PhD Students' Symposium 2019

Thursday, November 28, 2019
Empa St. Gallen, Switzerland
Guest speaker: Prof Neil Alford, Imperial College London, UK

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

Empa PhD Students' Symposium 2019, entitled "Science Cocktail: Mixing Disciplines to Drive Innovation," is a unique opportunity for PhD students to contemplate their work and showcase how their research crosses the boundaries of traditionally defined disciplines.

It is time to take a step into the brave new world of scientific mixology! A cocktail of fields, blended together to provide a mixture of science and innovation that will tickle your taste buds. Join us in creating the ultimate scientific concoction, proving that by mixing disciplines we can together push the innovation boundary and broaden our horizons.


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 2019 will be held in parallel sessions of oral presentations and two poster presentations. The scientific part of the event will be concluded with an award ceremony to honor 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. Note that you need to submit the abstract separately. Please register also if you want to attend only as a viewer.

This event is mainly sponsored by Empa and kindly supported by BASF, GlaTec, Comsol, Stadt Sankt-Gallen and Sensirion.


Participants who are interested in giving an oral or poster presentation are requested to kindly submit an abstract by mail.

Each abstract will be considered, and authors will be notified if their presentation has been accepted. Note that oral presentations might not be available to all participants due to time restrictions. Furthermore, you are asked to kindly select three to five keywords that will help us categorize your presentation.

When sending your abstract, please use the template. Please indicate whether you prefer to present a poster or give a talk.

Oral presentations are restricted to 12 min followed by 3 min of discussion. The first half of each oral presentation should be a general introduction, in the second part, the focus should be on the research 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 abstract, oral presentation, or poster.

Expert Feedback
Oral and poster presentations will be evaluated by experts with a variety of scientific backgrounds. The experts will be assigned to students from different scientific fields in order to focus primarily on the presenter’s performance as well as to follow up on the topic of the symposium.
We cordially invite all the participants to a banquet which will follow the scientific event. The dinner will be free of charge but limited to the attendees who declared their attendance in the registration form.
Travel and Accommodation

There will be a bus organized for Empa PhD student from Dübendorf which will take them to Empa St Gallen in the morning and takes them back to Dübendorf after dinner.

Empa PhD students from Thun, as well as students from Dübendorf who do not wish to take the bus, are responsible for their own travel and 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 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.

Organizing committee

Kamila Domagala - PhD Student at High Performance Ceramics Lab, 201. Working on carbon -based composites for virus removal from water.

Chieh-Szu Huang - PhD student in the Department of Chemistry at ETH Zürich and Empa St Gallen, working on the design of next generation luminescent materials for solar light harvesting.

Barbora Pinlova - PhD student at Technology and Society lab studying formation of microplastics.

Jean Schoeller – PhD Student in the Laboratory of Biomimetic Textiles and Membranes, 401. Working on the development of pH-responsive electrospun nanofibers for drug delivery purposes.

Ruohan Zhao - Ph.D. student traveling among ETHz D-Material, Empa Dübendorlf and Empa St. Gallen, working on alumina surface modification.

Paulina Zubrzycka - PhD Student at High Performance Ceramics Lab, 201. Working on Additive Manufacturing of Ceramics.