News & Views
Aug 14 2018 Read 227 Times
Daniel Haspel, University of Plymouth
This year’s annual Royal Microscopical Society (RMS) Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) Meeting, held on 9-11 April, hosted for the first time by the Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre (PEMC) at the University of Plymouth, was preceded by a one-day EBSD workshop held by Oxford Instruments. The Oxford Instruments workshop was conducted by Pat Trimby (EBSD Product Manager) and Keith Dicks (EBSD Specialist), who introduced EBSD and carried out live demos of their new Symmetry EBSD Detector. The workshop was concluded with an excellent meal at The Stable, situated on the bustling Barbican waterfront. The number of guests far exceeded expectations, with over half of the restaurant being occupied. This allowed the workshop attendees and a few of the subsequent EBSD meeting attendees, to relax and gave them a chance to discuss and network in a convivial atmosphere.
Throughout the two days of the course there was a total of 20 oral presentations and 24 posters, along with several techno-bites from industry and four invited speakers, including: Dr Mike Zolensky from the NASA Johnson Space Center, who presented on “Using EBSD to Elucidate History of the Solar System”; Prof. Sandra Piazolo from the University of Leeds, who presented on “Process Understanding by Linking Quantitative Orientation Analysis with Numerical Modelling”; Prof. Paul Midgely from the University of Cambridge, who presented on “Scanning Electron Diffraction in the TEM – a Complementary Method to EBSD”; and Dr Ralf Hielscher from the Chemitz Technical Institute, who presented on “Analysing Orientations and Misorientions in 3D Axis Angle Space”.
The first day began with a delightful welcome and introduction by PEMC’s very own Dr Natasha Stephen, who also chaired the first sessions for both day one and day two. Over the course of the two-day meeting, the main subject was the characterisation of materials about which there were a plethora of interesting presentations given. However, I would like to mention one particular presentation which was out of the norm for “everyday” EBSD usage; this presentation was titled “From Order to Chaos: Ocean Acidification Alteration of Shell Crystalline Structure” and was presented by Dr Antony Knights from the Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre at the University of Plymouth. The EBSD technique was utilised to study the effect of predicted climate change on calcifying marine organisms. It was observed that predicted climate change would have a detrimental effect on the ultrastructure of calcifying species such as Mytilus, which may lead to reduced shell strength, reduced resilience to environmental and biological stress and long-term effects on the persistence of calcifying marine species. I found many of the presentations thoroughly interesting, but this one seemed especially unique in how EBSD can be utilised.
The first day ended with the conference dinner which was held at the magnificent National Marine Aquarium. The venue was outstanding, with the dining area being situated at the Eddystone Reef Exhibit which houses a large replica of the Reef and a multitude of aquatic life making for a unique dining experience.
All in all the meeting was great a success with over 100 people in attendance from all over the globe and I look forward to what next year’s meeting brings.
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