The Material Science and Engineering (MSE) is one of the biggest English speaking congresses with technical exhibition in the field of materials science and engineering in Europe. Organized by the German Materials Society (DGM - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Materialkunde) in alternating cooperation with a guest country, the MSE takes place in Germany at the Darmstadt University of Technology in a two-year cycle (on even years).
DGM Press: Prof. Barbero, could you please briefly introduce yourself to our materials science and engineering community?
I made my Ph.D. in electrochemical materials science in Argentina (1988) and then I stay for 6 years as researcher at Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland) working in electrochemical devices for alternative energy. Coming back to Argentina I build a group working in materials science (conducting polymers, carbon materials, hydrogels) and a research program which have formed 16 Ph.D. students, produced more than 150 publications and several patents.
DGM Press: Do you see that the cooperation with Argentina can be the beginning of a future scientific exchange between both countries?
Cooperation with research groups have been always a key to the development of good science and technology in Argentina. I am sure that the same will apply for further cooperation in materials science. Argentina has shown a leading role in South America in basic science but it is more lacking in applied science and technology. The cooperation with DGM would help a lot to improve the status of materials science and technology in our country.
DGM Press: Prof. Barbero, is there any other joint work and/or cooperation taking place between Argentinean and German researchers in the field of material science?
There are several initiatives going on in materials science applied to alternative energy, advanced metallic materials, nanomaterials and biomaterials for biomedical applications, advanced characterization techniques, etc.
DGM Press: Prof. Barbero, are there DGM active members in Argentina (especially in your University)? If so, what is the estimated number of them?
In Argentina there are several active members of DGM linked to the partner society: Argentine Society of Materials (Sociedad Argentina de Materiales, SAM).
DGM Press: Prof. Barbero, would it be also conceivable that the DGM may be invited to Argentina as a guest country?
While SAM meetings do not have the mechanism of guest country, we have organized joint meeting with regional partners (Brazil, Chile) and it will be very interesting to do the same with DGM. Moreover, there is a frequent participation of German groups in SAM meetings showing the results of collaborative projects.
DGM Press: From your point of view, how would a successful MSE 2018 with Argentina look like and which criteria should the DGM take into consideration?
I think a strong participation of Argentine groups in the meeting and the possible conformation of new cooperation between German and Argentine groups will be a desirable outcome of the MSE 2018. Moreover, the sharing of experiences by DGM fellows with Argentine researchers in the effective ways to link the scientific-technological research with industry will be a great contribution/
In that sense, given the excellent development of material related SME in Germany, a sharing of experience in the building of companies and careers by German experts with young Argentine researchers would be an important initiative.
DGM Press: We would like to thank Prof. Barbero and Dr. Fischer for this interview and wish you a successful MSE 2018.