On the 30th of June, the Micro & Nano Flows group held their first meeting with industrial partners at the Arden conference centre in Warwick. This SIC review meeting marked the first of many to come as part of the groups recent 5 year £3.4m EPSRC grant (EP/N016602/1) and was designed to allow the areas of industry that had pledged interest in the grant before it started to begin the process of defining their problems and working out collaborations to be formed with the MNF group.
The day saw presentations from many members of the MNF group over three sessions, presenting where we are now in terms of our work on micro & nano flows for engineering applications, where we are going scientifically and the current state of our software and tools as well as our vision for the future such as how we are going to couple our groups efforts together in a homogeneous way.
People from many areas of industry attended, with representation from AkzoNobel; The European Space Agency (ESA); Jaguar Land Rover and Nokia Bell to name a few, each with their own problems at the micro & nano scale.
The idea behind these meetings is that they are held fairly regularly over each year of the grant, this first meeting saw quite a bit of information presented by the MNF group but it still involved a good amount of lively debate from the partners present and really set the tone for an exciting and dynamic set of research partnerships as the next 5 years pan out. The meetings that will follow will take on more of a workshop feel, with those from industry encouraged to bring their biggest research challenges with them so we can start to think around the problems as a group and come up with tangible research goals to solve them.
The event was thoroughly enjoyable (helped along by the meeting finishing with a superb conference dinner served by the Arden conference facility that begun with a tall glass of a certain fruity alcoholic beverage* best enjoyed with tennis while sat on a lawn in the sun), setting a positive and productive tone for the meetings to come.
* Answers as to the name of said drink on a postcard please!