La cristallographie au coeur de toutes les sciences

label_draft_v.2.0Great success for the IUCr-UNESCO OpenLab Algeria, which was held at the Université frères Mentouri in Constantine from 9 to 14 May 2015 and organized in partnership with Bruker. A total of 80 students (40 from Constantine and 40 from other Algerian as well as Tunisian and Moroccan universities) have attended the OpenLab, which also included several hands-on tutorials and the exhibition "Voyage dans le Cristal".
Click here to download the programme book of the event. A photo gallery will be available soon.

This school was organized in the format of an OpenLab, within the scope of the International Year of Crystallography celebrations. It was sponsored by the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) and actively supported by the Bruker AXS company and the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC).


The school was open to all researchers from the Maghreb and the rest of Africa, and most particularly to PhD students who are regular users of crystallography in their research work, and to young crystallography professors.

Due to space limitations, the workshops were restricted to 80 registered PhD students.  The geographic student distribution was the following: 12 foreigners from Africa (including citizens of the Maghreb), 28 Algerians not from Constantine and 40 from the Université de Constantine.


Lectures and seminars were open to the general public, in particular to M.Sc. students of all areas of chemistry (60 students).  Raising awareness about crystallography among the students in their final year in the Master program, and refreshing the crystallography knowledge of all the staff involved in using crystallographic methods as their main analytical tool were some of the main objectives that the school aimed at.  Many people who had already some knowledge in crystallography participated, and we spared no effort to spread knowledge of this science around, beyond our fellow crystallographers.

Training personnel

Teaching and training was carried out by local specialists and invited distinguished crystallographers. Overall, 10 foreign invited guests, 10 invited Algerians (all of which are crystallography professors and members of the Algerian Association of Crystallography) and 20 crystallographers from CHEMS, our research unit, combined their efforts to provide the required teaching and training. 


The first day started with the opening ceremony and presentations for the dissemination of the science of crystallography to the general public, including a description of the history of crystallography, its evolution and its importance in research and in industry. One of the highlights of the first day was the award ceremony for the winners of the crystal growing competition for middle school and high school students.

The program of the other days consisted in seminars, lectures and workshops.  Eminent scientists presented the cutting edge developments in crystallography.

Shows, on display in a hall of the building reserved for the OpenLab, were accessible at all times during the week.  The following topics were presented:

  • a voyage back in time to show the equipment and ancillary devices used by crystallographers throughout the history of this science;
  • a voyage in the crystal in order to make the onlooker discover the multiple facets of  crystals, not just literally, but also their beauty, their many marvels, in science for their contribution to the understanding of the structure of matter and of life itself, and an incredible material for its numerous application in modern life;
  • a display of works, related to the structure of crystals, made by high school and middle school students in the scope of a design competition (various objects: ornaments, drawings, models, designs, …).

Other activities undertaken by our research unit CHEMS

The activities undertaken by our research unit CHEMS in order to promote the science of crystallography were not limited to the one week school described above.  Three other events were organized, solely in 2014:

(1) With the support of the Université de Constantine, we celebrated the international year of crystallography by organizing open houses.  Inauguration took place in March 2014, when the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research came to do the unveiling. (2) Open houses also took place in April 2014, (3) followed in combination by the Student Day on May 19, 2014.  On this occasion, we were honored by the presence of the General Secretary of the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, together with the General Director of Scientific Research and Technological Development.

Professeur Hocine Merazig
Chef de division et de l'Equipe de Chimie inorganique et Diffraction des rayons X
Unité de Recherche de Chimie de l'Environnement
et Moléculaire Structurale, CHEMS
Faculté des Sciences Exactes 
Université Constantine 1
Chaabet Ersas  
Route Ain El Bey BP 325
25017 Algérie
Tel et Fax: +213 (0) 31 818 601, Mob. +213 (0) 667 639  784