9th ETSF Young Researcher Meeting 2012 : Revolutions in ab initio, closing the circle between theory and experiment
UCL Louvain-en-Woluwe, Brussels, Belgium
The European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility (ETSF)  is a network carrying out state-of-the-art research on theoretical and computational methods for studying electronic and optical properties of materials. The ETSF gathers the experience and the know-how of more than 200 researchers, including professors, postdocs and Ph.D. students, in Europe and the United States, facilitating collaborations and rapid transfer of knowledge. The main objective of ETSF is to broaden access to the knowledge and the expertise in the field of theoretical spectroscopy across the public and private sector.
In the last eight years, the young researchers within the ETSF -- formerly known as NANOQUANTA -- have organized an annual Young Researchers' Meeting (YRM), e.g., [2-7]. The purpose of these YRMs is to bring together Ph.D. students and postdocs working on the theoretical and computational aspects of electronic and optical properties of materials within the network. The most noteworthy aspect of the YRM is that it is organized and attended by young researchers having non-permanent contracts. Hence, the full list of organizers (available on the website of the conference ) is split into the "effective" organizers made of young researchers and "support" organizers from the academic world.
The YRM offers an exceptional chance for the young researchers to practice their presentation skills, exchange ideas and expertise, and initiate new collaborations in an informal atmosphere. In this respect, by offering its support, the CECAM would fulfill one of its main goals of promoting cooperation between scientific researchers within Europe.
The YRM is also an opportunity for participants to develop their leadership, as well as their communication and organizational skills, which prove to be valuable assets in the scientific career and experience of a young researcher. As a result, in recent years, many previous young researchers have obtained positions in excellent institutions and private companies. Within this scope, the formation of young researchers is also considered as a fundamental objective of the CECAM.
The novelty in this YRM edition is the organization of an "industry day" with speakers from various Research&Development departments. The aim is to foster the exchange of knowledge and experience, and to gain insight into the needs of the private sector. Such a common framework will encourage future collaborations and give the opportunity to initiate new projects of industrial interest. This kind of interaction has been proved to be very fruitful as emphasized in the summary of the workshop "Theory Meets Industry - the impact of ab initio solid state calculations on industrial materials research" .
It is noteworthy that the YRM meetings are funded only indirectly by ETSF. Most participants are employed on ETSF projects and the conference fee is supported from their own project budget. In this sense, external funding is of paramount importance for organizing this conference. Nonetheless, the conference is highly regarded by the ETSF senior staff and considered an excellent opportunity for promoting the ETSF values and for extending the network.
Louvain-la-Neuve hosts both the headquarters and the central node of the ETSF network. The node is represented by the IMCN/NAPS laboratory , led by Professor Xavier Gonze, President of the ETSF. The YRM conference will be held in Brussels in order to make it the most reachable to the international community. Given its central position in the European Union, Brussels offers many conference facilities nearby the historical center of the city.
Andrés Rafael Botello Méndez (Catholic University, Louvain) - Organiser
Xavier Gonze (UCLouvain) - Organiser
Gian-Marco Rignanese (Université catholique de Louvain) - Organiser
David Waroquiers (Université catholique de Louvain) - Organiser