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A Moment in the Annual Conference 2015 of the American Association for Aerosol Research (Eun-hee Jo, KIGAM Campus)

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  • Registration Date : 2016-06-29
Last October, I attended the 34th Annual Conference of the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) as I was selected for the Overseas Research Exchange Program of UST. When I first arrived at Minneapolis after the long 12-hour flight, the scenery of lakes and parks unfolded over the window explained to me why it was called the ‘City of Water’. Contrary to my concerns about a chilly weather, warm sunshine and clear skies greeted the participants. 

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The 34th Annual Conference of AAAR was held at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis located in the center of Minneapolis, Minnesota in the US, which lasted for 5 days from October 12 to 16, 2015. AAAR is one of the most prominent international academic societies in the field of aerosol research, and it exees researches in 16 subcategories of global environment, microcontamination, air pollution, instrumentation/measurement, aerosol chemistry, and material synthesis. The society has hosted a conference every year since its establishment in 1982, and this year, the conference was made up of 689 sessions of oral and poster presentations. I arrived at the conference hall in the afternoon of October 11, one day prior to the opening of the conference, to complete the preparations for my presentation. A host of people were already there busily working in the run-up to the event. I wondered what kind of research result would be presented there and how life in Minneapolis would be.

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At 8 am of every morning, the AAAR conference was started with lectures hosted by Professor Mark J. Utell of the University of Rochester Medical Center and 4 other plenary lectures, which were followed by oral presentations that were held in 5 session halls.
Each oral presentation session was given 1 and 1/2 hours, and a 15-minute presentation of the general presenter and a 50-minute lecture of the guest lecturer were followed by ample opportunities for question and answer. Guest lectures and oral presentations about a variety of the latest researches on aerosol were given at the conference. Presentations about the development and analysis of aerosol measuring equipment, aerosol chemicals, nanoparticles, and materials synthesis were conducted, while I witnessed a clear trend of pursuing joint research. Subjects with regard to aerosol technology were addressed on the second day, and the third day was focused on the application of material technology.
On the last day of the conference, a poster presentation session about nanoparticles and materials synthesis―my greatest interest―was held. I made a presentation on my thesis, “Aerosol Synthesis of 3D Crumpled Graphene and Their Application to Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells,” which is about producing a three-dimensional crumpled graphene and applying it to dye-sensitized solar cells to heighten their efficiency by using the aerosol process. Many attendees observed the 3D-shaped graphenes and analysis result with interest. With the outpour of questions, I was able to take a new perspective on the research result.
Another part that was impressive to me that day was the number of theses published by the students of Washington University in St. Louis. They accounted for 33.3 of all papers presented in the field of materials synthesis (8 out of 24), which was the highest rate among all the attending schools. They were also very active in sharing and collecting information from other participants, making outstanding efforts to learn about technologies of various fields.

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A conference is a very significant occasion where researchers can share research information and build up relationships. While attending the AAAR conference, I was able to learn about the history and trend of aerosol research from a wide perspective. Furthermore, I was able to acquaint myself with other attendees and listen to the experiences of professors and doctors from academic circles at home and abroad. 
The one week apart from my mundane life served as an opportunity for me to have a new vision for my research subject. Based on the various aerosol technologies and information about research trends that I acquired at the conference, I now have stronger confidence that I would be able to invent a novel material by conflating aerosol technology with nanomaterials engineering, which is my current major. I resolved again to achieve a satisfactory research outcome through the best performance in the remaining time of my doctoral course by drawing various ideas about grafting new technology onto graphenes, which is my current research subject, by using the aerosol process.