BLCS Outreach Fund

A new BLCS Outreach Fund has been setup. The Outreach Fund aims to support all outreach activities that involve, to a significant extent, liquid crystal science and applications. The fund is open to all members of the society allowing members up to £200 per year. For more information please see the opportunities page and application form.

Garry Lester raises LC awareness at the UNESCO day of light

16th May was the UNESCO day of light, one of the goals being to enhance public awareness of how light based technologies touch our daily lives.  16th May is also the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960.

To support the day of light ‘Lighting up the RAMM’ took place on the 18th May at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter.  Free and open to the public this drew in a diverse mixture of locals and visitors to the city; from professional scientists and engineers to young families.

Coordinated by (EUOPS) Exeter University Optics and Photonics Society there were a number of demonstrations throughout the museum covering Virtual Reality, hands on optical fibre and endoscopy demonstrations and Polarised Light.

In association with the IET and SPIE the BLCS supported display material and demonstrations of Light, Polarisation and LCDs.  A table top presentation by Garry Lester used desktop sheets with text and diagrams to provide a backdrop to hands on demonstrations of polarised light and applications.

Starting from what polarisation light is and where birefringence colours come from there were demonstrations of birefringence colours and stress birefringence as a diagnostic tool.  A demonstration with 3D glasses showed how polarisation is exploited in the cinema and the difference between projection systems using linear and circular polarisers.   A liquid crystal display with the polarisers removed emphasised the role of polarisation in our everyday displays.

Some of the material would be familiar to those who have attended the BLCS winter workshop over the years!

Even the most ‘unimpressed by science’ were, perhaps grudgingly, intrigued at being able to see the patterns of molecules moving in their hands through stress birefringence or the numbers on their calculator display only appearing ‘magically’ with polarisers.

For people interested on how the BLCS can support your outreach, please contact the any of the committee members.

Congratulations to Dr Apala Majumdar on winning National STEM award

Dr Apala Majumdar, EPSRC Research Fellow and Reader in Mathematical Sciences at the University of Bath, has been named winner of the Academic category of the 2019 FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards.

The annual national awards programme uncovers and celebrates the most inspirational women working within STEM industries and recognises their role in inspiring and supporting the next generation. Dr Apala Majumdar was one of three finalists for the Academic category of the annual awards programme, selected from a field of hundreds of applicants, chosen by a panel of senior technology leaders against criteria including career achievement, future potential and their commitment to supporting others in the industry.

Her research into the mathematics of material science, specifically into liquid crystals, aims to make LCD screens found in TVs and phones cheaper and more efficient. This is a fantastic achievement and well deserved recognition for all the hard work and dedication.

Date for the Diary: 2nd Photonic and Optoelectronic Materials 2019 Conference (POEM2019)

The conference will take place from 9th to 12th of April 2019 in University College London. The conference focus is to discuss the most critical technological advances and innovations in the field of novel photonic and optoelectronic materials and systems for a wide range of applications in communications, computations, energy harvesting, bio-chemical sensing and artificial intelligence. More information on can be found on the conference website here.

BLCS Annual Meeting 2019: abstract submission and registration now open.

Registration for the 35th Annual Conference of the British Liquid Crystal Society is now open. It will be held at Leeds University on 15th to 17th April 2019. Abstract submission and registration is done through the website: The Abstract Deadline is 24th February, and Early Bird Registration deadline is 17th March.



The organisers are delighted to invite registrants of BLCS to come on the 15th, for a special Symposium on Lyotropic Liquid Crystals (L3C). This event will be held in the same venue and starts in the morning of the 15th April, immediately prior to BLCS2019. The fee for this Symposium is included in the BLCS registration fee. Attendance at the Symposium alone is £40.


Professor Helen Gleeson receives the Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year Award 2018 from the Times Higher Education

We’re all very pleased to congratulate Helen Gleeson from the University of Leeds on the Times Higher Education Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year Award 2018 award. This award recognises the outstanding supervision and support she has provided to all her PhD students over the years. Since 1990, Professor Gleeson has supervised 31 PhD students, several of whom have gone on to work for world-leading technology companies or have become highly regarded academics leading their own research groups. Read more about the award here. Many congratulations.

Email messages post May 2018

If you are no longer receiving our news alerts via email it maybe because we no longer have your permission. GDPR came into force in May 2018 – this requires consented opt-in that you will have received an email about this. If you suspect you are not receiving emails please head to the Membership tab and sign up again making sure you tick the box for email consent, without this you will not receive our email news alerts.

Date for the Diary: Smart NanoMaterials 2018 10-13 December 2018

Internationally known experts, including industry leaders, will join the first European conference on Smart Nanomaterials to discuss the most critical technological advances, innovations and new practical applications in smart technologies.
SNAIA2018 will provide a unique platform to meet, share knowledge and establish links between experts from academia and industry in the emerging fields of Wearable (Opto)Electronics, CMOS Photonics, Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence, OptoGenetics, Smart Coatings and Thin Films. This conference will include a session on soft matter and liquid crystal nanomaterials.

The meeting is mainly organized under the auspice of the Royal Microscopical Society, UK, and the European Microscopy Society. For more information please see here or view the conference website.

Date for the Diary: IoP one day meeting on magnetic resonance spectroscopy in honour of Professors Jim Emsley and Geoffrey Luckhurst – 25 June 2018

This year sees the 50th year of Professor Jim Emsley and Professor Geoffrey Luckhurst career in Chemistry at the University of Southampton. To mark this there is to be a special meeting arranged by the IoP on magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The meeting is being held at the University of Southampton on 25th June 2018, all are welcome. Further details of the meeting can be found here.

Date for the Diary: One day SID technical meeting: 50 years of LCD Research, 7 June 2018

This is a one day technical meeting titled 50 years of LCD Research. The meeting will take place on Thursday 7th June 2018 at the Royal Academy of Engineering, London. The event has notable speakers such as Cyril Hilsum, Martin Schadt, Peter Raynes, Phil Bos and Henning Sirringhaus plus will include the SID UK and Ireland Chapter Annual General Meeting. See here for programme, venue and registration details or visit the website.

Programme updated 06/06/2018