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NAO Family: Strengthening network and friendship to overcome challenges

A recap of our most recent NAO Family Days in March 2015.


NAO Family Days in 2015 took place on Innovation Campus Asia Pacific of BASF in Shanghai on March 23rd and 24th. This time we were also honored by the visit/participation of Dr. Harald Lauke, the President of Advanced Materials & Systems Research.  On the day, NAO sounding board, BASF scientists and NAO professors along with the students got together and exchanged innovative ideas about the ongoing collaboration projects and future prospect on the application of advanced functional materials. The NAO event not only widens the knowledge scope of the top-notch PhD and Postdocs in leading Asia-Pacific universities, but also acts as a catalyst to facilitate the cutting-edge materials processing technologies stepping out from the laboratory to the industry and market.

The event was opened by Dr. Sébastien Garnier, Senior Manager of Scouting and Open Research and Dr. Jens Rieger, Senior Vice President of Advanced Materials & System Research, followed by the presentation from Dr. Peiwen Sun, Technical Director of Procter&Gamble, which introduced P&G’s practice of Open Innovation. Then Professor Myung Mo Sung from Hanyang University demonstrated his ongoing research in the area of nano hybrid thin film. 15 NAO students presented their research projects. There was active discussion with the professors and BASF scientists after each presentation. The relaxed atmosphere of the lunch break combined with the poster session stimulated interesting ideas and discussions between NAO professors/ students and BASF representatives to communicate on the projects and BASF’s further technique needs.


The second day of the NAO Family Days started with the opportunity to gain deeper insights into BASF, with five presentations from BASF scientists on diverse topics. One of the most remarkable presentations was given by Dr. Hoang Trang Tran-Thien, who introduced the BASF care materials research. She illustrated the role of shampoo in cleaning hairs, which triggered an intensive discussion about the removal mechanisms and several sharp questions regarding the hidden chemistry background. Afterwards the students were splitted into two groups and participated in team building games. Students may have different personalities as well as opinions, but in the end the winning group showed an interactive teamwork paired with effective communication. In the afternoon the students were invited to visit two production plants: the Acronol Plant and Epoxy Plant, which gave the students a great opportunity to experience the industrial production process.


Last but not the least the NAO students competed in a Wechat multiple choice quiz related to the technical contents of the polymer materials presentations earlier that day. Mr. Yanlu Zhang, winning 7 out of 15 questions, said that the NAO program was an invaluable platform to know more about teambuilding, effective communication and state-of-art technologies on an industrial level: “For those aiming for a successful career and dreaming of becoming a professional R&D engineer, NAO is the best starting point”.