Tuesday, 22 July 2008

NMR study published in 'Fuel Cells'

Last week, I received an email with the table of contents for the most recent edition of the journal 'Fuel Cells' to find that in this edition, they had published an article I had submitted to the journal. The article presents the findings of an NMR study of the proton transport mechanisms in a phosphoric acid doped polymer that has potential as a fuel cell membrane. The polymer consists of two components - one crystalline, the other amorphous - and the results suggest that the proton transport takes place more readily in the amorphous phase. This work was completed during a six month project with the Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell group at the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN). Being one of the major energy research institutes in the Netherlands, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with them, and also to be able to publish the work we did together.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Page Turners

In 2000, some friends of mine started the reading group 'Page Turners'. We were mostly friends from uni, with a few joining by association, and eight years later the group is still going strong. From the 12 or so original members, many are still regular participants in a group that now consists of about 18 members. We have covered a number of genres in our book selections, including classical and contemporary literature, fantasy and sci-fi, biographies, non-fiction, comedies and graphic novels. In many cases, it has been a great way to read something that you would otherwise have never even picked up at a bookshop or library. Since I moved overseas in 2001, I have been a member 'by correspondence'. I have continued to read most of the books, after which I send my thoughts to the group via email. It has been a great way to maintain a presence in the group, although I am not physically able to attend most of the meetings. What I have missed, however, is being involved in the discussion, and to hear what other members thought of the book. Or at least that was the case, until now. Just recently, the Page Turners blog was established, where members of the group can post a comment on the book we have just read (and discussed). Already, there have been several posts on the books of the last 2 months, and it has been great to be able to read the impressions/interpretations of others. I'm certainly looking forward to more comments on the future book selections in the months to come.