COMSTECH-CIIT Joint International Workshop on “Rational Design of Materials for Energy Needs: Computation & Experimentation”

May 22 to 26, 2017, Islamabad, Pakistan

Abstracts of the talks download

COMSTECH regularly organizes workshops, training courses and conferences to build capability of the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in emerging areas of science and technology. In this perspective a one-week intensive hands-on workshop on “Rational Design of Materials for Energy Needs: Computation & Experimentation” was organized by COMSTECH in collaboration with COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Islamabad from May 22 to 26, 2017.

The training workshop was aimed to introduce students, young researchers and young faculty members with modern trends in experimentation and computation with their applications in materials discovery for energy needs.

Foreign experts each delivered a series of lectures on various aspects of this theme besides guiding the hands-on computational activities. The foreign faculty comprised Prof. Talat Rahman, Prof. Laurene Tetard, Prof. Peter Dowben, Prof. Marisol A. Ortigoza and Prof. Ted Einstein from USA. Condensed matter experts from some local institutions also contributed lectures in the workshop. The practical exercises on computation and modelling of materials for energy needs were conducted, In addition to the foreign faculty, by Dr. Altaf Karim (CIIT, Islamabad), Dr. Gul Rahman (QAU, Islamabad), and Mr. Naseem Uddin & Mr. Tao Jiang (Research Assistants at the University of Central Florida).

Besides the local and foreign experts, thirty-five participants attended the workshop. Most of these participants were young faculty members and researchers. Several MPhil and PhD students also attended the workshop.

The workshop focused on the following themes;

A Crash Course on Quantum Mechanical Approach to Materials: Density Functional Theory (DFT) Methods

Crash Courses on Molecular Dynamics and Kinetic Monte Carlo Methods and their Applications to Surfaces.

Multiscale Modeling: Connecting the Scales together

Computational Catalyst Design

Tailoring Properties of 2D materials: Looking Beyond Graphene

Novel Pathways in the Rational Design of Materials: An Application to Clean Energy

Energy Storage and Conversion Materials

Photo Water Splitting

All participants were asked to fill out an assessment questionnaire anonymously to evaluate the training. Participants were asked to rate the overall programme, lectures, relevance of lectures to the course aim and objectives, significance of their learning goals and general comments related to the programme

Participants found the hands-on exercises very useful and many of them found the allocated time insufficient for these exercises. In response to a question “if any topic of participants’ interest was not covered”, few of the participants stated material chemistry and experimental techniques. Many of the participants were in favor of using both computational and experimental analysis side by side. Some of the experimental researchers mentioned that through this workshop they learnt about the problem solving style of theoretical scientists using theoretical calculations. One of the participants was of the view that “the concept of experiments and theory going in parallel should be introduced in universities on larger scale”.

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