3rd ICG Winter School

3rd ICG Winter School Image

Another successful event in Wuhan

On 12th November 2017, 35 research and masters students met at the Vienna International Hotel in Wuhan on a surprisingly warm day to register for a one week Winter School on ‘Glass Formation, Structure and Properties' organised by a local committee under the banner of ICG. Their meeting place was the Vienna International Hotel, the accommodation for the week for all the students and teaching staff involved. The hotel was in a colourful and lively street surrounded by shopping malls and coffee shops and was within easy walking distance of the lecture halls. Prof Chao Liu in the Wuhan University of Technology led the local organisation with significant assistance from Prof Jihong Zhang and Prof Kai Xu, and several local doctoral students who had attended previous winter schools. Six of the teachers from the Montpellier Summer School (Professors Conradt, Hand, Hehlen, Parker, Takada and Vacher) provided teaching on fundamentals of glass technology such as thermodynamics, durability, diffusion, structure and its analysis. They were joined by several local lecturers who spoke on NMR (Prof Jinjun Ren), X-ray absorption spectroscopy (Prof Yong Gyu Choi, South Korea), glass ceramics (Prof Jian Yuan) and ion implantation to make biosensors (Prof Taras Kavetskyy, Russia).

The formal talks filled the morning sessions from Monday to Thursday - four lectures a day each of 45 minutes with the goal of teaching current understanding of fundamentals. The first afternoon provided an opportunity for the students themselves to tell everyone their individual areas of interest. Each gave a5 minute presentation based on their research topics. This was part of a strategy to develop lasting links across the whole glass research community. The event successfully attracted an international community and 5 of the student attendees were from beyond the Chinese borders, including Russia, Denmark, Australia and South Korea.

The remaining afternoons were filled with project work. Students were grouped in fives based on their backgrounds and given open-ended projects to investigate, matched as far as possible to their interests. They were able to use the WWW, talk to the lecturers and to use any means at their disposal to gather information. A key emphasis was on teamwork and digging deep into the subjects provided. On the last morning they were expected to present together a 15 minute talk summarising their conclusions on their allocated topics, after which they were faced with some tough questioning from the audience, including other students. After a relatively short deliberation the winning team of: Ang Qiao, Wuhan University of Technology; Malwina Stepniewska, Aalborg University, Denmark; Xinxin Chen, Beijing University of Technology; San Yeol Shin, Korea Aerospace University; Shisheng Lin, Wuhan University of Technology was announced. Their project was to decide whether the environmentally damaging plastic microspheres in various cosmetics could be successfully replaced by glass products. Interestingly a student vote to identify their favourite talk endorsed the result announced by the staff. A short formal ceremony followed to reward the winning team.

During the conference a preliminary decision was taken to run a 4th Winter School from 4th-9th November 2018. A new feature is that funding has been made available to cover some of the costs for up to 7 students from the West to attend the Winter School in China and for a similar number of students from the East to travel to Montpellier for the Summer School there. At the end of the school all the students were given formal certificates to confirm their attendance.

Last Updated: 11/12/2017
Author: John Parker
Labels: Icg News
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