ICG Summer School

11th Montpellier School a success

The 11th Summer School began on Sunday 7th July 2019 following a heat wave in France which had broken many local temperature records and coincided with the final in the FIFA Women's Football World Cup. Inevitably transport issues affected a few participants and several did not arrive until lunchtime on the first day of lectures. The total attending again continued the slow upward trend and included people from further afield than previously. Another feature was the very high proportion of female attendees. 

Following the example of the previous winter school in Wuhan the course had two streams: basic science and waste immobilisation. The later stream followed a similar pattern to that in Wuhan with the lectures arranged with the help of ICG's technical committee TC05 and its chair: Dr O Pinet (Marcoule). The numbers attracted though were disappointingly small in spite of a specially arranged visit to the facilities in Marcoule at the end of the course.

The pattern of the week was to use the mornings of the first four days for lectures, four per day and we would like to thank our lecturers who give of their time without charge (in order of presentation): a) on the Basic Science option Parker, R Conradt, R Hand, J Deubener, P Florian, L Cormier, B Hehlen, A Takada, J Sangleboeuf; b) on the Hazardous Waste Vitrification option: M Ojovan, O Pinet, R Pokorny, S Peuget, D. Perret and S. Gin. Afternoons were devoted to other activities. On Monday, all the students were asked to give a short presentation (3 minutes) to explain the subject of their day job including the equipment they were using. The purpose of this exercise was to introduce the students to each other, helping them to identify synergies of interest and to realise the very wide range of subjects covered by Glass Technology.

On the basis of students' interests they were allocated to a 6 membered team and set a task to be solved by the end of the course. The formal launch of the projects took place at the beginning of Tuesday afternoon with the rest of the afternoon being used to formulate how they might tackle the issues raised. The project subjects were wide ranging and open ended; they were also designed to be a part of the teaching content of the course. Contacts made often continue lack after the close of the School and are an important feature of our course goals.

These projects shared the Wednesday and Thursday afternoon time slots with one hour tutorial sessions linked to the lectures on the course. The tutorials ‘under the pine trees' were intended for smaller groups than the lectures and designed to be more interactive. This year 5/6 different tutorial sessions each an hour long were arranged. Since the timetable only allowed two tutorial slots students had to select those they were most interested in and also had the option to continue working on their projects. Friday morning was devoted to student presentations. Each of the seven groups was limited to 15 minutes with 5 minutes for questions.

There is some space during the week to see a little of Montpellier. Monday and Thursday evenings have arranged events in a local Brasserie with food and music on tap but Tuesday and Wednesday are free for the students. While project work sometimes continues until the late evening a visit to the centre of Montpellier to eat and see the sites can usually be fitted in. Wednesday afternoon is an opportunity to visit the beach. It's also the time when the lecturers review the course and plan for the following year.

Last Updated: 13/02/2020
Author: John Parker
Labels: Icg News

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