The first school on graphene took place in the University Centre of Obergurgl last February. Graphene Study 2014 saw the presence of many speakers, researchers and industries and focused of building a network of expertise between the attendees.
Organised by the Graphene Flagship with the collaboration of European projects PolyGraph and Gladiator, the school took place in Obergurgl, Tirol, Austria. It featured classes, sessions and exhibitions, but more importantly focused on creating a network of collaboration between scientists. Lecturers, researchers, industry player and students had the chance to discuss their work and projects informally, and build connections extremely important for a initiative as big as the Graphene Flagship.
This year’s topics covered four important areas: materials, health and enviromental effects, nanocomposites and large scale production of graphene. “The goal is to take the lab results and bring them into society through industrial applications and full scale production” explains Jari Kinaret, director of the Graphene Flagship. “To succeed in this goal, we must focus on educating academics and people in industry, and make them meet each other so new ideas, products and employment opportunities can arise”.
Avoiding the traditional top-down lessons, the school aimed for an higher response from the participants with hands-on workshops on graphene (organised by the University of Manchester and the University of Cambridge). The participants also had a chance to present themselves and their scientific background during the Pecha Kucha Night. “It was all really interesting. There were classes on biology, chemistry, physics, you realize that there is so much going on in graphene research” says Lucia Lombardi, first year PhD at Cambridge Graphene Centre, who attended the school. “We also had a poster session in which the students could show their research poster, discuss and get in contact with each other”.
Graphene Study will act as a baseline for the next school, which will be organised in 2015 and will feature a different set of topics related to graphene.