and Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (FCI) for their financial support.

Wilhelm Maximilian Hützler

Photos by Melanie Nentwich




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