Last Austrian Young
Chemists Summit

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the first conference of the Austrian Young Chemists Network, which was originally planned to take place in Innsbruck, Austria, in September 2020 was turned into an online event.
We were nevertheless delighted by the high level of interest in the Young Chemists Summit and the international participants, which were widely scattered around the world. We received registrations from 5 continents and many different countries!


Poster session, workshops, and exkursions

The Young Chemists Summit started with the online postersession on Twitter on Monday. All submitted posters could be found under the hashtag #ycs20.
The posters of the winners of the poster prizes can be found below. Lorenz Lindenthal won the poster prize for the best abstract and best presentation of his scientific research, sponsored by the EYCN and endowed with 150€!
The award for the most beautiful poster went to Marina Kinzelmann. This award was sponsored by Lactan and endowed with 150€. Additionally, Verena Resch, Luminous Lab, sponsored access to one of her 3D rendering online courses, the card game pKace and some goodies.

Three workshops were offered to the participants. In the workshop “Data Analysis with Python” basic programming techniques of the programming language Python were taught by Emanuel Ehmki. The aim was to equip the participants with the necessary tools for automatic data processing.

Verena Resch from Luminous Lab taught the participants in the workshop “Make Science beautiful again” how to make the most of their graphs in publications, conference posters. Participants learned the basics about color theory as well as when to use the correct image format and much more!

The “Industrial Scale-up” workshop was held by the process chemist Dr. Philipp Selig. Chemical reactions work differently on a larger scale because of aspects like heat transfer and mass transport. If a proper scale-up is not performed, the results may be catastrophic.
The Participants could get an insight into how to properly scale-up lab reactions and syntheses to an industrial level.

In the afternoon, we offered adapted virtual excursions. As it was not possible to visit the NOI-Techpark and ADLER LACKE in person, the participants could get an insight into these companies by lectures and interactive Q&A sessions.
Mag. Michael Enders, from ADLER Lacke in Schwaz started with the basics of coating production. The participants learned about the components of the varnish and the complex coating development process. Job opportunities in the research & development department of ADLER were also mentioned during this interesting
Participants got a glimpse of the work at NOI Techpark in Bolzano, Italy. After Sepp Walder gave a short introduction about NOI, the participants received an insight of the Bioenergy and Biofuels Lab by Prof. Marco Baratieri.
Dr. Peter Robatscher then presented the research done in the Laboratory for Flavour & Metabolites from Laimburg Research Center. The session ended with a lecture by Dr. Michael Atzwanger on the food start-up HiWeiss.


Plenary lectures, industry speed-dating, and panel discussion

We had the great honor to welcome Professor Dr. Benjamin List, from the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in Germany, for the opening Lecture of our first Young Chemists Summit.
Prof. List has co-founded the field of organocatalysis and is developing new catalysis concepts, for which he received the Nobel prize shortly after our conference.
He has discovered the natural amino acid proline as an efficient catalyst and thus made organocatalysis possible. Natural substances instead of metals could be used as catalysts in chemistry for the very first time.
Professor List introduced the audience to his work in an informative lecture. The participants could get an insight into how to properly scale-up lab reactions and syntheses to an industrial level.

Portrait Benjamin List

"The role of chemists in a sustainable world" was the lecture from Professor Dr. David Cole-Hamilton. His most recent work has been concerned with making commodity and fine chemicals including plastics and pharmaceuticals from bio-derived waste oils that are by-products of other processes such as food production or paper manufacturing.
In this diversified lecture Prof. Cole-Hamilton pointed out how the chemical society is changing, with regard to female scientists, modernisation and the general role of chemistry in the world.
The most important point Prof Cole-Hamilton discussed is our role as chemists and what we can do to contribute to a sustainable world.

During the Poster Pitching, the authors of the three best abstracts presented their poster. Mister Agrawal: "Mechanophotonics: Flexible Single-Crystal Organic Waveguides and Circuits”, Susanne Huber: "Microextraction of cannabidiol from natural cosmetics usinga new room temperature ionic liquid as extracting agent” and Lorenz Lindenthal: “Polarization assisted Exsolution of Metal Nanoparticles from Doped Perovskites for Enhanced Catalytic Performance”.

After a lunch break, the program continued with the Industrial Speeddating, where the Austrian Drug Screening Institute (ADSI), EVONIK and Kalb Analytik were introduced by short videos. Also Chemistry Europe was introduced by three short videos: "The world
as we know it is changing. We’re embracing that change and are excited to announce our new identity and new focus.”
In the first video Prof. Dr. Ir. Weckhuysen detailed how students can succeed, then Prof. Dr. Angela Casini talked about collaboration being key to success and in the last video, Prof. Dr. Ben Feringa talked about the importance of society publishing. If you want to rewatch the videos of Chemistry Europe, please follow this link

In the panel discussion, sponsored by Cura, former students of the University of Innsbruck talked about their experience at the beginning of their working career and discussed what it was like to find themselves in everyday working life. This session was moderated by Robin Poller, also an alumni from the University of Innsbruck, and as speakers, Dr. Teresa Ortner, Veronika Huber, Dr. Elisabeth Mairhofer, Anna Daxenbichler, and Marlies Stonig talked about their experience of entering the job market.

"How to design technologies for the recycling of CO2 into value-added chemicals and polymers." In his lecture, Professor Dr. Arjan Kleij from the Institute of Chemical Researchof Catalonia in Spain, gave an insight into his main research interests. Prof. Kleij started his introduction with incentives for the use of waste and CO2 in chemical synthesis. In histalk, Prof Kleij discussed “From linear to circular: what can we do as chemists?“ Therefore, in the first part Prof Kleij talked about catalysis strategies to recycle/valorize CO2, whereas the second part of his lecture focused on creating new polymers from renewable resources..

Professor Dr. Christina White from the University of Illinois gave a talk on "C-H Oxidation for Late-Stage Functionalization". The White group studies and develops selective, catalytic, sustainable C-H oxidation reactions for organic synthesis that do not require directing groups.
They have designed a series of catalysts, which can be used to modify molecules in late stages of the synthesis. They have contributed novel palladium/sulfoxide, iron and manganese PDP, as well as manganese phthalocyanine catalysts that are now commercially available. These catalysts can functionalize all types of C(sp3)-H bonds, including aliphatics, under preparative conditions with predictable and catalyst-controlled site-selectivities in complex molecule setting.


Plenary lectures and awards

The last day of the Young Chemists Summit started with a lecture on explosive materials from Prof. Dr. Thomas Klapötke. Prof. Klapötke not only discussed lead-free primary explosives, but also energetic polymers, not-polluting pyrotechnical compositions and much more!
The winner of this year’s Young Chemists Sustainability Award, Peter Fürk, had the possibility to present his research on the topic of “High permittivity materials in organic solar cells” at the Young Chemists Summit.

The closing lecture was held by Prof. Dr. Bernd Giese. His lecture on "How Anaerobic Microorganisms Survive Environmental Stress. A Chemist’s View.", which took place in a hub location in Fribourg, Switzerland, in front of a small public.
As Prof. Giese is an outstanding expert in the field of bioorganic radical- and photoreactions, he gave us an insight into his main research topics: radical reactions in biological systems, electron transfer, signal transduction, stereoselective synthesis with radicals and biradicals and new photo-cleavable protecting groups.

Organizing Team

Young Chemists Summit 2020

Regional representatives Innbruck (upper picture):
Vanessa Moll, Liane Perktold, Andreas Schöler, Virginia Celestre, Valentina Stock, Walburga Bischofberger, Patrick Bonke, Julian Cardini, Julian Wollrab

Leading board (lower picture):
Bianca Brandl, Felix Purtscher, Béatrice Daleiden,
Daniela Söllinger, Kirill Faust

Thanks to our sponsors
that enabled this conference!

More about the Austrian Young Chemists Summit