The Seventh Annual Conference of the Brazilian Materials Research Society (SBPMat) was this time held in Guarujá, a renowned tourist place situated about 70 km east of Sao Paolo on the Atlantic Ocean coast. Conference included nine plenary lectures and 14 Symposia with 46 Invited Lectures, several hundred oral presentations (around 30 per Symposium) and more than 1000 posters, totalling around 1500 papers submitted by national and international researchers.
Symposia, like those at similar conferences of MR Societies, were dedicated to the following topics:
A: New Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Multifunctional Materials
B: Polymeric nanocomposites for packaging and other applications in engineering
C: Mechanical Behaviour of Thin Films, Surfaces and Coatings
D: Synthesis, Processing, Characterization and Applications of Particulate Materials
E: CIAM Scientific Meeting
F: Electrochemistry of Biological and Nanostructured Materials
G: Theoretical and experimental advances in the development of new materials
H: Nanomaterials and nanotechnology applied to biotechnology and agriculture
I: VI Brazilian Symposium on Electroceramics
J: Applications of lasers in materials processing
K: Microanalysis (MICROMAT)
L: High Resolution Electron Microscopy (MICROMAT)
M: Electron Microscopy at the Industry (MICROMAT)
N: Micro and Nanometrology (MICROMAT)
Electron Microscopy Courses (MICROMAT)
The Conference Opening Ceremony held on Sunday afternoon, September 28, was ceremonial in character. Top executive officers of SBPMat spoke about the history of the Conference and what was to be expected of this year’s event. An important reference was made to the growing number of participants from – since the First conference held in 2002 (with 300 presented papers) until the Seventh with around 1500 submitted papers. After the Welcoming Speeches, a choir sang several Brazilian and international songs. Opening ceremony was closed with a Welcoming Cocktail which was foiled by rain to be held in a lovely South-American ambient by an extraordinary pool, so it took place in a closed foyer in which other conference activities also took place.
Plenary Sessions, even those held in the late afternoon until 19.30 h, where very well attended, just like Oral and Poster Sessions within individual Symposia. All leading lectures, including a great number of Symposia presentations were in English, while a small number of lectures given at parallel Symposia were given in Portuguese, followed by a very lively discussion. All posters were presented in the English language.
I gave an invited lecture on “Strategies for the molecular-level design of fine particles for contemporary electroceramic technologies” within Symposium I on electroceramics, wherein I presented our latest research in this area. The lecture attracted significant attention of participants and was followed by an interesting discussion.
It is interesting to compare the activities of SBPMat with those of other similar societies in the world. The SBPMat Conference is mostly national in character, with a relatively small number of international participants (maximum 5-10%) and its goal is to put national researchers in close contact. International participants are mostly invited lecturers chosen from among the researchers who already cooperate with SBPMat or show potential for cooperation. Presentations are significantly smaller in number than those at similar conferences in the United States of America, but approximates the number of presentations at EUROMAT Conferences of the Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS) and E-MRS, held annually in Strasbourg and Warszaw. It is also interesting that, unlike similar societies, SBPMat does not award the best presentations.
During the Conference, a very well attended exhibition of equipment for the synthesis and characterization of materials of prominent international manufacturers of laboratory devices and instruments was also held. Although it almost exclusively gathered the manufacturers' representatives for Brazil, the exhibition did not fail to provide useful information.
After the Conference, I was a guest of Prof. Jose Arana Varela at Universidade Estadual Paulista, UNESP, in Araraquara, around 350 km from the Conference venue. At the Institute of Chemistry, I was acquainted with their research programme, experimental possibilities and system of education and work. I had a wonderful discussion with their associates and realised their great potential.
Generally, it was a successful tour, all the more it was my first visit to Brazil and South America. I was assured of their kindness and immense potential which will surely enable them to obtain significantly better standard of living in future.
Detailed info: http://www.sbpmat.org.br/7meeting/