112 gathered at Ho Chi Minh City for the OpenLab Vietnam

label_draft_v.2.0The IUCr-UNESCO OpenLab Vietnam, organized in partnership with Bruker, was held at the Chemistry Department of the VNUHCM-University of Science and the MANAR Centre in conjunction with IYCr2014 from December 8 to 12, 2014, with the purpose of promoting crystallographic teaching and research in South-East Asia.

The Opening Ceremony on Monday, December 8 was chaired by Prof. Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai, Dean of the Chemistry Department of the VNUHCM-US, and a welcome speeches was given by Prof. Vu Hai Quan, Vice-President of the VNUHCM-US. After the opening session, Prof. Luc Van Meervelt started his intensive crystallography course on symmetry, X-ray diffraction and single crystal structure determination and refinement. The afternoons of the first three days were mainly dedicated to further exercises, supervised by Dr. Nguyen Bich Ngan (Hanoi), on point, plane and space groups, structure factor calculations and a number of demonstrations such as Fourier transform and the use of the Cambridge Structural Database.

During the last two days, the participants visited the MANAR Centre in smaller groups where they could assist at a demonstration of crystal mounting and data collection and had the opportunity to collect diffraction data of their own crystals. In addition, also the data reduction, structure elucidation and refinement steps were introduced by Dr. Thanh-Ha Nguyen (Bruker AXS Singapore) and Prof. Bohari Bin Mohd (Malaysia) during hands-on training sessions.

Participants at the IYCr2014 OpenLab Vietnam

During this five-day course, the lecturers intended to introduce the main aspects of a single-crystal structure determination and at the end each participant was able to solve and interpret independently a crystal structure as well as preparing CIF files for publication. In total 112 participants have attended the course, including 12 international guests (Thailand, Malaysia, Canada), 12 from outside Ho Chi Minh City and 84 from different institutes and universities in Ho Chi Minh City. Thanks to the financial support by IUCr, MANAR Centre and VNUHCM-University of Science, the OpenLab Vietnam could be organized succesfully and participants were very enthousiastic when they received their certificates during the Closing Ceremony.

Nguyen Tuyet Phuong (Ho Chi Minh City) and Luc Van Meervelt (KU Leuven)