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News 2014


Prof. Susan Bourne, Vaughan Maurel and Nicola Dare travelled to Pretoria in April to attend The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) International Year of Crystallography (IYCr) Meeting.

Both Savannah Zacharias and Leigh Loots travelled to Waterville valley, New Hampshire, USA, in June, to attend the Gordon Research Seminar and Conference on Crystal Engineering, where they presented posters.

Prof. Luigi Nassimbeni travelled to the university of Urbino 'Carlo Bo', Italy in July, where he attended a seminar and visited Prof. Mauro Micheloni at the Institute of Supramolecular Chemistry. He then went on to Pontebba, where he consulted and held discussions with Prof. Helmut Tributsch.

Prof. Mino Caira travelled to Canada to participate at the 23rd Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr 2014), held at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal during 05-12 August 2014. His main brief was to fulfill an earlier invitation from the International Program Committee of the IUCr to co-chair (with Professor Ian Williams, Hong Kong University) a microsymposium on ‘Applications of Powder Diffraction in the Pharmaceutical Industry’. Top international scientists, including Kenneth Harris (Cardiff School of Chemistry, UK), Ann Newman ( Pharmaceutical Consultant, Seventh Street Development Group, USA) and Raj Suryanarayanan (College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, USA) contributed to the success of this microsymposium. Prof. Caira also presented a poster (“Cyclodextrin inclusion complexes of the antioxidant -lipoic acid”, M R Caira, S A Bourne, B Mzondo) featuring selected work based on past student Buntubonke Mzondo’s MSc studies.

Prof. Mino Caira continued on to Cordoba, Argentina, where he visited the Department of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cordoba, for 2 weeks, as part of his ongoing collaboration with Prof. Elba Bujan.

Prof. Luigi Nassimbeni, Dr. Clive Oliver, Dr. Gaelle Ramon and Vaughan Maurel also travelled to Montreal, Canada, to attend the 23rd International Union of Crystallography Congress and General Assembly. They each presented posters entitled "Kinetics and Selectivity in Host-Guest Chemistry". L R Nassimbeni "Porous metal-organic frameworks incorporating mixed ligands". C L Oliver; "‘Uncertainty’ region of acid-base deltapKa: Salt versus Co-crystal formation". Gaëlle Ramon, Kate Davies and Luigi R. Nassimbeni ; "Non-covalent Interactions of Acipimox in Multi-component Crystals". Vaughan J Maurel, Nicola A Dare, Mino R Caira and Susan A Bourne respectively.

Prof. Nassimbeni then continued on to Paris, where he visited the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in order to carry out research for one of his projects.

Professor Caira presented an invited lecture at the Collaborative Conference on Crystal Growth (3CG) which was held in Phuket, Thailand from 04-07 November 2014. This special event was arranged to celebrate the International Year of Crystallography. His presentation, entitled ‘Functional Inclusion Complexes and Co-crystals of Bioactive Molecules’ (M R Caira, S A Bourne, L Trollope and B Mzondo) was included in the “ Frontiers in Crystal Engineering” workshop and featured recent studies on the crystallization and physicochemical characterization of two series of multi-component compounds containing the antioxidants trans-resveratrol and a -lipoic acid.

Dr. Clive Oliver was invited to present an introductory workshop on “Refinement strategies in small-molecule crystallography” at the 2nd International School on Fundamental Crystallography, supported by the International Union of Crystallography, in Bloemfontein from 25-29 August 2014.


Savannah Zacharias  travelled to Sweden in September, for a 4 week visit, to study topology under Prof Lars Orhstrom. While there she was invloved in a project with Prof Gunnar Westman and Johannes Thunburg investigating the self assembly of MOFs on nanofibrilllated cellulose.

Dr. Oliver was also presented an invited lecture, “Challenges of a young crystallographer at the University of Cape Town” at the Pan African and South African Meeting of the International Year of Crystallography (IYCr2014Africa) in Bloemfontein from 12-17 October.

Prof. Luigi Nassimbeni attended the Pan African Conference in Bloemfontein from 12-15 October and presented a Keynote lecture entitled "Crystallography at the University of Cape Town".

Prof. Susan Bourne also attended the Conference & Summit for the International Year of Crystallography in Bloemfontein from 12-17 October. She presented a lecture entitled “Adventures in Chemical Crystallography: from Inclusion Compounds to MOFs”.

Prof. Susan Bourne attended the Collaborative Conference on Crystal Growth (3CG), Phuket, Thailand, 4-7 November. She presented a lecture entitled “New crystals from old: Guest-responsive Metal-Organic Frameworks”.

Prof. Susan Bourne will attend the International Conference on Structural Chemistry of Molecules and Materials (SCOMM), Kolkata, India 30 Nov – 2 Dec.  She will present a lecture entitled “Supramolecular coordination chemistry: towards functional materials”. She will then travel to Pune, India, where she will attend the International Conference on Structural and Inorganic Chemistry (ICSIC),  4-5 December and present a lecture entitled “Guest-responsive Metal-Organic Frameworks based on asymmetric bridging ligands”.