HERALD ECI event on "Career Development"


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The HERALD – Hooking together European research activity in Atomic Layer Deposition – COST action (MP1402) aims to structure and integrate European research activity in atomic layer deposition (ALD), bringing together existing groups, promoting young scientists and reaching out to industry and the public. In 2016, a network was formed within HERALD for Early Career Investigators (ECIs) to promote the next generation of ALD scientists and help them to establish themselves as research leaders in the ALD community. Broadening out the COST definition of ECI, the network welcomes investigators from within a year of submitting their PhD dissertation to PhD +10 years - however, these are not strict limits.


In collaboration with COST action HERALD, Ghent University will host the 2nd HERALD Early Career Investigators (ECIs) Network event, which will be held on August 28-29, 2017. The aim of this lunch-to-lunch meeting is to bring together members of the network and exchange ideas and experiences on the challenges that come with establishing ourselves as a (prospective) research group leader. We have also invited some successful and established leaders in the field who will share their experiences and give advices on how to build a successful career path to full research independency. The meeting will offer opportunities for networking and discussions among the network members and invited speakers.

Monday August 28th 2017

12:00 – 13:00     Registration and Lunch
13:00 – 13:15     Opening and welcome remarks

13:15 – 13:45     Introduction of the participants (tour de table)

13:45 – 14:15     Prof. Markku Leskelä
14:15 – 14:45     Prof. Erwin Kessels

14:45 – 15:00     Questions for Markku and Erwin

15:00 – 15:30     Coffee Break

15:30 – 16:00     Prof. Christophe Detavernier
16:00 – 16:30     Prof. Julien Bachmann
16:30 – 16:45     Questions for Christophe and Julien

16:45 – 18:00     Session: Developing a scientific vision *

19:30 – 23:00     Dinner in the center of Ghent (Sponsor: Oxford Instruments)

Tuesday August 29th 2017

09:00 – 10:00     Session: Writing successful proposals *

10:00 – 10:30     Coffee Break

10:30 – 11:30     Session: Building an academic CV *
11:30 – 12:00     Brainstorm: future plans of HERALD ECI network

12:00 – 13:30     Lunch

* Discussion sessions based on questions presented by the organizing committee & ECI participants: subgroup discussions followed by a room-wide discussion.

Invited Speakers

 Prof. Julien Bachmann, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)

Julien Bachmann studied chemistry at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and graduated with a Diplôme de chimiste in 2001 working under Carlo Floriani on the synthesis of coordination compounds reactive to dinitrogen. He then joined Dan Nocera’s group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA to prepare and investigate novel molecules able to store electrons at both a transition metal ion and an organic site. After obtaining his Ph.D. degree in Inorganic Chemistry from MIT in 2006, Julien moved with a Humboldt Fellowship to the department led by Ulrich Gösele at the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics in Germany to learn the chemistry and physics of solids. He worked as a postdoc at the University of Hamburg with Kornelius Nielsch for two years, and obtained an Assistant Professor position in physics and chemistry in Hamburg in October 2009. In October 2012, he started as an Associate Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. Julien was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2015.

 Prof. Christophe Detavernier (Ghent University)

Christophe Detavernier obtained his Ph.D. degree in Physics at Ghent University in 2001. He worked as a postdoc at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center for two years, where he acquired experience with material research within an industrial context. In 2005, he joined the Department of Solid State Sciences at Ghent University as a research professor and founded the research group CoCooN (Conformal Coating of Nanomaterials). His research focuses on thin film material research, including (1) ALD for the deposition of nanocoatings on nanomaterials and nanostructured surfaces, (2) combinatorial thin-film depositions for efficient screening of compositional material libraries, and (3) development of in situ characterization methods during deposition and annealing of thin films. The CoCooN research group pioneered the use of synchrotron-based techniques for the study of ALD processes. Christophe was awarded an ERC Starting Grant in 2010 and an ERC Proof of Concept grant in 2014 for conformal coating of nanoporous materials by means of ALD. He has co-authored over 300 papers and is co-inventor of 14 patent applications.

 Prof. Erwin Kessels (Eindhoven University of Technology)

Erwin Kessels is a full professor at the Department of Applied Physics of the Eindhoven University of Technology TU/e (The Netherlands). He is also the scientific director of the NanoLab@TU/e facilities which provides clean room infrastructure for R&D in nanotechnology. Erwin received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics from the TU/e in 1996 and 2000, respectively. His doctoral thesis work was partly carried out at the University of California Santa Barbara and as a postdoc he was affiliated to the Colorado State University and Philipps University in Marburg (Germany). He was appointed assistant professor at the TU/e in 2002. In 2004/2005 he spent a six-month sabbatical at the University of California Berkeley. He received a NWO Vici grant in 2010 to set up a large research program on “nanomanufacturing” in order to bridge the gap between nanoscience/nanotechnology and industrial application. He was appointed full professor in 2011. Within the field of ALD, he has contributed most prominently by his work on plasma-assisted ALD, his research related to ALD for photovoltaics, and ALD for nanopatterning (including area-selective ALD). Erwin chaired the International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition in 2008 (Bruges, Belgium), has won several awards (including the Peter Mark Memorial Award from the American Vacuum Society in 2007) and he has published over 250 papers and holds 3 patents.

 Prof. Markku Leskelä (University of Helsinki)

Markku Leskelä is professor of inorganic chemistry at University of Helsinki since 1990. He is also the director of Finnish Centre of Excellence in Atomic Layer Deposition (2012-2017). Markku received his M.Sc. degree in 1974 and Ph.D. in 1980 from Helsinki University of Technology, both in inorganic chemistry. During 1980-86 he worked as associate professor in University of Oulu and during 1986-1990 as professor in University of Turku. He has worked as a visiting scientist or professor in University of Utrecht (1983), University of Florida (1987-88) and University of Paris VI (1999). His research activities include thin films and other nanostructured materials made by various chemical methods for various applications in micro- and optoelectronics. His other research topic is catalysis where the focus is in activation of small molecules by metal complexes in homogeneous systems. He has published over 650 peer reviewed papers, 60 reviews, over 90 conference proceedings papers and holds several patents. In 2004 he was nominated as ISI Highly Cited Author in the field of materials science. In 2012 Markku received the American Vacuum Society ALD award.


The program is designed for ECI’s who have decided to pursue a career in academia and who are or soon will be on their way to full research independency. Participation is free of charge and includes lunches and coffee breaks. The dinner is sponsored by Oxford Instruments.

Online registration is closed. Please contact Jolien.Dendooven@UGent.be for late registrations.

Travel grants

We are pleased to announce that the HERALD Cost Action has provided support for 8 travel grants of 600 euro each. There are still travel grants available for ECI's from Inclusiveness Target Countries. To apply for a travel grant and register for the workshop, please send an email to Jolien.Dendooven@UGent.be.


The closest airport to Ghent is Brussels National Airport (BRU), a.k.a. Zaventem, 42 miles/67 kilometers from Ghent. There are direct flights to all major European cities several times per day.

The most convenient way to get from Brussels National Airport to Ghent is by train. The airport train station is located on level -1 of the terminal. The departure station is Brussels Airport-Zaventem (Brussel-Nat-Luchthaven in Dutch or Bruxelles-Nat.-Aéroport in French). The destination station is called Gent Sint-Pieters (or Gand St.-Pierre in French). Tickets can be bought in the train station for about 16 euros per person for a one-way ticket. There are 3 trains per hour to Ghent, 1 of which is a direct fast train (54 min), 1 of which is a slow direct train (1 h 22 min), and 1 of which requires a connection in Brussels-South (Brussel-Zuid in Dutch or Bruxelles-Midi in French) (about 1 h). An online route planner can be found here.


The workshop takes place at the historic setting of Het Pand in the city of Ghent, Belgium.

Het Pand, Ghent University
Onderbergen 1
9000 Gent, Belgium

By public transport:
  • From station Gent Sint-Pieters:
    Tram 1 (every 6 minutes) or tram 24 (every 20 minutes). Exit at Korenmarkt.
  • From Gent Zuid:
    Tram 4 (every 6 minutes), tram 24 (every 20 minutes) or bus 17 (every 30 minutes). Exit at Korenmarkt.
By Car:
  • Follow the parking signage to parking P7 Sint-Michiels. The parking is located at 50 meter from Het Pand. Take the exit Onderbergen and you come out in the wilderoosstraat, opposite Het Pand.
  • An alternative parking is P8 Ramen. From here it's about 5 minutes on foot to Het Pand.


Department of Solid State Sciences, Ghent University
Krijgslaan 281 - Building S1
9000 Gent, Belgium
Phone: +32 (0)9 264 85 72
E-mail: Jolien.Dendooven@UGent.be

The HERALD ECI committee: heraldeci@gmail.com
Jolien Dendooven
Adrie Mackus
Ville Miikkulainen
Henrik Pedersen


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