Rigaku OpenLab Cambodia
7–11 July, 2014
Since mid-2013, when a Rigaku MiniFlex X-ray diffractometer was installed at the Dept. of Georesources and Geotechnical Engineering (GGE) at the Inst. of Technology of Cambodia (ITC) in Phnom Penh, the students in the department have been introduced to X-ray diffraction and crystallography. To increase their knowledge, the first IUCr-UNESCO OpenLab in Cambodia was held at the ITC in conjunction with IYCr2014 from July 7 to 11, 2014.
Organized by the GGE Dept. in partnership with Rigaku, the workshop focused on the powder diffraction technique and its applications, making use of the MiniFlex diffractometer. The 22 participants included students at the ITC, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universitas Gadjah Mada in Indonesia (undergraduates and postgraduates) and young scientists working in the public (Ministry of Mines and Energy and of Industry and Handicraft) and private sectors (mining company and cement industry) in Cambodia.
The Opening Ceremony on Monday, July 7, was chaired by Kim Ngun Bun (lecturer at ITC and local organizer of the event), and welcome speeches were given by Phol Norith (Deputy Director of ITC), Kazuyuki Inoue (Rigaku Corporation), Ros Soveacha (UNESCO Cambodia) and Michele Zema (IUCr, Project Manager for IYCr2014). After the opening remarks, Dr Bun gave a talk about research activities and perspectives in Cambodia and at the ITC in particular. Dr Zema then introduced the global IUCr-UNESCO OpenLab project and the worldwide activities taking place during IYCr. The afternoon was dedicated to the basics of symmetry and diffraction taught by Dr Zema. On the second and third days, Yue Bing (Rigaku Corporation) introduced the topic of X-ray powder diffraction, including systems, methods and instrumentation. The last two days were dedicated to hands-on tutorials including sample preparation and data analysis. Students were able to collect powder diffraction patterns from their own samples and analyze the data. Various specimens such as rocks, ceramics and metals were used during this section.
At the end of each day of training, the participants were requested to complete a questionnaire. Certificates were awarded to the participants at the Closing Ceremony by Dr Zema. The participants were very enthusiastic about the OpenLab activity and this could promote knowledge of crystallography in Cambodia.Kim Ngun Bun, Local Organizer