UK-China academic event starts in Edinburgh


AN INFLUENTIAL conference kicking off today in Edinburgh will see around 70 Chinese scientists join a further 80 UK and international academics in fields relating to particle technology and granular mechanics.

Held for the first time in the Scottish capital, the seventh UK-China-International Particle Technology Forum will explore a wide range of subjects that have the potential to impact the lives of all of us.

This ranges from drug coatings in pharmaceutical science and 3D printing innovations, to geotechnical and environmental applications which could help us predict landslides more efficiently.

After an informal welcome reception yesterday evening, the forum will take place until Wednesday at The John McIntyre Conference Centre, the University of Edinburgh’s venue built specifically to handle events of this nature.

Exterior shot of the JMCC
Image supplied

Launching in Leeds in 2007, the event has alternated between China and the UK including visits to Guiyang, Shanghai and Yangzhou in China. It was initiated to help facilitate and foster collaborations between communities in both the UK and China in the multidisciplinary field of particle science and technology.

Dr Zeynep Karatza, a Research Associate at University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Infrastructure and Environment has been part of the team tasked with coordinating the event.

She said: “For this forum to come to Edinburgh is a real sign of our growing strength in particle technology a hugely important subject. While we have our visitors from China we also have people coming over from as far afield as Australia.

“That’s in part because this is a unique event in the field – and collaboration is at its heart, both between countries and between disciplines.”

Originally founded as the UK–China Particle Technology Forum, the inclusion of the word ‘International’ since 2013 acknowledges its now worldwide popularity.

The conference is part of an especially busy summer for the university’s accommodation, catering and events business, Edinburgh First.

Bringing huge economic and academic benefit to the city, in 2018 alone, Edinburgh First organised 1,648 events for more than 132,000 delegates – and accommodated more than 42,000 guests across its hotels and apartments.

Claire Pryde, Head of Conference and Events with Edinburgh First, said: “Our John McIntyre Conference Centre is a perfect location for events like this and a real advert for the city, set against the backdrop of Arthur’s Seat.

“I hope our visitors get the chance to enjoy Edinburgh at this busy time of the year – and that some can even stay on to enjoy the start of the festivals season.”

The joint forum will include the Competition for IChemE Young Researchers Award in Particle Technology as well as Best Poster Awards.

Tasked with maximising revenue from The University of Edinburgh’s assets, Accommodation Catering & Events (ACE) markets services externally under its commercial brand name of Edinburgh First.

It recently landed Commercial University of the Year at the College and University Business Officers (CUBO) awards.

The 700+ strong organisation owns and operates two hotels, KM Central and Salisbury Green Hotel and Bistro (which in 2018 underwent a £4.5million refurbishment), plus Richmond Place Apartments.