Reports from ECM32 – Vienna

The ECA executive committee awarded one travel grant to a young researcher to attend the ECM32 meeting in Vienna, Austria, from 18 to 23 august 2019. Her travel reports follows below.

Irene Feliciotti, University of Reading, UK

This year I had the privilege to take part in the 32° European Crystallography meeting in the fascinating environment of Vienna.

The great opening ceremony offered a first sight of the elegance of The University of Vienna perfectly combined with the scientific environment created by the ECM organization, with all the stands and the posters around the arcades and the World’ a largest crystal structure model at the centre of the hall. This gave us a very nice welcome.

The scientific program started on Monday, with the first poster session and a plenary lecture by Jan Lowe, about prokaryotic cytoskeletons. Following this, I had the chance to listen to a very interesting talk by Bernard Rupp titled “How not to shoot yourself into the foot” which was engaging and brightening, with many quotes and advice. After lunch, I was able to follow the afternoon section about Electron crystallography, Chaired by Xiadong Zou and Tatiana Gorelik.

That evening, the ECM organised for us to enjoy a magnificent concert in Votivkirche church were the Orchestra played Shubert in an amazing atmosphere.

On the next day, I attended the talks about Structural Bioinformatics, which were particularly interesting and useful from my research point of view and my personal career development. On Wednesday, there was a different poster section, so I had the chance to walk through all the posters and see how vast this field could be.

During the last day, I followed the most relevant section to me, which was the Structural Enzymology. It was really well structured and organized.

The most inspiring aspect of this conference was to understand how crystallography can be applied to different fields and approaches, being utilized for different aspects of science, from enzymology to geology.

In conclusion, this year’s ECM32 was thoroughly enjoyable: well organized, inspiring and with an enthusiastic social equip able to keep everyone always updated. Everything ran in perfect harmony in the city of Vienna.  Four sunny days with chilling temperature helped us to appreciate also the beautiful garden and University’ hall; perfect places to have good chats and build my network in this exciting field of research.

As a first-year PhD student and a new entry into the Crystallography world, this meeting was inspiring and engaging to see how this field has evolved and is continuing to evolve. It was clear that everything is in continuous progress and this was almost touchable, thanks to all the sponsors who brought their innovative instruments and cutting-edges techniques.

Moreover, it was an inspiring and fruitful event for young researchers, like myself, as well as for the experts who want to make valuable connections and have a high-quality occasion for networking and talking about their projects and ambitions.

For me, this was a great occasion, truly inspiring and useful for my research and personal development.