Another varied and interesting program at the fifth SNI Annual Event

It’s almost like a family gathering when members of the SNI meet at Hotel Schweizerhof for their Annual Event in September, just before the winter semester gets underway. Project leaders of Nano Argovia projects and young scientists from the SNI PhD School present their projects in different areas of applied and basic science through a series of talks and posters, and the breaks provide an opportunity to discuss new findings and projects.

This year, representatives of two start-ups were also on hand to report on their projects. Dr. Danuta Cichocka, CEO of the start-up Resistell, presented a method that allows the quick and accurate testing of bacterial strains’ susceptibility to antibiotics. The Basel-based company has won the Swiss MNT Network STARTUP Prize for the method, which involves monitoring the tiny movements of bacteria positioned on cantilevers.

Jens Gobrecht was made an honorary members of the SNI.

Dr. Felipe Favaro de Oliveira, CTO at Qnami, gave a talk about the Nano Argovia project NQsense. Qnami is involved in the project as an industrial partner and is working alongside teams at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute to boost the photon yield of quantum sensors (see article on NQsense).

Another highlight of the meeting was the late-night lecture by Professor Daniel Müller from the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich in Basel (D-BSSE). Daniel Müller gave a vivid and entertaining presentation of his research and stayed with colleagues until late at night to discuss the nanoscale balance his team has developed in collaboration with Professor Christoph Gerber. This is designed to determine the mass of individual cells and is now being marketed by the company Nanosurf.

Claudio Schmidli received the Best Poster Award and Noah Ritzman won the prize for the best talk by a PhD student.

The Annual Meeting also provided an opportunity to thank and honor some SNI members for their special achievements. For example, Professor Jens Gobrecht of the Paul Scherrer Institute was made an honorary member of the SNI in recognition of his long-standing support of the SNI and his commitment to the Nano Argovia program. Tino Matter received an award for the best master’s thesis in nanosciences at the University of Basel in 2017, while Dr. Tomaž Einfalt received the Outreach Award for the second time in recognition of his tremendous commitment to various SNI outreach activities. Claudio Schmidli received the Best Poster Award, and Noah Ritzmann won the prize for the best talk by a PhD student.