RDG Conference Report of Francis M. Mulimbayan

Write up about the Conference

MSE 2014 Congress was the first international conference that I have attended in a foreign country. Although I felt too much excitement in the mere idea of myself, riding an airplane for the first time and going abroad to meet folks with entirely different culture; on the same degree, I became tremendously anxious in thinking of many negative possibilities that might befall on me while abroad, i.e. getting lost, accidentally losing my passport, etc.? Nevertheless, everything went well and as smoothly as I planned.

 Many students, young professionals, PHD’s, professors and researchers from 54 different countries gathered to participate in MSE Congress 2014 to fervently share their expertise in their field. The conference serves as depot of enormous scientific research and perfect platform to obtain valuable information in our respective area of interest in the field of Materials Science and Engineering. It was held at Technische Universitat (TU) Darmstadt, Germany, on 23-25 of September 2014 and was organized by DGM who instituted an MSE Experts Committee.  

 The theme of MSE for this year was “Young Researchers meet Professionals”; indicating the call for active involvement of young researchers. Most events of the conference specifically planned to cater the need of young researchers including undergraduate, Masters and Ph. D. students.

 The 1st day of conference commenced with the registration of participants. Afterwards, Professor Hans-Jurgen Christ – president of DGM, formally opened the conference and delivered his welcome remarks. There had been 7 plenary talks and 48 keynotes in the duration of the conference. Each exceptional topic was presented by distinguished speakers who provided their up-to-date and original first-hand research results.

 Also, one of the major parts of the conference was the conduct of parallel sessions where lecturers, mostly students present their research paper. Among more than 1000 papers that were submitted and approved by the reviewers of the conference, almost half of which were accepted as lectures and the remaining as poster. These lectures were classified and grouped into 8 domains, namely Functional Materials (Topic A), Structural Materials (Topic B), Synthesis and Processing (Topic C), Characterization (Topic D), Modelling and Simulation (Topic E) and Biomaterials (Topic F).

 Aside from plenary lectures, keynotes, poster session and parallel oral presentations, there were also wide range of side events that took place during the conference, i.e. football rematch (Germany vs. Brazil) and MSE Party. 

Feedback on paper presented

As previously mentioned, among more than 1000 accepted papers, almost half were chosen to be presented orally and fortunately, one of which is my paper entitled, “Corrosion Behavior of Austenitic Chromium-Manganese Stainless Steels in Citric Acid”. Among 58 identified symposia, my paper was classified under Surface Engineering domain. I presented it on the 2nd day of the conference (12:30 pm, 24 September, 2014) at Room A4-Groundfloor, Karo 5 Bldg., Technische Universitat Darmstadt. 

 I was the last presenter in that 11:30-12:30 session and I noticed that majority of the topics that were presented before me were under the science of tribology (or wear resistance) while my topic was on corrosion resistance. I have successfully delivered my presentation and finished it within the time limit that is, 15 minutes. I expected some questions from the audience during the extra 5-minutes though no one attempts to ask. I just assumed that they really understood the gist of my research… or not. However, one thing I realized is that corrosion despite being one of the major contributors of economic losses is not given with proportionate consideration as indicated by limited research on corrosion.

Future directions of research presented

Corrosion or needless degradation of structural and functional materials represents a remarkable economic loss and much can be done to reduce it. As scientists or engineers, we might be able to alleviate its detrimental effects by means of fostering research and advancement in the study of corrosion.

 If I will be given the chance to have my PhD, I will still take Materials Science and Engineering and pursue my research on corrosion. I hope to be a corrosion engineer someday and I would like to help our local industries to solve their problems in corrosion while of course staying in academe.

 Also, one of the goals of our department (Department of Engineering Science, CEAT-UPLB) is to institute an undergraduate or graduate course on Materials Science & Engineering in the University of the Philippines – Los Baños. And if that happens, I will be the one who’ll initiate research on corrosion in our constituent university. 

Potential foreign collaborators

 Registration of participant on the 1st day of conference took place concurrent with the recruiting fair. In this event, participants were given the chance to meet invited representatives from different renowned companies like European Space Agency, Hydro Aluminum Rolled Products GmbH, Otto Fuchs KG, Schott AG and Uniprec GmbH, to talk about entry opportunities, job offers and career perspectives. These companies presented themselves as future employers for some of these participants. 

 Other important contacts and insights

Materials Science and Engineering Congress is a biennial international conference and has been established as a “must-attend” gathering for all materials scientists and engineers from both industry and research sector. The conference helps each participant to acquire broad overview of the significant advancements in his/her field of interest and provides the opportunity to socialize with experts and find connections to uphold future collaborations.