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Optimal design of soft matter - including a celebration of Women in Materials Science (WMS)


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13th May 2019 to 17th May 2019
Miha Ravnik
Randall Kamien
Apala Majumdar
Peter Palffy-Muhoray

Scientific committee: Mike Cates, Randal Kamien, Apala Majumdar, Monica Olvera de la Cruz, Peter Palffy-Muhoray, Miha Ravnik, Julia Yeomans

Workshop Theme

Soft matter systems range from fluids, colloids, to active and biological matter. Such materials have prominent role in Nature and are key to various applications used in our daily lives, from rubbers, paints, adhesives, displays to biological elements and biopharmaceuticals. Modern soft matter is starting to get into the capacity that desired material properties can be controllably designed, with design routes including self-assembly, microfluidics, micro manipulation, genetic encoding, and other.  Can such design routes be optimized? Can one design “optimal matter”, of course for some application? Are there mathematical and other tools and methodologies that can lead in such optimal design?

The goal of this workshop is to address challenges in the optimal design of soft matter, identifying the most productive directions for research and applications and discussing the development of new methodological approaches. The workshop will bring together scientists of various backgrounds –from physics, mathematics, engineering, to chemistry- to discuss and work in this one week in the stimulating environment of Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge. The program will consist of invited talks, contributed talks, and posters.

The proportion of women working in selected areas of materials science significantly exceeds the proportion of women working in mathematics more broadly and in recognition of this, we have embedded a Celebration of Women in Materials Science (WMS) programme into this workshop. Finally, the optimal design of matter -in general- is a topic of growing interest and this workshop aims to contribute to future spectacular advances in the world of complex materials.


Deadline for applications: 10th February 2019

A poster session will be organized during the workshop. Only registered participants can apply to present their work during this poster session.

DNM programme participants DO NOT need to apply, programme participants with visit dates during DNMW03 will automatically be added to the attendee list.

Please note members of Cambridge University are welcome to turn up and sign in as a non-registered attendee on the day(s) during the workshop and attend the lecture(s). Please note that we cannot provide you with any support including name badge, meals or accommodation.

In addition to visiting the INI, there are multiple ways in which you can participate remotely.

Apply now


Registration Only    
  • Registration Package: £205
  • Student Registration Package: £155
  • Wednesday only registration package: £80

The Registration Package includes admission to all seminars, lunches and refreshments on the days that lectures take place (Monday - Friday), wine reception and formal dinner, but does not include other meals or accommodation.

Formal Dinner Only
  • Formal Dinner: £50

Participants on the Accommodation Package or Registration Package, including organisers and speakers, are automatically included in this event. For all remaining participants who would like to attend, such as programme participants, the above charge will apply.


Unfortunately we do not have any accommodation to offer so all successful applicants will need to source their own accommodation.  Please see the Hotels Combined website for a list of local hotels and guesthouses.



Lunch timings and location will be confirmed with timetable.

Evening Meal

Participants are free to make their own arrangements for dinner.

Formal Dinner

The Formal Dinner will take place at Clare College on Wednesday 15th May. Participants on the Accommodation Package or Registration Package, including organisers and speakers, are automatically included in this event.

University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons