MATECSS Symposium at the IMRC, Mexico, 17 - 20 August 2015

From August 17 till 20, the XXIVth International Materials Research Congress was held in Cancun, Mexico. One of the thematic symposia was dedicated to, and organized by, MATECSS. During 2.5 days, 38 talks were given in the MATECSS symposium by international experts from North and South, presenting their latest research in sustainable energy materials and technologies. Among the many highlights (which we unfortunately cannot all review here), let us mention following particularly inspirational talks:

- Prof. Leo Lau, Director of the Chengdu Green Energy R&D Centre, China, reminded us of the importance of CO2 emissions due to housing, gave an overview of the best-in-class low-carbon villages & towns world-wide, and presented us his center’s efforts to build a 0-carbon town in China using a wide range of new materials e.g. for light – electricity conversion, such as CIGS-photovoltaic materials.

- Prof. Xiao Wei Sun, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and founder of the Society for Energy Photonics (SEP) reminded us that 19% of global electricity goes to lighting (!), a percentage that could be reduced by 50% if light emitting diodes and related components would be used. He presented us his vision on what could be the ‘next big thing’ in light – electricity conversion. He argued that colloidal quantum dots (e.g. based on CdSe-ZnS) might play a prominent role in the mid-term, and presented his team’s research results.

- Prof. Walter Merida, Director of the Clean Energy Research Centre, University of British Columbia, presented his center’s results on fuel cells, which will play an essential role in long-distance transport and energy storage, where other energy sources are severely limited. One of Prof. Merida’s main messages was that while the engineering part of fuel cell technology is now mature, there is still a huge potential for improved performances if materials scientists can deliver innovative input on specific scientific problems.

Other remarkable talks were presented by (not an exhaustive list) Prof. Ozkan (U. California Riverside), Prof. Alexander Gorokhovsky (Gagarin U., Saratov), Prof. Choongho Yu (Texas A&M U.), Prof. Ciobanu (Colorado School of Mines), Prof. Perez-Diaz (U. Puebla), Prof. Chaker (INRS, U. Quebec), Prof. Garfunkel (Rutgers U.), Prof. Schuller (UCSD), Prof. Gomez-Yanez (Instituto Politechnico Nacional, Mexico City), Prof. Govorov (Ohio U.), Prof. Borguet (Temple U.), Prof. Vetrone (INRS, U. Quebec), Prof. Corti (U. Buenos Aires), Prof. Riede (U. Oxford),  Prof. Graeve (UCSD), Prof. Fanchini (Western U.), Prof. Ferreira Santos (U. do ABC), Prof. Kisaelus (U. California Riverside), Prof. Ruediger (INRS, U. Quebec).

Prof. Federico Rosei and Dr. Louis Vervoort presented talks on the global need for renewable energies, and on the mission of the Unesco Chair Matecss. Finally, more than 40 posters were presented, in majority by Latin American students. In view of the innovative work done by the many Middle- and South-American participants, and from the global South in general, it becomes more and more clear that the South is the future ! – also in matters of sustainable energy.

Pictures below are taken (in order) during Prof. Garfunkel's talk; during Prof. Schuller's talk; after work at the hotel where the event took place; and... in front of the hotel :