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Vol. 35 No. 2
March-April 2013

Conference Call | Reports from recent conferences and symposia 
See also www.iupac.org/indexes/Conferences

Kathmandu Symposia on Advanced Materials

The Kathmandu Symposia on Advanced Materials (KαSAM) is an initiative of the Nepal Polymer Institute (NPI) under the auspices of the POLYCHAR World Forum on Advanced Materials. It was held for the first time from 9–12 May 2012 at the Park Village Resort and Hotel, Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu, Nepal.

The highly successful IUPAC-sponsored POLYCHAR 19 International Conference, held in Kathmandu, 20–24 March 2011, planted the seed for the first KαSAM. Under the motto, “Cross-Linking Science and Virtues,” this new conference series is aimed at strengthening networking among materials scientists from South Asian Countries and those from the rest of the world. The KαSAM is a long-term activity to be organized every two years in Nepal with the goals of promoting education and research in the field of advanced materials, in Nepal in particular, and fostering our endeavors in applied nanoscience and nanotechnology.

The KαSAM-2012 was organized in association with the Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu; the Kathmandu University, Kavre, and the Université de Rouen, France, under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Nepal. The symposia focused on “Nanostructured and Biorelated Materials,” providing a platform for presentation of innovations in materials science and engineering for scientist from across the globe: Asia, America, Africa, Australia, and Europe were represented by 17 countries. There were 210 registered participants, about 40 percent of whom were from foreign countries.

The Inauguration Ceremony on 9 May was jointly celebrated by Vishwanath Prasad Agrawal (senior chemistry professor at Tribhuvan University, member of Constituent Assembly); Suresh Raj Sharma (vice chancellor, Kathmandu University), and Jean-Marc Saiter (head of Materials Science Department, Rouen) in the characteristic Nepali tradition. Nicole Moreau, past president of IUPAC, was the special guest of the Inauguration Ceremony.

KαSAM 2012, Closing Ceremony with Rameshwar Adhikari, convener of KαsAM 2012 (3rd from the left, sitting), Nicole Moreau, IUPAC past president (4th from the left, sitting), Michael Hess, secretary IUPAC Polymer Division (2nd from the right, sitting), and the conference assistants.

The conference was accompanied by a one day tutorial on “Recent Trends in Materials Science,” which included eight lectures, and a special workshop on “All about Bamboo,” which featured seven presentations. There were 87 oral presentations (including the tutorial and workshop) and 64 poster presentations. The tutorial targeted young scientists and students and also attracted the attention of many scientists from the region. The following lectures provided insight into recent trends in materials science and technology:

  • Stoyko Fakirov (University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand) “Polymer Nanomaterials for Biomedical Applications: Preparation and Applications”
  • Jatinder V. Yakhmi (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, India) “Synthesis of Nanostructured Materials and their Application to Sense Toxic Gases”
  • Shinichi Sakurai (Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto, Japan) “Basis of Structural Analysis on Fiber or Polymer Films by X-Ray Scattering”
  • Surendra Gautam (Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal) “Structural Characterization of Nanomaterials”
  • Heinz W. Siesler (University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany) “Characterization of Polymers by Vibrational Spectroscopy”
  • Martin Steinhart (University of Osnabrück, Osnabrück, Germany) “Nanostructuring and Microstructuring”
  • Jean-Marc Saiter (University of Rouen, France) “Green Material and Materials for Future”
  • Suresh Valiyaveettil (National University of Singapore, Singapore) “Health and Environmental Implications of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology”

It is difficult to choose outstanding presentations from the 72 excellent oral presentations and 64 poster contributions. As pars pro toto, the following contributions may be mentioned just to give an impression about the range of topics addressed:

  • G. Michler (Halle-Wittenberg, Germany) “Role of Electron Microscopy in Developing Advanced Materials”
  • H. Hasegawa (Kyoto, Japan) “Application of Block Copolymer Thin Films to Nanotechnology”
  • S. Higashibayashi (Okazaki, Japan) “C3 Symmetric Buckyballs, Sumanenes”
  • S. Valiyaveettil (Singapore) “Functional Materials for Water Purification”
  • F. Tournilhac (Paris, France) “Semi-Crystalline Supramolecular Polymers and Their Use in the Design of Hot-Melt Adhesives and Smart Coatings”
  • B. Bluemich (Aachen, Germany) “Non-Destructive Testing of Polymers Morphology by NMR”
  • V. Popov (Moscow, Russia) “Supercritical Fluids: A New Approach to Advanced Biomaterials Processing and Modification”
  • J.V Yaksmi (Mumbai, India) “Molecular Materials for Electronic Devices”
  • A. Pathak (Kathmandu, Nepal) “Laboratory-Scale Synthesis of Geopolymers from Various Construction Waste”
  • N.L. Bhandari (Kathmandu, Nepal) “Comparative Study of Mechanical, Morphological, and Thermal Behaviour of Bamboo Flour Reinforced Plastics”
  • T. Fujii (Kyoto, Japan) “Green Composites using Bamboo Fibres”
  • M. Steinhart (Osnabrück, Germany) “Design of Soft-Matter Nanorod Arrays in Self-Ordered Nanoporous Aluminia Thin Hard Templates”
  • S. Fakirov (Auckland, ,New Zealand) “From Polymer-Blends to Nanofiller Polymer-Polymer and Single Polymer Composites”
  • J.-M. Saiter (Rouen, France) “Natural and Synthetic Polymer Composites Reinforced by Bamboo”
  • A. Bhaw-Luximon (Reduit, Mauritius) “Bio-engineering Polymer Nano-Micelles for Controlled Drug Delivery”

During the Closing Ceremony on 12 May, Goerg Michler (University of Halle) was honored for his significant contribution to establishing materials science research in Nepal. Likewise, Santosh Thapa (Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu) was honored for his dynamic and overwhelming support of the activities of the Nepal Polymer Institute. Mangala Devi Manandhar (Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu) was honored for her untiring efforts toward establishing research activities in Nepal.

Ram P. Singh (former vice chancellor of Lucknow University, India), was the chair of the event. Michael Hess, secretary of the IUPAC Polymer Division (Chosun University, Gwangju, South Korea), was a special guest during this event. Akhtar Jahan Siddiqa (India), M.A. Yousuf (Bangladesh) and Jyoti Giri (Nepal) were awarded with the best poster presentation prizes. Nicole Moreau expressed her positive impression about content, quality, and performance of the conference in her closing remarks as IUPAC representative.

www.nepalpolymer.org

 

 


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