Third STORM-BOTS Symposium

The third Symposium – 4th network-wide training activity of the project – was organised by Tampere University – Prof. Arri Priimägi and his team – and took place from 5 to 8 September. There were two main venues for the event: the Hervanta Campus for the 5 & 6 September activities, and the Paidia centre for the 7 & 8 September activities.

The symposium agenda was structured in different parts:

Internal activities

Day 1 was dedicated to the ESRs’ presentations, an internal training activity in which the ESRs present their latest results and training activities to all their colleagues and supervisors. All the presentations were followed by enriching discussions among all the participants.

Activities opened to external participants

Day 2 of the symposium was dedicated to workshops on transversal skills, such as CV writing and research-based careers, and lectures of interest for the ESRs’ present and future careers such as Intellectual Property and Commercialization.

In the afternoon the ESRs participated in a workshop on Digital Holographic Microscopy by Yves Emery, from the Partner Organisation Lyncée Tec. During this workshop, the ESRs received an introduction to this microscopy technique and its applications and were able to solve any questions they had. As part of day 2 activities, the TAU ESRs, Yasaman (ESR-10) and Zixuan (ESR-11) hosted a lab tour for all the ESRs and STORM-BOTS members to visit the facilities of the host group, led by Prof Arri Priimägi.

Days 3 and 4 were dedicated to lectures by experts on responsive materials, soft and micro-robotics, liquid crystal elastomers and polymeric materials presented their research to STORM-BOTS members and all participants that joined for this part of the symposium. Four ESRs led the sessions, introducing the invited speakers and chairing the discussion after the talks.

An open poster session was organised on Thursday – day 3 – after the lectures. In this poster session, the ESRs presented their projects to the invited speakers and all the external participants. This activity gave room for discussion and exchange of ideas between the ESRs and all the participants.

Agenda of DAY 2, 06/09/2023

Tampere University, Sähkötalo, Korkeakoulunkatu 3, 33720 Tampere

09:30 – 11:00  Crafting meaningful research-based careers – workshop. Elina Henttonen (Valtaamo oy, FI)

11:00 – 12:00  Vitae statistics – how to craft the ultimate CV. Rebecca Boden (University of Sussex, UK)

13:30 – 14:15  Intellectual Property and Commercialisation – Researcher’s Perspective. Jan Kolkkinen (Tampere University, FI)

14:15 – 15:00  What is ChatGPT and how to survive in the world with it? Jyrki Nummenmaa (Tampere University, FI)         

15:30 – 18:30  Workshop on Digital Holographic Microscopy. Yves Emery (Lyncée Tec, CH)

Agenda of DAY 3, 07/09/2023

Paidia, Nokia Arena, Kansikatu 3, 33100, Tampere

09:45 – 10:00  Opening. Arri Priimägi and Carlos Sánchez-Somolinos

10:00 – 11:00  Photopolymerization, photocrosslinking and polymerization-induced diffusion. Dirk Broer (Technical University of Eindhoven, NL)

11:00 – 12:00  Designing hydrogels with interpenetrating networks: from bright whiteness to feedback-controlled soft systems. Hang Zhang (Aalto University, FI)

13:30 – 14:30  Materials for Microrobotics. Salvador Pane (ETH Zurich, CH)  

14:30 – 15:30  Light responsive elastomers to oscillate and to fly. Hao Zeng (Tampere University, FI)

16:00 – 17:00  Fabrication of pneumatic actuators and sensors for soft robots. Veikko Sariola (Tampere University, FI)

17:00 – 18:30  STORM-BOTS Poster session

Agenda of DAY 4, 08/09/2023

Paidia, Nokia Arena, Kansikatu 3, 33100, Tampere

10:00 – 11:00  New Generations of Polymers with Multi-Stimuli Responsiveness. Marek Urban (Clemson University, US)

11:00 – 12:00  Off-axis digital holography microscopy (DHM): from first publications to industrial Metrology applications. Yves Emery (Lyncée Tec, CH)

13:30 – 14:30  3D Sculpturing of Polymerizable Liquid Crystals. Stephen Morris (University of Oxford, UK)

14:30 – 15:30  Spinning liquid crystal elastomer tubes and fibers with arbitrary length. Jan Lagerwall (University of Luxembourg, LU)   

The 3rd symposium has been an important training event for the STORM-BOTS fellows and members. It offered training according to the stage of the ESRs’ careers, such as the workshops on research-based careers or CV writing, as well as support and interesting discussions in the ESRS’ individual projects. Furthermore, the STORM-BOTS fellows and members attended lectures on the latest research of topics very relevant to the project such as photopolymerization, digital holography microscopy, soft systems and microrobotics, from renowned specialists, and could engage in discussion with them, provided as a networking opportunity. The ESRs could also experience and learn how to lead scientific sessions in a conference by acting as chairpersons of the Day 3 and 4 lectures.

All the training activities have had an extraordinary level, both on the scientific topics and transversal subjects such as career development or intellectual properties and commercialisation, and have been delivered at the crucial moment of the ESRs’ projects. The ESRs’ presentations and their meetings with the ESTs have provided them with the feedback and second-level supervision foreseen in the GA.

Importantly, training activities were opened to external participants giving the chance to participate and learn from renowned scientists, as well as raising awareness on the STORM-BOTS project.

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