20th Annual RAPS meeting (RAPS 2019)

The 20th Annual RAPS Meeting (RAPS 2019) was held at the University of Leeds from 4-6th September 2019 and organised by Dr Nicholas Warren.

The annual RAPS meeting brings together early career academics within 5 years appointment, PDRAs and industrialists. The generously subsidised conference offers opportunities for developing new networks within an informal environment. We also focus on practical early career advice from a range of experienced speakers on subjects from generating funding, becoming independent, interacting with the media or building a lab.

Invited speakers included:

19th Annual RAPS meeting

The 19th Annual RAPS Meeting (RAPS 2018) was held at the University of Bradford from 5-7th September 2018, and organised by Dr Maria Katsikogianni. Plenary speakers included Prof. Rachel O'Reilly (University of Birmingham), Prof. Giuseppe Mantovani (University of Nottingham, and Prof. Ben Whiteside (University of Bradford). We are very thankful to the following sponsors: Agilent Technologies, Translate:, Oxford Instruments, Croda, Huber, Synthomer, Shimadzu and Polymer Chemistry (RSC Journals).

18th Annual RAPS meeting

The 18th annual conference of Recent Appointee in Polymer Science (RAPS) was hosted and chaired by Dr Aram Saeed in the School of Pharmacy, University of East Anglia. The meeting was held at the Julian Study Centre building from 6th- 8th September 2017, supported by UEA conference team. The scientific programme spread over three days and attended by a diverse group of a recent appointee of academics, industrialist and postdoc in polymer chemistry area.

Dr Saeed, the conference chair, said: “This year’s meeting has been a real excitement for me to bring the thriving community of RAPS here to the School of Pharmacy and University of East Anglia”.

The RAPS community is a hot spot for emerging academics in polymer science to become the future leader in the field. This year we had a diverse range of speakers, with invited lectures from Prof. Mike Raxworthy (Neotherix,University of Leeds), Prof. Wayne Hayes (University of Reading), Professor Yaroslav Khimyak (University of East Anglia), Dr Emma Chapman (BP), and Miss Jacqui Murray (Innovate UK), who gave a broad-spectrum view of the current field and future challenges. Dr Saeed continues, “The quality of the presentations and posters have been of very high standards”. Dr Saeed like to thank all the attendees and the sponsors Agilent Technologies, Radleys, Polymer Physics Group, and Macro Group UK. Both Agilent Technologies and Radleys had exhibition throughout the programme, with Dr Raj Bhardwaj providing support and recommendation on challenges facing complex polymer characterisation. The best poster prize was presented by Dr Bhardwaj to Dr Lewis Hart from the University of Reading.

Dr Saeed said the social dinners organised at Vista, and The Refectory at Norwich Cathedral has been well-received and enjoyed by all parties, and thanks to the UEA conference team for this organisation.

Recent Appointees in Polymer Science (RAPS) is a network for young academic and industrial scientists working in any area of polymer science. RAPS membership is free and extended to all those in the early stage of their career, typically those within six years of starting their first permanent academic or industrial post, as well as research fellows and postdoctoral researchers who are keen to progress on a scientific track

Dr Aram Saeed is a lecturer in Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering at the School of Pharmacy, University of East Anglia.

17th Annual RAPS meeting

The 17th Annual RAPS Meeting (RAPS 2016) was held at Loughborough University from 7-9th September 2016. It was organised by the chair of RAPS, Helen Willcock. It featured plenary lectures from Prof. Dave Adams (University of Liverpool), Prof Andrew Lewis (Biocompatibles UK Ltd), Dr Claire Hansell (Nature Publishing Group), Dr Roman Boulatov (University of Liverpool), and Dr Anja Palmans (Eindhoven University of Technology). We also had presentations from attendees on a range of topics including polymer synthesis, materials characterisation, nanoparticulates, and computational research. Poster prizes this year were won by Kay Doncom (Warwick University), Fiona Hatton (University of Sheffield), and Rebecca Williams (Warwick University). Sponsors included Advion and Agilent Technologies.

16th Annual RAPS meeting

The 16th Annual Recent Appointees in Polymer Science meeting was held on the 2nd-4th September 2015 at the University of Birmingham. The meeting was organised by RAPS committee member Paco Fernandez-Trillo and totalled 55 participants from a wide range of backgrounds across polymer science including academics, industrialists and seasoned PDRAs. This year we had a combination of plenary lectures, together with oral and poster contributions from delegates. Prof Steve Rannard, Prof. Dr. Michael A. R. Meier, Dr Paul D Topham, Dr Stuart Cantrill and Dr Joe Gaunt were the plenary speakers for this year. Additionally, for the first time this year, we held an industry-academia panel where our panelists (Dr Phil Taylor, AkzoNobel, Graham Anderson, Cambridge Display Technology, Raj Bhardwaj, Agilent Technologies, Prof Steve Rannard, University of Liverpool and Dr Paul D Topham, Aston University) answered questions from our delegates about how to establish successful interactions between industry and academia. There were also 10 posters for 2 poster sessions with prizes generously sponsored by Polymer Chemistry (blog) and won by Simon Basset (University of Nottingham), Elena Lestini (Warwick University) and Robert Gurney (ESPCI Paristech). Further details on the conference programme can be found here. Sponsors included The RSC Materials chemistry division, Nature Chemistry, Advion and Perkin Elmer.

15th Annual RAPS meeting

The 15th Annual Recent Appointees in Polymer Science meeting was held on the 3rd-5th September 2014 at the University of Reading. We totaled 40 participants from a wide range of backgrounds across polymer science including academics, industrialists and seasoned PDRAs. During the day we enjoyed 16 talks and 6 invited talks (programme and attendees may be seen here). This year we had a wide range of speakers talking about their personal experiences in polymer research, academia, industry and commercialisation. These included Prof. Tom McLeish, Prof. Charlotte Williams, Dr Jonathan Howse and Dr Vitaly Khutoryanskiy. Furthermore we were also fortunate to have some superb talks and discussions from Tom Whipple (Science Correspondant, The Times) and Dr Helen Niblock (Physical Sciences Portfolio Manager, EPSRC). There were also 12 posters for 2 poster sessions with a prize generously sponsored by Polymer Chemistry (blog) and won by Robert Deller of Warwick University. In the two evenings we had group dinners at Zerodegrees and Sweeny and Todd. We wish to thank Agilent Technologies and Polymer Chemistry for their generous support of RAPS 2014.

14th Annual RAPS meeting

The 14th annual RAPS was held at the University of Manchester on 4-6th September 2013.

The plenary speakers were:

Prof. Cameron Alexander - University of Nottingham

Prof. David Porter - Oxford University (ex Dow Chemical & QinetiQ)

Prof. Mark Moloney - Oxford Advanced Surfaces / Oxford University

We thank Agilent Technologies and Aldrich Materials Science following sponsors their support of the 14th RAPS meeting.

13th Annual RAPS meeting

The 13th annual RAPS meeting was held at Aston University on 12-14th September 2012 and was a great success! Guest speakers were Professor Steve Howdle (Nottingham University and Critical Pharmaceuticals Ltd), Professor Anthony J. Ryan OBE (University of Sheffield) and Professor Iain McCulloch (Imperial College London).

12th Annual RAPS meeting

The 12th annual RAPS meeting was held at Loughborough University on 7-9 September 2011 and was a great success! Guest speakers were Terry Cosgrove (Bristol University and Revolymer Ltd), Neil Cameron (Durham University) and Nigel Clarks (Sheffield University).

More information can be found on this flyer and leaflet.

11th Annual RAPS meeting/First Joint Conference of Recent Appointees in Material and Polymer Science 2010

The 11th Annual RAPS meeting was a joint meeting of RAPS with the Recent Appointees in Material Science and was held 1-3 September 2010 in Leeds. This joint meeting between RAMS (Recent Appointees in Material science) and RAPS (Recent Appointees in Polymer Science) brought together academic and industrial appointees in both Materials and Polymers at the beginning of their careers (with at least one year’s postdoctoral or industrial experience). The conference offered ideal and informal opportunities for knowledge transfer, discussion, networking, collaboration, sharing experiences and career development.

A conference report, with pictures, can be downloaded here. Thanks to the organisers and all who attended !!!

10th Annual RAPS Meeting

The 10th Annual RAPS Meeting was held in Reading from September 16-18th 2009. The meeting was focused on the broad range of polymer-related topics, including polymer chemistry, polymer physics and biomedical / pharmaceutical applications of polymers. The plenary lectures were delivered by Prof Howard Colquhoun (University of Reading), Prof Joseph Keddie (University of Surrey) and Prof Molly Stevens (Imperial College). In addition to research aspects of the talks, the plenary speakers provided insights into their careers and gave advice to the delegates on career development. The plenary lectures were followed with short talks given by recent appointees. In total, 65 delegates attended this meeting and there were 20 research talks and 33 posters presented on Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th September . The last day of the meeting, Friday 18th September, was focused on the career development and openned with an excellent presentation by Dr Wayne Hayes reflecting on his personal career. The short talks in this session included the speakers from EPSRC, Technology Transfer and RSC discussing the funding for new academics, commercialisation of research, publishing and RSC membership. The additional new feature in the career development session was the debates on “Career in academia vs career in industry” between Dr Arwyn Jones (University of Cardiff) and Dr Arif Shivji (Pfizer).

RAPS is grateful to Varian, Polymer Laboratories, Wyatt Technology, Malvern, Viscotek and Polymer Chemistry journal (RSC) for sponsoring this year’s meeting. A number of companies exhibited at the meeting including Varian, Polymer Laboratories, Wyatt Technology, Malvern, Viscotek, Stable Microsystems, Merrow Scientific and Presearch.

Conference flyer and programme

Delegates photo at RAPS2009

9th Annual RAPS Meeting (2008)

The RAPS 2008 conference, held at Nottingham University last September, was once again a great success. Being the 10th anniversary since the first RAPS conference it was a delight that many of the founding members could be present to see how far their idea has come! There was an impressive series of academic plenary lectures from Dr Derek Irvine, Dr Patrick Fairclough and Prof. Igeoma Uchegbu, who all gave a fascinating insight into their careers and research. There were 35 posters presented and 17 lecturers from young polymer scientists from the UK. A new feature this year was that addition of a career development session with talks on funding from the ERC and EPSRC, talks on publishing from Nature Materials and the RSC, and a talk on the commercialisation of research. The scientific and social programs together made for an excellent and stimulating couple of days.

RAPS is very grateful to our sponsors Wyatt Technology, Polymer Laboratories, Viscotech and the Institute of Physics for their support. We also are very grateful for the support we received from Perkin Elmer, Presearch and Metrec who exhibited and attended the conference.

Conference flyer and programme

8th Annual RAPS Meeting (2007)

The RAPS conference which was held in Jesus College earlier in September was a great success. It was the biggest conference in many years with almost 60 delegates and a full and varied speaker program. There was an impressive series of academic plenary lectures from Professor Steve Brochinni, Ian Manners and Henning Sirringhaus as well as a wonderful plenary industrial lecture from Dr Andrew Howe from Kodak and a valuable lecture on funding opportunities for young scientists by Dr Nicola Goldberg from the EPSRC. There were almost 30 posters presented (over 2 nights) and over 20 lecturers from young polymer scientists from the UK – making for a packed and exciting scientific program – as well as a hectic social program.

We are very grateful to our sponsors Wyatt Technology and Polymer Laboratories for their support. We also are very grateful to the support we received from the Institute of Physics and the RSC as well as Perkin Elmer, Presearch, Shimadzu and Viscotek who exhibited and attended the conference.

Conference flyer and programme

Delegates photo for RAPS 2007

7th Annual RAPS Meeting (2006)

The 7th Annual RAPS meeting was held by AstraZeneca at Macclesfield. Plenary speakers were Nicola Tirelli (Thermally gelling colloids and their applications), Liz Meehan (Characterisation of polymeric excipients in pharmaceutical formulations), Tony Ryan (Building devices from responsive polymers: a wholly synthetic muscle), and Ullrich Steiner (Pattern formation in organic-inorganic hybrid films).

Conference flyer and programme

6th Annual RAPS Meeting (2005)

The 6th Annual RAPS meeting was hosted by Unilever at Port Sunlight on 21-23 September. This meeting built on the success of the previous years conference at UMIST, with a diverse programme of presentations covering 4 themes: Science & Industry, Chemistry, Biology and Physics. The plenary speakers were Prof. Steve Rannard (Unilever), Prof. Andrew Cooper (Liverpool Uni.), Prof. Ruth Duncan (Cardiff Uni.) and Prof. Tom McLeish (Leeds Uni.).

There were 30 RAPS grants available covering the registration fee and the accommodation costs. The grants were allocated on a first come first serve basis with priority given to recent appointees (less than 5 years in post).

This year invitations were opened to post doctoral researchers, particularly those considering a career in academia or industry. The accommodation fee was waived for post doctoral attendees.

There were a number of 20 minute slots available for short oral presentations. Priority was given to recent appointees to present their research and/or research interests. A poster session was also held.

Conference flyer and programme

4th Annual Meeting (2003)

The outline for the meeting was as follows:

Arrive late afternoon of Tuesday 15th for dinner. Evening for 'networking'.

Wednesday 16th - Scientific Programme - Lectures in the Morning; Afternoon free for networking/leisure pursuits; Early Evening - Lectures; Dinner + Evening for 'networking'.

Thursday 17th - Scientific Programme - Lectures in the Morning; Afternoon free for networking/leisure pursuits; Early Evening - Lectures; Symposium Dinner + Evening for 'networking'.

Friday 18th - Depart after breakfast

3rd Annual Meeting (2002)

The 2002 annual RAPS meeting was held at the Wilton Centre, Middlesbrough, on 25-27th March. This year we worked hard to ensure an active collaboration between industrialists and academics. The meeting involved key industrialists, outlining the current hot topics in their field of polymer science. Bill McDonald (DuPont) discussed the need for collaborative research in the area of polymers in devices, and Andrew Lewis (Biocompatibles), addressed the role of biomaterials. Senior representatives from other companies (e.g. Andrew Burgess from ICI) were also be present. The meeting was split into parallel sessions in which smaller groups (~10 people per group) thrashed out ideas for proposals. Joint feedback sessions followed, resulting in an action plan for the submission of the proposals. As usual there was also an opportunity for new RAPS academic members to present short talks outlining their research interests to the community.

2nd Annual RAPS Meeting (2001)

Local organisers, Neil Cameron, Sharon Cooper and Nigel Clarke.

RAPS Inaugural Meeting (2000)

The Inaugural meeting of RAPS.