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Graz, ISO and bird nests

28 June 2012 No Comment

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The ISO particle characterization technical committee is actually a subcommittee…

SC4 of ISO TC24 being that subcommittee. TC24 is “particle characterization including sieving”. SC4 is that part that isn’t concerned with sieves. It is the most active subcommittee of TC24 with 55 published standards and 34 in development. This subcommittee has been responsible over the years for standards such as 13320 (laser diffraction), 13321 and 22412 (DLS) and 14488 (sampling). Not to mention 13322-1 and 13322-2 (static and dynamic image analysis). As you’d expect it’s made up mainly of a bunch of grey haired, cobwebbed old men like me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the twice-yearly meetings are held in conjunction with a major particle characterization or major exhibition event (e.g. Partec, Nürnberg; PSA , UK; Pittcon, USA; Powtex, Japan). This is why many of the smaller countries have never hosted an event. In 2012 the group travelled to the city of Graz, Austria for the first time. The meeting was wonderfully hosted by Anton-Paar who even had an ISO roll specifically made for the event:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As well as the working group meetings there’s a chance to reconnect with old friends and colleagues especially if they’re staying in the same hotel. I stayed in the hotel (Paradies) that hosts the Arnold Schwarzenegger museum and on the Sunday before the meeting I met up with 2 US friends to visit the historical city of Graz. There was also the opportunity to meet with my old friend and colleague, Engelbert Prager who is the owner of our distributor in Austria, Prager Electronik. I had the chance to give a seminar entitled “Standardization in Nanotechnology” at the University of Graz generously hosted by Professor Andreas Zimmer:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s so much to see in Graz that I would have liked to have had a week to explore it rather than just one day. However, in my view, there is one activity that is a ‘must do’ – and that is to take a walk up Schlossberg or ‘Castle Hill’ in English. This is the highest point in the city and thus gives superb views in all directions. And on the Sunday it was virtually people-free. Schlossberg is a hill surrounded by park and woodland and the exercise was well-appreciated even though we gained only a few hundred feet of height to get to the lofty summit at 1230 feet (375 meters) – just short of North Hill and the Worcestershire Beacon on the Malvern Hills (397 and 425 meters respectively). And being spring time the birds were nesting and a great opportunity to see nuthatch (there’s only 1 European type as opposed to the 2 we have in New England) and greater spotted woodpecker:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s these little bits of pleasure that make the rest of the working week so pleasant.