The International Conference on Aluminium Alloys 18 (ICAA18) took place in Toyama Japan on the 4th- 8th September. This was the 18th ICAA in the conference series which has been running since it was first hosted in Charlottesville in 1986. The ICAA18 is the largest aluminium focused international conference in the world and had a total of 410 delegates, with over 200 oral and poster presentations. The host city of Toyama is located two hours north of Tokyo and is famous for its stunning mountainous countryside. Toyama is a centre for aluminium within Japan which made it the perfect location for the ICAA18.

Toyama castle grounds.

The focus of the conference was ‘Aluminium and Its Alloys for a Zero Carbon Society’ which is an important and current global topic. Many of the presentations and keynote speaker talks centred on sustainability and introduced novel ideas on the forefront of science and technology around this topic.

Nine postdoctoral researchers, PhD students and lecturers from the University of Manchester gave presentations on a wide range of topics including, heat treatment, precipitation, mechanical properties, advanced processing, modelling, simulations, and corrosion. The presentations were well received and sparked interesting discussion with the rest of the international research community. For many of us this was the first in-person conference since the Covid-19 pandemic, it allowed for bonding and networking with the wider research community in a way that wasn’t possible in online conferences. 

On the last day of the conference a banquet was held for the ICAA18 participants. The banquet was initiated by traditional Japanese music and dancing. During the banquet we were able to try some outstanding food and drink showcasing the best of Toyama’s local produce including fresh fish and sake.

ICAA18 conference banquet.

During the evenings after the conference, we were able to explore Toyama and try some local food including sushi and yakatori (barbequed meat skewers). The evening was a great time to relax and network with other conference participants over a drink.

The University of Manchester crew and new friends enjoying a drink after the conference.

The ICAA18 was a wonderful conference that coupled in-depth scientific discussion on the forefront of aluminium research with the unique and enjoyable experience of visiting Toyama. The LightForm delegates gave excellent, insightful presentations which highlighted the ground-breaking research conducted at the university. The conference was a wonderful event, and enabled us to network with other aluminium researchers from all over the world and was a terrific way to share new ideas. The next ICAA will be at Atlanta in 2024 and hopefully I will get to attend the conference again!

Written by Elliot Cooksey-Nash.