Recently, I have had the chance to participate in a workshop about EPMA, an instrument I have not had any prior experience with. The event was organised by the Assistant Professor Ioannis Baziotis and was hosted by AUA, in Athens, Greece.
The workshop gave an overview of the basics of the technique so that an audience of both experienced and inexperienced participants could follow. Participants were encouraged to ask questions and the overall atmosphere was friendly and open to discussion. Examples of EPMA applications were presented and recent developments by Dr Pierre Lanari and Dr Ery Hughes from the University of Bern and Caltech respectively. The former provided a tutorial about the use of XMapTools while the latter talked about the advantages and limitations of the technique.
As part of the workshop, an archaeologist showed the participants around in the Athens historical city centre while walking to dinner. That was a unique cultural experience as many of the participants visited Greece for the first time. The audience comprised of 15 people from 12 countries and 5 continents.
The participants have had the opportunity to visit the sample preparation labs, the EPMA instrument, and other equipment owned by the department (ICP-OES, single crystal XRD etc.). There are plans to make this meeting annual. It is a workshop recommended to any student and researcher regardless of their background.
The European Association of Geochemistry (EAG) co-sponsored my participation.