PhD Symposium 2020

Monday, November 30, 2020
Empa Dübendorf, St. Gallen, Switzerland & via Zoom

Invited Speakers
Prof. Dr. Michael Dittmar
, Institute for Particle Physics, ETH, Zurich, Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Kristy Deiner, Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zürich, Switzerland


Join the first hybrid (online and on-site) PhD Students' Symposium!


For the first time in the history of Empa, the PhD Students' Symposium will take place in a hybrid form, both online and on-site. The reason is the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but it will not stop us from learning and exchanging new knowledge and ideas. The concurrent online and offline formats ensure that even in the worst situation, i.e. everything shut down, the knowledge will still be available to everyone.

During the lock-down, with limited vehicles on the roads, we all realized that the air in the cities became much cleaner than it was before. That is just a glimpse of the advantage of living more sustainably. Daily human activities have created so much pollution, but our perception of the polluted environment is still limited to what we see in the present moment, and we cannot fully grasp the harm of ongoing climate change. What will happen in the next 100 years depends on what we are doing now.

Therefore, this year's PhD Students' Symposium, entitled "Sustainable Innovation for a Green Future: What is your plan?", is to encourage you as young researchers, whose silent effort in the lab can lead to a better world, to exchange ideas and discuss your own research related to the topic. The four subthemes are:

Subthemes of the PhD Students' Symposium 2020
  • Green Materials and Technology
  • Food and Health for the Next Generation
  • Resources, Energy and Pollutants in Thriving Society
  • Circular Economy and Data Science
Preliminary program

The Empa PhD Students' Symposium 2020 will be held in hybrid format. Attendance on-site is limited depending on the coronavirus pandemic situation at the time, however, the whole symposium will be streamed online from Dübendorf and St. Gallen.

08:30 am    Registration and coffee
09:00 am    Welcome and Keynote Speech
10:00 am    Student Presentations and "Science Slam" Session
12:00 pm    Lunch
01:00 pm    Round-table discussion with industrial speaker
02:00 pm    Student Presentations and "Science Slam" Session
04:30 pm    Closing Ceremony

Abstract Submission

All PhD students of Empa are invited to submit an abstract by mail before 4. October 2020 (23:59 CET).

This year's symposium includes regular talks (12 min presenting & 3 min Q&A) and an online "Science Slam" session instead of the conventional poster session. Science Slam is a new form of scientific communication. The aim is to increase PhD students’ capacity to effectively explain their research in no more than three minutes, in an entertaining and easily understandable way appropriate to non-specialist audience. All kinds of media are allowed, e.g. poster, infographic, anima-tion, video, etc.

When sending your abstract, please use the template. Please indicate whether you prefer to give a talk or participate in the "Science Slam". Each abstract will be evaluated, and authors will be noti-fied in the beginning of October whether they have been accepted.

Here you'll find more information on how to prepare your abstract, oral presentation or Science Slam presentation.

Registration as presenter or audience member

Registration is closed.

After confirmation of your participation you have to register for the symposium via the registration form.

Please note that you need to submit the abstract separately. If you did not submit an abstract or if your abstract was rejected you may also participate as an audience member.

Practical information
  • Participation fee: free of charge
  • Award: The best presentations for regular talk and "Science Slam" session will be awarded with special prize. All active participants during the virtual symposium will receive gifts from sponsor and a coupon at Empa/Eawag SV-Restaurant (Dübendorf) or Tagblatt Restaurant (St. Gallen).
  • Technical information: The symposium will be held in hybrid format. We are currently in the organization process. Further instruction on how to access the online platform will be published soon.
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 re-search. 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.