Berkeley Lab

User Meeting Blog

Welcome to the Molecular Foundry’s User Meeting blog! This blog is updated during the Foundry’s Annual User Meeting conference by volunteer writers.

The Foundry’s Annual User Meeting conference focuses on frontier research topics of interest to that community of users, providing a forum to disseminate results and exchange ideas, and bringing together leading researchers, junior scientists, postdocs, and students. Follow along the meeting with us as our guest-bloggers share snapshots of their meeting experience.

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Thanks for joining us!

August 16th, 2018 by

The 2018 Annual User Meeting came to a successful conclusion today, August 16, with over 300 attendees. Our congratulations go to the User Executive Committee, and in particular Francesca Toma, Greg Su, and Valerie Leppert for putting together an excellent meeting!

Industry research at the Foundry

August 16th, 2018 by

Early-stage product research and development is a challenge and benefits from the technical expertise, instrumentation, and collaborative environment available at user facilities.  The Foundry successfully supports a gamut of users and projects with industrial connections focused on product research, development, and technical de-risking.

“Making a racecar out of a Camry”

August 16th, 2018 by

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has come a long way since its inception in 1931, yet most efforts have been focused on improving spatial resolution. During her talk at the Multimodal In Situ Characterization symposium, Mitra Taheri, associate professor of materials science and engineering at Drexel University, argued that other important areas for improvement are time resolution, chemical evolution, and data mining/intelligent microscopy.

Poster Competition Winners!

August 16th, 2018 by

Out of the 300+ attendees at the user meeting, we had over 90 poster presentations! Several of these presenters entered our annual poster competition. With two categories, students and postdocs, judges from the User Executive Committee scored each entry. 

Nanoscience can unlock the quantum revolution

August 16th, 2018 by

 As we are starting to enter the quantum era and we are beginning to see that the possibilities ahead look limitless. In a standing-room only session at the Foundry’s Annual User Meeting, a symposium on quantum information science delved into the types of nanoscale investigation techniques and qubit fabrication capabilities that must be developed in order for fully functioning quantum information systems to be realized. 

Probing aqueous carbonates with soft X-ray spectroscopy

August 16th, 2018 by

“If you don’t have a bright mind, wear a bright shirt,” said Richard Saykally, professor of chemistry at UC Berkeley, as he walked to the podium of the Multimodal In Situ Characterization Symposium in a black and pink Hawaiian shirt. Saykally’s group uses atom specific soft X-ray spectroscopy to probe liquids and their surfaces, particularly aqueous carbonates.

AUM Day 2

August 16th, 2018 by

Welcome back for another great day of nanoscience at the Foundry’s Annual User Meeting! Some participants signed up for a tour of the Foundry facilities early this morning, but returned to the auditorium in time for the start of today’s program.

Poster SLAM!

August 15th, 2018 by

In the Foundry’s inaugural Poster Slam hosted by staff scientist, Nate Hohman, students who entered in the poster competition presented their work in the form of a single slide. Each slam participant presented a preview of their poster in just 60 seconds!

New Staff and Capabilities at the Foundry

August 15th, 2018 by

In the afternoon session, we were introduced to new members of the Foundry staff, along with a quick primer about each of their research programs that they’ll be starting. 

Using Synthetic Glycopolymers to Reveal New Targets for Cancer Immune Therapy

August 15th, 2018 by

Carolyn Bertozzi, formerly director of the Molecular Foundry and now the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, gave an inspiring talk about how work started at the Molecular Foundry has led to new developments in creating new cancer therapies and to spinning out a company to bring their discoveries to market.

Suggestions from Town Hall Meeting

August 15th, 2018 by

Following the morning plenary talks today, users interacted with the User Executive Committee in a town hall meeting. Below are a few of the suggestions that came up during the discussion.

“Chips have a lot of memory, but no imagination”

August 15th, 2018 by

Supriya Jaiswal of Astrileux Corporation gave a refreshing talk today on a start-up’s effort to tackle a ten year industry problem. Jaiswal explained that we live in the era of zettabye computing – we use 10 nm chips (what your fingernail grows in 1 second!) and we’ve manufactured more chips than there are stars in the Milky Way!

Keynote Address: Abandoning perfection for quantum technologies

August 15th, 2018 by

David Awschalom, professor of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, gave a humorous spin on quantum mechanics during his keynote address (no pun intended!).

Highlights from the Molecular Foundry update

August 15th, 2018 by

Jeffrey Neaton, Director of the Molecular Foundry and Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Sciences, kicked off the User Meeting with a Molecular Foundry update. In case you missed it, here are some highlights from the update:

First Day of the AUM!

August 15th, 2018 by

The Foundry’s Annual User Meeting kicked off today as we welcomed over 300 participants from across academia, industry, and national labs to Berkeley Lab for this two-day event. Check back here throughout the conference to hear from our bloggers about the meeting!

It’s time for the 2018 Annual User Meeting!

August 14th, 2018 by

We’re gearing up for the 2018 user meeting, which starts tomorrow. We’ve got an excellent agenda this year, including two outstanding keynote speakers: Carolyn Bertozzi (Stanford; former and much-loved Foundry director) and David Awschalom (U Chicago, leading expert in spintronics and quantum information engineering).