This year the ASITA conference was hosted by the University of Waterloo in Canada, and the organisation of the event was fantastic. The first day was a a selection of workshops, short courses and talks, the second day the talks continued and group discussions were held on a variety of topics, and the third day was vendor presentations, user group meetings and lab tours. Entertaining social events interspersed the conference and there was plenty of time for delegates to wander round the posters and vendor booths during break times, facilitating great discussion and debate.
ASITA is attended by instrumentation users, lab managers, technical staff, and researchers with an interest in technical developments. The short courses on the first day gave the delegates an overview of the history of IRMS, data processing, and introductions to GC- and EA-IRMS. This format gives the earlier career delegates a good introduction to techniques with which they may not be familiar and leads the narrative of the conference nicely into the scientific talks.
The talks and posters covered a wide range of sampling techniques and IRMS applications including food adulteration, anti-doping analyses, food web studies, ecosystems, soil sciences, atmospheric chemistry, petroleum contamination, biogeochemistry, and new data processing and data management systems. Many talks looked at instrumentation techniques and modifications, with more experienced users giving advice based on decades of experience to the younger generation. Vendor presentations then showcased the recent developments made by the manufacturers, including the new high sensitivity source from Sercon.
We had a great time at the conference, thanks to the University of Waterloo for hosting an excellent event, we look forward to seeing everyone in Washington next year.