As the Business Manager for Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) I have seen a huge increase in the level of interest in EBSD over recent years, in both research and industrial laboratories. This is combined with an increasing number of applications where EBSD is applied to understand and characterize ever more complex materials.
I believe this increase in popularity is driven by several factors. Firstly, we have continued to develop our EBSD system so that it offers significant benefits in terms of ease of use and efficiency. But, also as the technique becomes more widespread, more scientists see the value it can add to their work. The obvious result is the EBSD community is growing, and as such it is no longer purely the domain of a few experts, but is one of a range analytical tools used during SEM investigations.
For us, it is important that we ensure that our EBSD community is well-equipped to get the best out of their system. We aim to achieve this in a number of ways; through the integrated help in our AZtec system, via local and on-site training courses, webinars and one of the most powerful; through User Meetings.
Our user meetings combine both the opportunity to learn from our in-house specialists and recognised global experts. The agenda includes formal presentations both invited and submitted, plus less formal breakout workshops and discussion sessions. In addition, there is plenty of opportunity for networking and catching up with the other attendees.
In previous meetings the breakout sessions have covered a wealth of hot topics from sample preparation, optimising TKD analysis on your system, through basic and advanced data analysis. The feedback we have had on these sessions has always been hugely positive. They have offered a huge opportunity for information exchange and helped to grow an active EBSD network.
The planning for our next user meeting is now underway. We have booked Schloss Reinhartshausen 45km from Frankfurt airport. The dates are from 30th September to 2nd October. The meeting will start at 13:00 on the 30th, so there is time to travel to the venue in the morning, and it will finish at 12:00 on the 2nd October.
The location looks fabulous; it is a stunning location, with picturesque grounds, and many leisure facilities, such as a swimming pool and games room. The package we have is all-inclusive, so the cost for registering for the meeting includes all accommodation, food and drink. Planning the meeting over two nights means that there is plenty of opportunity to socialise and relax with your colleagues and peers, as well as time to share your latest EBSD experiences.
I anticipate for this meeting we will have a significant focus on the step change in hardware performance delivered by the application of CMOS technology in EBSD detectors. We will include a session on how this CMOS technology has revolutionised our analysis, and how best to optimise your work flow with the Symmetry detector. I am also planning to have a workshop session on some exciting new data analysis software that we are working on, called AZtec ICE.
The other great opportunity at these user meetings is for us to get feedback from you on the product. We are always keen to know what works for you and what doesn’t. This feedback will be especially beneficial for newer products like AZtec ICE, where as part of our development cycle we are in the process of deciding what features to put into this new product next.
I hope that at this meeting we will see many of our existing community, those who have been to our previous meeting and also newer customers. If you want to make the most out of your system, then register your interest.
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We look forward to seeing you in September.