It is quite possibly the biggest international gathering of experts in the field of greenhouse gas control, so it is fitting that this year's GHGT12 conference hailed from Texas, where the oil and gas industry is seeing record levels of growth.
Researchers from the SCCS partnership were also there in record numbers, with 47 presentations and poster sessions being delivered by 36 authors over the four days of the event. The talks covered everything from combustion technologies and managing storage sites to energy systems and the conversion of CO₂ into fuels.
The GHGT – Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies – conference series is overseen by the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme and is held every two years in either North America, Europe or Asia. Its chief focus is on technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions created by a continued global reliance on fossil fuels.
Some of our researchers have several GHGT conferences under their belts but, for others, this was their first experience. They joined a delegate list numbering around 1200, and felt very much part of a global community working towards averting the worst impacts of climate change.
So what did they make of this year's conference?
After attending GHGT11 in Kyoto on the IEA GHG Student Mentoring Programme, GHGT12 had a lot to live up to. It hasn’t disappointed. The breadth of work presented has been exceptional, giving opportunities to learn more on research one would normally not be exposed to. This time at GHGT I got to present a poster, which was a very successful way for me to meet other scientists in my field. Future collaborations may be forthcoming! Also this year, I tried a new experience of live tweeting, which has been fun and an interesting way of keeping abreast of topics and messages from parallel sessions. I’ve definitely engaged much more in this conference than any previously, whether on Twitter, at the poster sessions, or during the many evening social events. If that is one of the aims of GHGT, then it’s certainly been achieved in spades."
This was my first attendance at a GHGT conference. As a final year PhD student, it was the ideal opportunity to present my work to my peers, educate myself on the current research taking part in other areas of CCS and network with people in hope of future employment! The fact that it was in Austin, Texas, wasn't too shabby either.
GHGT12 boasts a vast range of CCS research areas. It was brilliant to see so many representatives from SCCS contributing to this via presentations and posters. Presenting my poster during a two-hour slot allowed me the chance to interact with people in the same field of research. It was extremely rewarding, albeit exhausting, to discuss my topic at a one-to-one level.
But it isn't all work; some play is involved. The various social evenings meant time to speak with fellow students and important representatives. I even got the opportunity to catch up with academics whom I’d met earlier on in my PhD. Overall, an extremely rewarding experience."
This is my third GHGT conference after attending my first in Washington in 2008, and Austin has so far lived up to all expectations. Conferences serve a number of purposes; from sharing your results at technical sessions to learning and picking up ideas from other people’s talks to hearing from industry leaders at plenary sessions. Whilst these are all incredibly useful and perhaps the main reason we attend conferences, I think the most important part to me is making new contacts and catching up with old friends and colleagues. Especially after having taken a short industrial break from CCS over the last few years (and missing GHGT11), coming back to a GHGT has been a pleasure.
It started with bumping into an old friend on the flight from Heathrow and continued the whole way through spotting friendly faces, sharing a beer and catching up on what everyone is doing. And, of course, this is great for my work at SCCS in helping to establish international collaboration. I've had fantastic discussions with colleagues from South Africa, Australia, Canada, across Europe and, of course, the USA. Certainly beats flying around the world to each of those countries (and the associated CO₂ emissions) to meet up with all these people in one place. Austin has continued the great tradition of GHGTs, and I'll be first in the line to sign up for the next one in a short two years’ time."
|From left, PhD students Johannes Miocic, Rachel Kilgallon and Kit Carruthers at GHGT12|
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