PhD Students' Symposium 2018

Monday, November 26, 2018
Empa Dübendorf, Switzerland

Guest Speaker: Dr. Adrienne Corboud Fumagalli

Deeption SA, EPFL Innovation Park, Lausanne, Switzerland


Attendance is restricted to a maximum of 110 persons.
PhD students have priority; if you want your supervisor to participate, please let us know via e-mail.



In 2018, Empa PhD Student Symposium called "Science in the Service of Society" aims to encourage doctorate candidates to think about their contribution to the general well-being of mankind, by answering one question: How can my work help others? It is a simple, yet crucial one, as it provides both motivation for action and definition of a goal.

Does my work solve basic mysteries of the Universe, to provide insight for fellow scientists? Or does it deal ... with the applicability of a certain solution to facilitate the everyday life of others. Are there other aspects that can serve society in one way or another?

No matter what the answers to these questions are, we kindly invite all Empa PhD students to share their individual thoughts, insight and work in a form of an oral or a poster presentation. Come and amaze fellow colleagues – after all, Empa is the place where innovation starts!     


The symposium covers a wide range of topics related to applied materials science and engineering reflecting Empa's research focus areas:

  • Nanostructured Materials
  • Materials for Health and Performance
  • Natural Resources and Pollutants
  • Energy
  • Sustainable Built Environment

PhD students active in materials science and engineering are strongly encouraged to participate in this event. Students not affiliated to Empa are cordially invited as well. Experts will join the symposium to evaluate all presentations and to give students valuable tips and feedback.

Preliminary program

The Empa PhD Students’ Symposium 2018will be held in parallel sessions of oral presentations and two poster sessions. The scientific part of the event will be concluded with an award ceremony to honour the best oral and poster presentations.


08:00 am        Registration
09:00 am        Welcome and guest speech
10:00 am        Morning oral and poster sessions

12:30 pm        Lunch

01:30 pm        Afternoon oral and poster sessions
04:30 pm        Sponsor speeches and award ceremony
06:00 pm        Dinner and entertainment

Registration and Payment

Registration is closed.

Registration is only possible online via the registration form.

This event is mainly sponsored by Empa and kindly supported by BASF, GlaTec, Clariant, IBM, Sensirion AG, and Roth AG. Thanks to these generous contributions participation is free of charge.


Participants who are willing to give an oral or poster presentation are kindly requested to submit an abstract by e-mail.

Each abstract will be evaluated, and authors will be notified if their presentation has been accepted. Evaluating experts will be assigned to students from a different scientific field in order to focus only on the presenter’s performance. Therefore, you are asked to select three to five keywords that describe your scientific field best. 

When sending your abstract, please use the template available at the top right of this webpage. Please indicate whether you prefer to present a poster or give a talk.

Note that oral presentations might not be available to all participants. In such cases, the author will be notified. Oral presentations are restricted to 12 min followed by 3 min of discussion. Half of each oral presentation should be a general introduction, the other half on the particular topic of the individual person.

The poster size is A1 format (594 mm × 841 mm) in portrait.

Here you'll find more information on how to prepare your abstractoral presentation, or poster.

Mind that the deadline for abstract submission is September 23, 2018.

Expert Feedback
Oral and poster presentations will be evaluated by experts with a variety of scientific backgrounds. The evaluation will be based on both presentation content and the speaker’s delivery.


We cordially invite all the participants to a banquet which will follow the scientific event. It is free of charge. Please declare your attendance in the registration form.

Travel and Accommodation

Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation.

Empa PhD students from St. Gallen and Thun may contact their respective supervisors regarding reimbursement of transport and lodging expenses.

Hostel or hotel bookings can be made, among others, via the following websites:

as well as using the most popular hotel web-search engines.

Please direct any further inquiries by e-mail.
Empa - Materials and Technologies for a Sustainable Future
As an interdisciplinary research institute within the ETH Domain, Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, conducts cutting-edge materials and technology research. Empa’s R&D activities focus on meeting the requirements of industry and the needs of society and thus link applications-oriented research with the practical implementation of new ideas. As a result, Empa is capable of providing its partners with customized services and solutions that not only enhance their innovative edge and competitiveness but also help to improve the quality of life for the public at large.
Useful links


Organizing committee
Sina Abdolhosseinzadeh

Functional Polymers

Ezgi Bülbül
Advanced Fibers Mohammadreza

Izadi Structural

Konrad Jakubowski
Advanced Fibers

Kerda Keevend
Particles – Biology Interactions

Mahdieh Shakoorioskooie
Concrete / Construction Chemistry