19 Meeting report

Engineering of crystalline materials properties: state-of-the-art in modelling, design, applications

Erice, Italy, June 2007

[Erice logo]
The basic idea behind this NATO Advanced Study Inst. (NATO-ASI) was to create an environment where researchers in different crystallographic specialities could exchange ideas about the design of new materials having tailor-made properties. New materials are already appearing in areas previously not considered accessible. In their introductory presentation to 118 participants from 35 countries, the three co-directors, Lia Addadi, Dario Braga and Juan Novoa stressed recent developments of this nature.

Up to now, the rationale behind the design of new materials has been based on empirical observations. Sometimes these empirical rules fail and, as a result, progress in the production of new materials is hampered and depends upon serendipity as well as science. There is a growing consensus that a better understanding of structure-property relationships is needed. This is even more evident for materials simultaneously exhibiting several properties of technological interest. This NATO-ASI reviewed the current state-of-the-art for most materials of technological interest thus providing participants a complete review of materials design not only in his/her field of interest but of closely connected areas as well.

The scientific program was organized with one or more 1 hour talks on one type of material interspersed with talks on other types of materials. The 43 lectures were complemented by six short presentations. Two poster sessions, 32 posters each, were preceded by short summary presentations and followed by a three hour discussion period. A panel discussion was organized about open problems in materials design and future trends, including defense and security.

[Erice 07 participants] Participants at the 39th Course: Engineering of Crystalline Materials Properties in Erice, Italy
Each lecture was followed by ten minutes for questions. Student participation in all sessions was very high which resulted in the award of several prizes to young researchers during the closing ceremony; two awards went to students who asked the best questions during the discussion (Sathyanarayana Reddy Perumalla, (India) and Vincent Smith (South Africa)) and two went to the best poster presentations (Christina Capacci (USA) and Avital Levy-Lior (Israel)).

Paola Spadon