Four members of UKZN’s Thermodynamics Research Unit (TRU) in the School of Engineering attended the 24th IUPAC International Conference on Chemical Thermodynamics (ICCT-2016) in Guilin, China.
They were PhD student Mr Kuveneshan Moodley, Lecturer Dr Caleb Narasigadu, MEng student Ms Sivanna Naicker and post-doctoral Fellow Dr Mark Williams-Wynn.
Williams-Wynn and Ms Sivanna Naicker were presented with IUPAC Poster Awards for their contributions.
The conference was held to present information on the latest achievements in chemical thermodynamics and calorimetry and to enlarge the frontiers of chemical thermodynamics into other related disciplines.
It was jointly organised by the International Association of Chemical Thermodynamics, the Chinese Chemical Society and Guilin University of Electronic Technology.
The keynote Rossini Lecture was delivered by Professor of Thermodynamics at Imperial College, Professor Martin Trusler, on behalf of Professor Kenneth Marsh, Adjunct Professor, School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, University of Western Australia, who died shortly before the event.
Marsh was awarded the Rossini Lectureship Award posthumously for his ground-breaking work in chemical thermodynamic measurements. Because of the original nature of his work, Marsh designed many novel experimental apparatuses over the years to prove the validity of his results to reviewers who criticised papers that he submitted for journal publication.
Williams-Wynn observed that the major emphasis in chemical thermodynamics in Asia was on the modelling, simulation and prediction of systems for which experimental data currently exists.
Some interesting presentations focused on newer techniques for the measurement of chemical thermodynamic data, one being the use of differential scanning, which is a transient technique, as opposed to the more classical, equilibrium-based thermodynamic measurements.
During the final session, an interesting round table discussion was held, where the lack of application of newly developed technologies from the field of chemical thermodynamics, and the challenges facing the field, were discussed.