The final meeting of the projects IDS-FunMat and EJD-FunMat was be held in Bordeaux on 21-22 March 2019.
At the same time, we celebrated the the 15th anniversary of the network EMMI (European Multifunctional Materials Institute), and the 12th anniversary of the FAME-Master project financed by ERASMUS MUNDUS and ERASMUS+.
The EMMI network has its origins in the Network of Excellence FAME which started in 2004. Since then, EMMI has initiated many EU projects and collaborations. One of the first was the ERASMUS MUNDUS Master programme FAME-Master, which also started in 2007 and recently obtained renewal funding for the 3rd time.
Thus we have celebrated in a special meeting the anniversaries of EMMI and FAME-Master, and held at the same time the final meeting of the projects IDS-FunMat and EJD-FunMat.
Over 2 days, the meeting included 2 panel discussions with former Master and PhD students, several lectures for the general public, discussions of hot topics in materials science, and an educative visit to the vinery Chateau Luchey Halde, including gala dinner.
One highlight was a presentation from Donna STRICKLAND, University of Waterloo1, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018, for her work on pulsed lasers. Raja CHATILA, Sorbonne University Paris, discussed robotics and artificial intelligence, with a focus on ethical aspects. Two other plenary talks by Rodrigo MARTINS (University NOVA Lisbon) and Yuko HARAYAMA (Professor Emeritus Tohoku University) discussed science policy in Europe and Japan, respectively, focussing on new technologies and their impact.
Very interesting was also the feedback of our alumni, who reported on their experiences during and after their degree programme. The general consensus was that, while an international 'co-tutelle' programme is much more demanding compared to single-site studies, it is worth the effort, because the exposure to two (or more) different working cultures in different countries provides an extremely valuable experience for coping with working life.
The alumni also shared their experiences and anecdotes regarding a number of related issues, for example the psychological difficulties during job hunting, the pressure related to the culture of 'publish-or-perish' in academia, and the specific problems of women to find recognition and equal treatment in the technology sector.
1the project IDS-FunMat was also the origin of the now wide-ranging collaboration between universities Bordeaux and Waterloo. Several PhD graduates from Waterloo, now working in Europe, participated in BRIEFE
Here is the full programme (pdf 2 MB)
( (c) photos by Olivier Nguyen)