Luminescence research across the equator

Group picture at mini-symposium 'Luminescence research across the equator' (large view)

Group picture at mini-symposium 'Luminescence research across the equator'

(27-11-2019) Mini symposium in view of the collaboration between LumiLab (Ghent University) and the University of the Free State (South Africa).

On October 28th and 29th, prof. Dirk Poelman organised the mini-symposium 'Luminescence research across the equator'. This mini-symposium was organized in the framework of a bilateral project between South-Africa and Belgium, jointly funded by the NRF (National Research Foundation – South-Africa) and the FWO (Fund for Scientific Research – Flanders). The project investigates degradation phenomena in phosphors, a subject which is clearly of interest at both the University of the Free State (UFS) and Ghent University (UGent). The symposium was meant as a closing session for the project, summarizing the project achievements and discussing possible future collaborations.
While the discussion on this project is certainly interesting on its own, the scope of the symposium was much broader. In both institutions, UFS and UGent, luminescent materials are being investigated since a long time. Unfortunately, and certainly partly due to the 12 000 km distance between our universities and the lack of funding for joint research, we hardly know what the other ‘party’ is doing.
Therefore, the main aim of this mini-symposium (‘mini’ in terms of duration and number of participants, not in terms of scope or quality) was an occasion to learn from each other’s work, discuss common problems (and solutions) and open up opportunities for collaborations that we probably could not imagine before. The current NRF-FWO project has already led not only to joint publications, but also to a newly started joint PhD, grant proposals and submissions for new collaborative projects.