Making and breaking colloidal assemblies: Using chemical, physical, and mechanical stimuli to control soft matter

McBain Medal Meeting 2018

SCI, Belgrave Square, London, UK Tuesday 11 December 2018

Organised by SCI’s Colloid & Surface Chemistry Group and RSC’s Colloid & Interface Science Group

This meeting was for both industrial and academic researchers, particularly those from colloid chemistry, soft matter physics and chemical engineering backgrounds working in functional, responsive, and self-healing materials; controlled release; tuneable soft materials and soft actuation. The meeting  focussed on fundamental aspects that underpin applications in formulations, catalysis, soft robotics, nanomaterials processing and more.  In addition to hearing great presentations and the opportunity to contribute a poster, there was plenty of scope for networking to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Synopsis This meeting showcased outstanding soft matter scientists describing some of their recent research in a programme constructed by Dr Valeria Garbin of Imperial College London.  Dr Garbin is the 2018 recipient of the McBain Medal and her lecture and the presentation of the award conclude the meeting.  Dr Garbin’s research programme focuses on fundamental aspects of microscale transport phenomena in soft and biological matter. Her team has performed the first measurement of steric interactions between nanoparticles at fluid interfaces, discovered new mechanisms of the removal of nanoparticles from fluid interfaces, and pioneered the use of optical tweezers to manipulate biocolloids for ultrasound medical imaging. The McBain Medal is presented annually to an early career researcher (within 15 years of the award of a PhD) for outstanding achievement in colloid and interface science. 

The full program can be found in this link.

8th Annual MIBio Conference

MIBio 2018: Stability of Biopharmaceuticals – From Molecular Interactions to Successful Products

Thursday 15th November Downing College, Cambridge

The MIBio conference series engages world leading experts from industry and academia in a discussion in how the latest molecular interaction based discoveries can be exploited in biopharmaceutical formulation to produce more effective, patient-friendly and safer therapeutic products.

With growing competition in the market, patient-centric product strategies, an increasing variety of products in development and more complex regulatory requirements, the demand for formulation of therapeutic proteins are increasing. In addition, the formulation patent landscape is becoming more complicated which further contributes to the challenge of development robust dosage forms. MIBio 2018 focussed on discussing these challenges as well as strategies to overcome them, particularly focusing on formulation, drug product development and device and regulatory strategies.We welcomed 89 delegates from industry and academia creating an interesting and stimulating event fostering new collaborations and discoveries that will help steer the development of the next generation formulation technologies.

MIBio 2018 is organised by the Formulation Science and Technology Group (FSTG) and the Joint Colloids Group (SCI) of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) together with the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences (APS). The event was held on 15th November 2018, Howard Theatre, Downing College, Cambridge, UK.

For more information please follow this link: 

Inaugural Early Career Colloid meeting

A two-day meeting for recent appointees in colloid and interface science, 17–18 September 2018, Sheffield

The 2018 Early Career Colloid (ECC) meeting brought together colloid scientists from industry and academia to provide a forum for discussion, networking and facilitate knowledge exchange.

This two-day meeting in Sheffield on 17–18 September was aimed at researchers in the field of colloids and interface science who are within 10 years of their first appointment. Academics, industrialists, research fellows and postdocs were all invited.

The conference incorporated plenary lectures from Prof. Peter Dowding (Infineum) and Prof. Steven Armes (University of Sheffield). It includes symposia covering a broad range of subjects in colloid science, networking opportunities, as well as panel discussions to encourage collaboration, stimulate discussions and provide an open forum for advice. Coffee, lunch and poster sessions and a conference dinner allowed attendees to build on their collaborative network and benefit from peer exchange.

This conference was been made possible through generous support from the Royal Society of Chemistry and SCI Joint Colloid Committee. Sponsorship has also been provided by Synthomer and the RSC Journals Polymer Chemistry and Soft Matter.

Conference organisers: Dr Gemma-Louise Davies (University College London), Dr Lee Fielding (University of Manchester), Dr Fiona Hatton (University of Sheffield) and Dr Kirsty Stark (University of Leeds).

Commercialisation of Pickering Emulsions, Thursday, 23rd November 2017, RSC, London

Co-organised with the Industrial Physical Chemistry Group, the Commercialisation of Pickering Emulsions offer a day-long programme to:

• enhance the interface between industry and academia with respect to further understanding of Pickering technologies and to identify any challenges in commercialisation;

• establish “A Beginners Guide to Pickering Technologies”;

• direct future academic research to tackle the perceived current commercial limitations of Pickering emulsions; and

• give young colloid scientists the opportunity to meet established companies in the field.

Casting Dispersions, Monday 26 March 2018, SCI, London, UK

When a colloidal dispersion is dried the material transitions from a liquid to a solid. The process determines the final properties of the dry material and understanding the physics of the drying is crucial for a range of industries, including paints and varnishes, pottery and self-assembly applications.

This one day meeting comprised invited lectures by international experts. We also had talks from submitted abstracts to highlight the breadth of work being carried out on the drying of films in the UK. The meeting was aimed at industrialists formulating and producing coatings through to agrochemicals, as well as academics who work in colloids, fluid mechanics and formulations.

For a flyer for this event please visit this link.

McBain award lecture and symposium, Tuesday, 12th December 2017, SCI, London

Watching colloids work

The McBain medal is awarded annually by the RSC/SCI Joint Colloids Group to recognize a rising star in colloid and interface science. The 2017 McBain medal awardee is Dr Rico Tabor (Monash University). This meeting showcased some of the latest work in colloids that respond to external stimuli, and state-of-the-art techniques to ‘watch them work’, with applications in areas as diverse as smart water treatment and functional foods.

The meeting was held on Tuesday, 12th December 2017 at the SCI in London and included talks from

• Prof Julian Eastoe, University of Bristol, UK

• Prof Alex Routh, University of Cambridge, UK

• Dr Isabelle Grillo, Institut Laue-Langevin, France

• Dr Sarah Rogers, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, STFC, UK Prof Ray Dagastine, University of Melbourne, Australia

• Prof Charl Faul, University of Bristol, UK

The meeting will conclude with the award lecture from Dr Rico Tabor. A dedicated poster session will also give students the opportunity to present their work.

A flyer for the event can be found at this link.

Colloid Young Researchers’ Meeting, 10th April 2017

The Colloid Young Researcher’s meeting held at the University of Sheffield earlier this year was a great success. The day involved seven talks from a variety of PhD students, Postdocs and other early career researchers, in addition to two keynote lectures from Dr Kuhan Chellappah (BP) and Dr Gemma Davies (formerly University of Warwick, now UCL). A panel session was organised where delegates could ask questions related to career development to more established (but still relatively early career) researchers from different backgrounds, including academia, industry, and research councils. During the breaks, posters were presented, and prizes were awarded for the best poster along with the best oral presentation from a PhD student. The winner for the Best Talk was Adam Hardy from Heriot Watt University, on designing solvents for carbon nanotubes, and the winner of the Best Poster was Joanna Starkie from the University of Cambridge, on the mechanism of wax anti-settling additives. The day was an excellent opportunity for the attendees to develop presenting skills, and also build professional networks with other early career researchers. In total, 30 delegates were in attendance from more than 10 different institutions.

Report by Fiona Hatton and Rhys Williams

7th Annual MIBio Conference

MIBio 2017: Stability of Biopharmaceuticals – From Molecular Interactions to Successful Products, 4th October 2017, Downing College, Cambridge

The MIBio conference series engages world leading experts from industry and academia in a discussion on how the latest molecular interaction based discoveries can be exploited in biopharmaceutical formulation to produce more effective, patient-friendly and safer therapeutic products.

MIBio 2017 attracted 80 industrial and academic research attendees to create an interesting and stimulating event fostering new collaborations and discoveries that will help steer the development of the next generation of formulation technologies. 

For more information about the upcoming MIBio2018 event when it announced please follow this link:

MIBio 2017 is organised by the Formulation Science and Technology Group (FSTG) and the Joint Colloids Group (SCI) of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) together with the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences (APS).

UK Colloids 2017 International Colloid and Surface Science Symposium, 10-12 July 2017, Manchester

This was the third colloid science conference in this series that was held in Manchester from July 10th – 12th 2017. It was jointly organized by the RSC Colloid and Interface Science Group and the SCI Colloid and Surface Science Group and provided a perfect opportunity for UK and international researchers interested in colloid and interface science to meet, present and discuss issues related to current developments in this field.

Plenary and keynote speakers Plenary speakers are Professor Debora Berti (University of Florence and Centre for Colloid and Surface Science, Italy), Professor Vinny N Manoharan (Harvard University, USA) and Professor Paul Mulvaney (University of Melbourne, Australia). Professor Joseph Keddie (University of Surrey, UK) will be giving the Thomas Graham Lecture. The meeting also attracted an impressive list of international keynote speakers, full details can be found on the website.

Meeting themes include: • Wetting • Nanoparticles • Foams/Bubbles/Emulsions and microemulsions • Colloidal suspensions • Programmable self-assembly • Biocolloids and Biointerfaces • Charcterisation of Formulated Products • Colloidal Physics • Formulation Science and Engineering

Social Events The conference dinner was held at the world famous Old Trafford the home of Manchester United. The evening will start with a drinks reception in the fascinating museum. Other social events include a welcome and pre-registration event in the Power Hall of the Museum of Science and Industry. Where some of the machines were running. There were also poster sessions at Manchester Central with a chance to network with other delegates and the exhibitors.

The Venue

We selected Manchester Central as the venue for Colloids 2017. Manchester Central is an award-winning venue in the heart of one of Europe’s most vibrant cities. Its vaulted arches and station clock have made Manchester Central an iconic city feature for over 130 years.


Manchester is the European City of Science 2016 – recognition of its unique scientific heritage and contribution to scientific discovery, innovation and industry. From Rutherford splitting the atom almost 100 years ago, to Alan Turing’s ground-breaking work with computers, to more modern world firsts such as the test-tube baby, bionic eye implant and the isolation of graphene – Manchester has a great science story to tell.

For more information visit or email

A flyer can be found at this link.

Organising Committee

Richard Greenwood | Birmingham University | Conference Chair

Peter Griffiths | Greenwich University | Conference Treasurer

Paul F Luckham | Imperial College

Shirin Alexander | Swansea University | Conference Exhibition and Sponsorship

Dwaipayan Chakrabarti | Birmingham University

Colloid Young Researchers’ Meeting, 10 April 2017, University of Sheffield, UK

This event was designed to support PhD students, post docs and new industrialists to showcase their new findings and techniques in colloid, surface & interface science. It was organised by SCI’s Colloid and Surface Chemistry Group, RSC’s Colloid & Interface Science Group and Sheffield Colloid Network.

Confirmed Speakers/Panellists

Dr Gemma-Louise Davies, University of Warwick

Dr Kuhan Chellappah, BP

Dr Becky Welbourn, ISIS

Dr Ellen Meek, EPSRC

Organising Committee:

Dr Seung Yeon Lee, The Joint SCI/RSC Colloid group

Sheffield Colloid Network

A flyer with more information can be found at this link.


You can become a member by joining one of the two groups:

SCI Colloid & Surface Chemistry Group (CSCG).

RSC Colloid & Interface Science Group (CISG).

The former is open to SCI members only. The latter is open both to RSC members and associates AND to scientists and engineers who belong, either, to a chartered professional or learned body from outside the chemical sciences, or to another chemical society with whom the RSC has entered into an international partnership agreement approved by RSC Council. Non-RSC members of CISG pay RSC a small annual fee to cover administration and postage.

For information on how to become a member of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) or Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) please see the links below: 

Non-members of RSC wishing to join CISG should contact the RSC Membership Dept. (contact details at, asking to join the Colloid & Interface Science Interest Group, only, and mentioning their own affiliation.  The membership administration fee is £10 currently. In case of difficulty please contact a member of the Joint Committee.

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