Synchrotron experts gather for WIRMS conference

17 December 2013

Deakin researchers meet experts in the field of synchrotron-infrared technique.

Synchrotron-infrared (IR) scientists and users from at least 12 countries recently gathered for the seventh International Workshop on Infrared Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Accelerator Based Sources (WIRMS 2013).

The biennial conference was hosted by Australian Synchrotron in Lorne, from 10-14 November. Deakin was one of the main sponsoring academic institutions of the event, with supporting funds coming from the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment (Prof. David Cahill), the Strategic Research Centre for Chemistry and Biotechnology (Prof. Colin Barrow), and the School of Life and Environmental Sciences (Prof. Andrew Bennett).

According to one of the conference organisers, Dr Jitraporn (Pimm) Vongsvivut, Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow from Deakin’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences, the WIRMS conference provided an outstanding opportunity for Deakin researchers to meet the experts in the field of synchrotron-IR technique. Participants gained insights into the benefits of using the highly intense synchrotron-IR radiation to obtain molecular information of materials at a resolution of only a few micrometres.

“This technology offers an exceptional capability to examine microscopic regions of bio- and nano-materials, which are the main research themes for our group at Deakin,” Dr Vongsvivut said.

She added that the synchrotron-IR technique will be of great benefit in a wide range of research areas including material science, medicine and biotechnology.

In addition to the main conference sessions, five Deakin researchers and students attended the advanced IR imaging workshop, which was run by Bruker engineers from Germany.

“The conference was such an excellent opportunity for Deakin researchers, not only to showcase our research strengths to international research communities, but also to expand our analytical capabilities into a new multidisciplinary area based on the synchrotron-IR technique,” Dr Vongsvivut said.

“We received overwhelmingly positive responses from the international delegates, in terms of both future research collaboration and the establishment of a larger global research network.”

“The in-kind contributions received from the City of Greater Geelong and Geelong Otway Tourism, as well as local wineries, further indicates the strength of our local communities to assist the growth in science and technology in the region.”

Photo of the group from the WIRMS conference. The WIRMS conference was held in Lorne, from 10-14 November.

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