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  • 5th MSIT Winter School and 35th Annual MSIT Workshop

MSIT meetings taking place virtually, for the first time

.....well, that was an interesting week! Despite the current difficulties in travelling, the 5th MSIT Winter School went ahead, in virtual space of course. 30 participants from 8 different countries were treated to 31 hours of lectures and tutorial sessions on 'Materials Chemistry'. The meeting began with a 'get together' in the afternoon (CET) of the 2nd of May, to introduce the participants to the lecturers and to test their connection before the start of the school the next day. The format of the school was the same as in previous years, with training in basic thermodynamics, through phase diagrams and experimental techniques to conducting a live optimisation of a binary system. The challenge was to deliver a virtual one-to-one workshop experience equivalent to the traditional face-to-face meeting that is held in Schloss Ringberg. Using parallel Zoom sessions, this was found to be surprisingly successful, with the participants able to hear the lecture and software demonstration on one device, whilst at the same time, conducting their own software session on a second device with the facility to have a screen share with a helper in a second Zoom session if problems were encountered.

Despite the success of the meeting, it is by no means a replacement for the traditional meeting. The 'social' aspects of the meeting, which are a big part of the MSIT Winter School experience cannot be reproduced online.  

Of course, in addition, running in parallel was the 35th Annual MSIT Workshop. A much quieter affair than usual, 3 Groups, with members from Germany, France, UK, Russia and S. Africa, worked on 4 ternary systems.

We all look forward to getting back to normal next year when we can return to 'The Castle', and preparations are already underway. The MSIT never sleeps....

We would like to thank the sponsors of our Winter School, SGTE, CompuTherm LLC (Pandat Software), Thermo-Calc Software, Neo Magnequench and Materials Design.