Early in July 2019, TEMUL had the wonderful opportunity to join hundreds of microscopists and scientists in the welcoming city of Manchester for the Microscience Microscopy Congress 2019. The congress began with the Early Career Pre-Congress Symposium, hosted by the new early career branch of the RMS. Wanda Kukulski gave some brilliant advice on career progression while Claudia Kielkopf brought us on a trip to Antartica! After a quick game of microscopy bingo, we were all off to the opening plenary session, in which Wolfgang Baumeister and Jody Rosenblatt fascinated the audience with decade’s worth of hard-fought advances in bio-microscopy.
The Microscopy Society of Ireland (MSI) and Scottish Microscopy Group (SMG) hosted two sessions on the second day. The talk by Daniel Nicholls on compressive sensing was particularly interesting, as well as the detailed chemistry presented by both invited speakers, Patricia Abellan and Jennifer Cookman. In the Wednesday plenary session, Sergei Kalinin showed us how he has been linking fundamental, atomic resolution imaging with chemistry and the macroscale. During the day, several members of the TEMUL group, Kalani Moore, Michele Conroy, and Jennifer Cookman gave EMAG talks on domain wall dynamics and in-situ techniques. Anna Kreshuk of the European Molecular Biology Lab presented a live work through of the easy-to-use and powerful program “Ilastik”, while Jonas Sunde presented his excellent PhD work on scanning precession electron diffraction and its many caveats.
On Thursday morning, along with several members of our group, Eoghan O'Connell gave a presentation on data analysis of atomic resolution STEM images, in which he walked the audience through an interactive Jupyter Notebook. Eoin Moynihan and Michael Hennessey presented initial findings of pristine and ion implanted 2D materials. Aidan Rooney explained the 3D issues that come with 2D materials, while Eileen Courtney pointed out the problems of contacting 2Ds for electronic devices. Charlotte Slade kept everyone’s attention as she explained the single atom filling of carbon nanotubes, with the possibility of reversible phases in such materials via in-situ heating.
Each evening, the poster sessions allowed conference-goers to relax, and discuss in detail advancements in the many disciplines covered during the congress, reflected by the 36 separate sessions in only three days! From 3D (literally) printed bones studying osteoporosis to new machine learning techniques. The poster session is, as always, the heart of the meeting. Probably the most fascinating part of the congress was the RMS imaging competition. It was a joy to browse the images, many of which could hang as art pieces!