IOP Ireland and Seagate Technology join forces to hold two-day conference

18 June 2015

IOP Ireland and Seagate Technology recently held a two-day conference and poster competition not far from the Giants’ Causeway in the north west of Northern Ireland. The meeting brought together over 90 academics, students and those involved in manufacturing and R+D to explore areas of magnetism, thin film deposition and plasma etching.

IOP Ireland and Seagate Technology conference

In addition to the very informative talks and presentations, a poster competition was held for post-graduate students. This proved to be very popular with delegates chatting around the posters for two hours. The runner-up, Raymond Lamb from the University of Glasgow, received a Seagate Wireless 500GB hard drive and the winner Cian McKeown of the University of Limerick, was the lucky recipient of a Seagate Seven  500GB Hard Drive, the world's thinnest 500GB portable hard drive. Presenting the awards was Damien Gallagher, Seagate’s executive engineering director.

IOP Ireland and Seagate Technology conference

Speakers included Gilles Cunge, Laboratoire des Technologies de la Microélectronique, Grenoble, Alan Hindmarch, Durham University, Jim Miles University of Manchester, Robert Bowman, ANSIN Queen’s University Belfast, Greg Hughes and Miles Turner, Dublin City University and Niall Lavery and Jiansheng Xu, Seagate Technology. The topics covered ranged from a review of the current nanoscale challenges in this area, the pathway to successful academic-industry partnerships, including the setting up of an ESPRC Centre for Doctoral Training at Queen’s University Belfast, and some detailed discussion on the novels methods of HAMR.

The explosive increase in demand for storage from mobile applications, cloud-computing infrastructures, social media, business applications and consumer markets is driving the need to develop new technology that can deliver greater storage capacity.

The delegates also enjoyed a tour of the Seagate manufacturing facility – an impressive 90,000 square feet of clean room.  Since 1993 Seagate has invested in excess of £1billion and is a major presence in the north-west, employing over 1,300 people.  The event was a first for Northern Ireland and will hopefully prove a good template for further business/academic interactions. Initial survey feedback indicates that delegates found the conference to be very worthwhile.