In a resounding success, this Friday 19th January ends the 31st symposium of the specialized group of crystallography and crystal growth (GE3C) of the Real Sociedad Española de Química (RSEQ) and the Real Sociedad Española de Física (RSEF). This event has been held at ICIQ and gathered 75 participants from a diverse range of entities, including research institutes, universities, businesses and more. The symposium served as a platform for experts and newcomers alike to explore and discuss the latest breakthroughs in the fields of Crystallography and Crystal Growth.
Crystallography and Crystal Growth play pivotal roles in our ever-evolving society. These disciplines not only unravel the molecular secrets of materials but also drive fundamental advancements in nanotechnology, biotechnology, medicine, and the design of novel materials with exceptional properties. “During these Symposium, structural scientists propose solutions to the main problems of our society, such as new diseases or climate change,” as said by Prof. Armando Albert de la Cruz, president of the GE3C.
Similar to previous gatherings, this symposium brought together experts and novices from various scientific branches to present and discuss the most recent advances and discoveries in the fields of Crystallography and Crystal Growth. This is the 31st symposium of the GE3C and it lasted four days, in which 6 keynote speeches and more than 40 talks were given.
Among the keynote speakers, Dr. Judith Juanhuix, Head of the Life Sciences and Soft Condensed Matter Section at the ALBA Synchrotron, reviewed the beamlines currently catering the needs of the community crystallography, as well as the beamlines in construction that will come soon. In the words of Dr. Juanhuix, “it is a real pleasure to present the opportunities in crystallography at the ALBA synchrotron light source in this important GE3C symposium, that gathers the vast majority of the top crystallography groups in Spain.”
During the symposium three awards were also presented. GE3C offers every year the “Xavier Solans” award to reward the best scientific work, in the area of Crystallography and Crystal Growth, made by a young researcher. The award when to Álvaro Vílchez-Cózar for his work “Tuning the activity of cobalt 2-hydroxyphosphonoacetates-derived electrocatalysts for water splitting and oxygen reduction: Insights into the local order by pair distribution function analysis”. The second award was the “Sagrario Martínez Carrera” award created to recognize the career of relevant crystallographers in Spain, in this case Dr. Jorge Pasán García from the Universidad de la Laguna. And finally, the “Insignia de Oro del GE3C”, that went to Prof. Pilar Gomez Sal, Professor Emeritus of the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, for a life working in the field of crystallography. “These awards remember the first people who helped the community grow,” as confess Prof. Santiago García Granda, president of the International Union of Crystallography.
This event has been organized by Dr. Jordi Benet Buchholz, manager of the X-Ray and Electron Diffraction research units at ICIQ; and Dr. Eduardo C. Escudero-Adán, Manager of ICIQ’s Materials Characterization Department. ICIQ inaugurated on June 2023 the first electron diffractometer in Europe, that could analyse atomic-level structures from nanocrystals.