The 42nd International Symposium on High Performance Liquid Phase Separations and Related Techniques took place in Geneva, June 21-25 2015. As at all recent HPLC symposia there was a Best Poster Award competition which was sponsored by Agilent Technologies. Also like in previous years, I had the privilege to organize the poster reviews and selection of awardees.

Of around 600 submitted posters approx. 300 authors have opted to participate in the Best Poster Award competition.  This number had to be reduced to the 10 best, who were rewarded with the Best Poster Award certificate and a cash prize of 500 Euro. 

Due to space limitations, all posters presented were divided into two groups, PSA- and PSB-series. Posters in the PSA-series were on display Monday and Tuesday; posters in the PSB-series were on display Wednesday and Thursday. There were three poster sessions every day (but for the last day Thursday). Authors were asked to be at their poster at designated sessions.

 For the review, the posters on each series were subdivided into 9 resp. 10 groups. The posters in each group were evaluated by two jurors. I have asked every group to nominate 1 poster in the group reviewed for final round evaluation. Since not all groups were equal sized, the reviewers with larger groups were allowed to nominate 2 candidates for final round evaluation. Vice-versa reviewers were also allowed to refrain from a nomination in case they regarded appropriate.

I have asked the reviewers to specifically evaluate the poster contributions according to three criteria

  • Inspiration – creativity, newness, uniqueness, originality
  • Scope – extend of work, experimental execution, completeness of the work
  • Presentation – use of visuals and text, overall readability, author’s explanations 

Eventually I received 10 nominations for final round evaluation from the PSA- and from the PSB-series each. These authors were invited to present their work in a short oral presentation on Wednesday and Thursday morning. View the nominations of the PSA-series and PSB-series.These short oral poster presentations were attended by another group of peers who gave me their personal ranking of the presentation. The picture below was taken during the Wednesday short oral poster presentation. 

Short oral poster presentation

The number of jurors in this session was large enough to obtain a good average rank for every presenter by combination of all the ranks. Nevertheless, as with Murphy's law "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong….." after combination of all rankings, two authors in the PSB-series of posters came in equal on rank 5 and 6. For that reason and after consultation with the symposium chairman Prof. Hopfgartner and the HPLC symposium PSC chairmen, the award sponsor Agilent Technologies agreed to add an additional 500 € so to have six awards for the PSB-series of posters.  You will find the names of the awarded authors in the PDF copy of my presentation during the award ceremony here.

I owe the reviewers in the poster and oral sessions a great thank you in doing their review job expediently and delivery of their results timely. You will find their names also in the PDF-copy of the presentation during the award ceremony. Finally I also want to express a great thank you to Bertrand Joehr of the PCO Symporg SA for excellent administrative support.

On the picture below you will find the awardees lined up as they were called.

From right to left: Prof. Gerard Hopfgartner, Tim Causon, University of Nat. Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Markus Höldrich, University of Tübingen, Maud Bonichon, CNRS- ESPCI ParisTech, Piotr Alvarez, University of Ghent, Jelle De Vos, Free University of Brussels, Henrik Cornelisson-van-de-Ven, University of Amsterdam, Karen Kwok, Hongkong Jockey Club, Yuki Hiruta, Keio University, Tobias Bruderer, Geneva University, Mike De Vrieze, University of Ghent, Diego García-Gómez, ETH Zurich.