A conference sets standards

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In addition to several parallel lectures, there were also lectures in the plenar
In addition to several parallel lectures, there were also lectures in the plenary hall. Photo: Gaby Indermaur.
Over four days in May, more than 700 experts from over 40 nations met in St. Gallen for the 38th International Conference of the Polymer Processing Society", or PPS-38 for short, organized by Empa together with Olma Messen and St. Gallen-Bodensee Tourism.

The international polymer conference PPS-38, which took place from May 22 to 26 on the premises of Olma Messen in St. Gallen, was a great success for Empa. The organizing committee, led by Rudolf Hufenus, Edith Perret and Hania Curjel, put together an interesting mix of technical and social events.

In preparation for the conference, more than 700 oral and poster presentations had to be reviewed, evaluated and finally approved by the scientific committee. This selection convinced nearly 750 people to attend the conference - a record-breaking number.

Lectures, presentations and a tour of Empa

Over the four days, a total of more than 500 lectures in up to ten parallel sessions were given and over 100 posters presented. The topics were well mixed and tailored to the polymer sector; experts from industry and science shared their knowledge on topics such as injection molding and molds; rubber and elastomers; fibers and films; foams and membranes; composites; compounds, alloys and much more. As polymer is a high-value but also controversial material, there were lively discussions on biopolymers, sustainable development, the increasingly important recycling of plastics and on the hot topic of microplastics.

Mark Smith, director at Carl Hanser Verlag GmbH & Co. KG raved on LinkedIn after the conference, "It was wonderful to be part of such a well-organized, stimulating and successful conference as PPS-38 - probably the best I have attended during my ten years with Hanser. The conference proved that attending such events in person is truly irreplaceable."
Rudolf Hufenus opens the 38th International Conference of the Polymer Processing Society. Photo: Gaby Indermaur.

Around 450 participants also took the opportunity to get to know Empa at its St. Gallen site on a guided tour. The lab tours were such a great success that the PPS president described this as a "new benchmark" for future conferences.

Social events must not be missing

As is customary at such a large international conference, in addition to the technical exchange there were also various social events such as the welcome reception with alphorn blowers, a guided tour of downtown St. Gallen, and like the evening banquet with Appenzeller music. For the accompanying persons, the partner program offered an excursion to the island of Mainau, to Aescher and Ebenalp as well as to the "Klangschmiede" in Toggenburg.

The PPS was founded in 1982 at the University of Akron in Ohio (USA) with the aim of providing polymer processors worldwide with a platform for the presentation of technical innovations and research results. The range of topics covered by the PPS includes all formulation, conversion and shaping processes applied to polymer systems in the conversion from their monomeric forms to commercial products.