Reported by: Prof Pam Thomas
Materials SIG12 have been considering the future direction of the SIG. At the ECA Council meeting in Marrakesh 2007, a motion was agreed to change the name of the SIG to (Crystallography of) Functional Materials to encompass structure-property relationships including measurements of physical properties, non-ambient studies including phase transitions and microstructural analysis (texture, stress-strain, materials science). Importantly, with the inaugural Chair of the SIG having requested retirement from the role, there needs to be a concerted effort to find a new Chair for the group so that a positive can be made to the programme for ECM26 in Darmstadt. The secretary of the group, Jens Kreisel, has resigned his post because of the pressures of other commitments. Pam Thomas has offered to represent the SIG until a new Chair/Secretary is appointed if this can be of any assistance but sends apologies for the ECM in Istanbul. Whilst the SIG has been relatively quiet in the past year, Pam Thomas did represent Materials Crystallography through her membership of the IUCr Programme Committee in the role of CIMS representative for the Osaka meeting in 2008. There was a pleasing representation of materials-driven crystallography in the programme and a strong cohort of speakers on these topics from Europe.
Report Date: 25th June 2007
Reported by: Prof Pam Thomas
Following ECM23 in Leuven, in which Materials SIG12 organised and co-organised supported several microsymposia and a keynote lecture (see report from 2007), an effort was made to increase interest in this SIG and extend membership through mailings by the ECA executive (Prof M Nesspolo). Up until the present, this has not resulted in new contacts and volunteers for the Materials committee for the coming year and new efforts will have to be made.
2. Current Activities.
Title: Organisation of microsymposia at ECM 23
Short Description: Functional Phosphates (SIG12 only), Structure and Function Studies by Powder Diffraction (with the Powder Diffraction SIG), The Enchanting World of Phosphates (with SIG 5)
Title: Input to the International Programme Committee for Osaka 2008
Short Description: Pam Thomas is representing the Commission on Inorganic and Mineralogical Structures (CIMS) on the IPC and is involved in ensuring that inorganic, mineralogical and materials topics are fairly represented.
3. Future Activities.
Input to ECM25.
4. Other matters.
Thought needs to be given to how to increase the participation of the Material SIG in the future. Is the subject too broad? Does it overlap too much with other more focussed SIGS (e.g. powder diffraction, mineralogical crystallography)? The SIG has been in existence since it was approved in Geneva in 2002 but has not grown in this time although it has organised some very successful MS at previous ECMfs. The current Chair would appreciate some discussion with ECA Council on these matters.
SIG12 made a significant contribution to the Programme for the Budapest ECM in 2004 and continued to promote Materials Crystallography as a significant strand of activity. A plenary speaker, Dr John Evans from University of Durham, was selected from the SIG 12 suggestions. His lecture on Negative Thermal Expansion Materials preceded a major and very well-attended session on Disordered Materials that was chaired by Prof R. Welberry (Canberra, Australia) with invited speakers including Dr. T. Proffen (USA). SIG12 also co-organized with SIG 5 an interesting and diverse session on Forensic and Archaometric Crystallography, which was co-chaired by Caroline Kirk from the Natural History Museum. A successful joint session on Charge-Orbitally Ordered Materials was organized with the Instrumentation SIG and co-chaired by J.L.Hodeau and P.A.Thomas. The sessions were written up and published in the Winter 2004 issue of Crystallography News, the newsletter of the British Crystallographic Association together with a call for input to the Materials component of the programme for future ECMfs. During the 2004 meeting, an inaugural SIG committee meeting was held, which was attended by representatives from UK (including P.A.Thomas, J.Coles, J.Evans), France (including J.Kreisel) and Germany (including P.Paufler).
Among the the SIG12 proposals for microsymposia at the Leuven ECM include gPhase Transitionsh to be chaired (provisionally) by Prof U.Bismayer (Hamburg)/Prof. A.M.Glazer (Oxford), possibly joint with SIG5, and New Applications of Synchrotron Radiation, which is proposed to be joint with the Instrumentation SIG.
Prof. Pam Thomas
The Materials Science SIG has a significant presence in the program at the Budapest ECM with a plenary speaker, Dr. John Evans (Durham), on negative thermal expansion materials and a high-profile MS on Disordered Materials, chaired by Prof R. Welberry (Canberra, Australia) on the opening day. The Disordered Materials MS has also attracted attendance from the USA (Dr T.Proffen) to the ECM and promises to be a most interesting session. The SIG also has active involvement with both the Minerals SIG 5 and the Instrumentation SIG in two co-organized sessions embracing Clays, Forensic Materials and Charge and Spin Ordering. It was slightly disappointing that the session planned on Forensic and Archaeometric Crystallography (joint with SIG 5) did not attract sufficient interest to go ahead since this is a burgeoning area of current crystallography.The lack of interest generated in the session at this ECM may well result from the large number of specialist meetings taking place elsewhere. We feel it is a topic that should perhaps be tried again in a different way in the near future.
The Materials Science SIG will have a meeting of present members and inviting new members at the next ECM (date and time to be announced) in order to elect the officers and to make coherent plans for a Materials theme in the 2006 ECM.
The Materials SIG is a relatively new SIG, which was approved at the ECA Council Meeting in Geneva 2002. The SIG is currently working to increase the membership, with several new members from diverse areas of Materials Crystallography being recruited during the Durban ECM. The Materials SIG 12 organised a full session of Relaxor Ferroelectrics (chaired by Dr. Pam Thomas) at the Durban meeting and co-organised a joint session with the Mineralogical Crystallography SIG 5 entitled from Minerals to Materials Science (co-chaired by Dr. Jens Kreisel for SIG 12). Both sessions were successful and well-attended.