IITGoa along with IIT BHU, IIT Delhi, SINP- Kolkata and The Society of Interdisciplinary research in materials and biology (SIRMB) organised an international conference in smart materials for sustainable technologies, SMST 2020 from 22 to 25 February 2020 at the Bogmallo beach resort, Goa. Over the four years of its existence, IIT Goa has invited many brilliant academicians to share their wisdom with us. However, this is the first international conference held at this scale by IIT Goa.
The central theme of this conference was focused on the fundamentals and applications of materials in the areas of healthcare and energy. In particular, the conference unravelled the innovative experimental and theoretical approaches towards emerging trends and key challenges related to the structure, behaviour and function of materials and their impact on the society at large. Some of the subthemes were as follows: Energy harvesting, Carbon-based materials, Smart and stimuli-responsive materials. Point of care diagnostics, Self-assembled & hybrid structures of advanced functional materials, Solar cells, Materials for storage devices, Nanoelectronics and device application, Biomaterials and Bioinspired materials, Biophysical & biochemical characterisation, Biosensors and Bioimaging, theranostics. The conference was engaging and witnessed livelily and stimulating discussions among a diverse group of researchers. It served as an excellent platform for young students, early-career scientists, mid-career and established academicians and industry experts to share novel ideas and knowledge dedicated to the advancement of science and technology. Although tiring for the mind, the scenic beauty of the venue was physically relaxing.
The conference witnessed participation from more than 200 delegates from different parts of the world. The keynote lectures for the meeting was delivered by Prof. D. D. Sharma (IISc Bengaluru). Nine plenary lectures were given by Prof. Vikas Nanda (Rutgers University), Prof. Raffaele Mezzenga (ETH Zurich), Prof. Samir Maji (IIT Bombay), Prof. Anindya Datta (IIT Bombay), Prof. Matthias Batzill ( Univ of South Florida), Prof. Parbati Biswas (Delhi University), Prof. Rama Kant (Delhi University), Prof. Paul Millner ( Univ of Leeds), Prof. S. K. Smoukov (Univ. of Cambridge). More than thirty invited academicians gave talks from various institutes across India, and an equal number of contributory talks were delivered. Dr Bidhan Pramanik from IIT Goa delivered a lecture on his work on microneedles for painless delivery of drugs. The talks were diverse and saw excellent works curved nanostructured electrodes, 2D materials, asamataxis, portable biomedical devices for TB detection, Material robotics, perovskite solar cell technology, dendrimer dynamics, novel fluorogenic molecules etc.
About a hundred posters in two poster sessions spread over two days were presented. A dedicated session for the young scientists in the early years of their scientific career was held. A session for PhD students to showcase their research work as student oral award session was held on health and energy themes which had sixteen talks. There were two early career awards, four awards for students oral presentations and six awards for a poster presentation. The American Chemical Society sponsored all awards. We received generous funding from SERB, CSIR as well as from Industry.