(27 July 2010)
The Universities of Scotland Inorganic Chemistry Conference, USIC 2010, took place in Durham on Thursday and Friday, 8th-9th July. This was the first time that the USIC conference has been held outside Scotland. The successful meeting was superbly organized by a team of postgraduate students from Durham University Chemistry Department (Peter Harrisson, Rachel Harder, Peter Harvey, Chris Herron, Winnie Man and Louise Parkes) working together with Dr Philippa Monks.
In total there were 105 registered delegates at USIC 2010: 66 PhD students, 17 post docs and 17 academic staff members from nine institutions (Durham, Leeds, Southampton, CPE Lyon, Strathclyde, Heriot-Watt, Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Andrews) and 5 industrial participants from Davy Process Technology, ISIS, Sasol Technology UK, GPE Scientific Limited and Sigma Aldrich.
There were three invited speakers, Dr Terry Kee (University of Leeds), Professor Christophe Copéret (CPE, Lyon, France) and Professor Gill Reid (University of Southampton) who gave outstanding talks covering the origins of life, developing novel heterogeneous catalysts, and applications of main group compounds in materials synthesis.
A further eighteen oral presentations were given by postgraduate students and post docs, which reflected the depth and variety of inorganic chemistry in the North East and Scotland. Following intense debate between the invited speakers, they awarded a joint first prize for the best oral presentations to Lisa Murphy from Durham University with her talk "Highly Luminescent Platinum (II) Complexes for Light Emitting Devices and Bio-Imaging," and to Elaine Crosbie from the University of Strathclyde for her talk "Two TMP Ligands are Better Than One for Lithium-Mediated Alumination Reactions".
First prize for the best poster presentation was awarded to Julien Panetier from Heriot-Watt University for his poster "Hydrodefluorination of Fluoroaromatics by [RuH2(CO)(NHC)(PPh3)2]: An Explanation for the 1,2-Regioselectivity." He won a one-year subscription to Dalton Transactions and £25. Joint second place prizes were awarded to Nicola Bell and Thomas Jeffs both from the University of Edinburgh, who each won £10 and a bottle of wine.
The conference evening entertainment took place on Thursday and was held on the Prince Bishop River Cruiser where delegates enjoyed a trip down the River Wear, including a BBQ at sunset in the shadow of the Cathedral, followed by a disco.
The organising committee would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support offered by the event sponsors: Durham University Chemistry Department, Durham University Graduate School, Durham University Chemical Society, The Royal Society of Chemistry Dalton Division, Dalton Transactions, Sasol Technology UK, GPE Scientific Limited, Sigma Aldrich and Prontaprint Durham