Syntactic and Composite Foams V

An ECI Conference Series

March 26-31, 2017
Grand Hotel Minareto
Siracusa, Italy

Preliminary Program

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About This Conference

Syntactic foams and rigid polymer, metal, and ceramic foams containing a reinforcing and/or functional phase are the intended focus of this conference. These foams are typically used in applications that take advantage of their low density, very high specific properties, tailored pore structure, enhanced energy absorption characteristics, and flame retardant properties.

The scope of the conference will include fabrication, characterization, modeling, and applications of the foams; the production and characterization of reinforcing and functional materials specifically used for these foams (i.e. hollow spheres, micro/nanoparticles, particles with specific electric, magnetic, dielectric properties, thermal, biological, etc.).  SCF-V will include a new session topic: Renewables and Sustainability.  This will include the used of bio-based renewable material in foam formulations, “light-weighting” application for improved energy efficiency as well as well as important application of composite foams in renewable energy applications.

Work in syntactic foams has expanded over the past three decades or so from its inception with two-phase polymer matrix foams based upon hollow glass or polymer spheres for applications in the marine and submarine industry. Today, the field has expanded to include polymer, metal and ceramic hollow spheres and matrices. In addition, with fibers, nanoparticles and interstitial voids engineered into these materials, three and four-phase materials are now possible.  Composite foams have grown out of conventional blown polymer foams to now include the addition of diverse functional elements, resulting in complex microstructures that can be engineered to meet specific applications. Also, blown polymer foams are now used as precursor structures for metal and ceramic composite foams and advances in production techniques for the various component materials have resulted in advances in the mechanical, acoustic and thermal properties of these foams that have dramatically broadened their applications.

Thus by incorporating hollow and solid particles, nanoparticles, fibers, and specialized foaming agents, coupled with novel processing techniques, foams with unique and tailored properties can be attained. Because of such innovations, the role of syntactic and composite foams has expanded into the aerospace, automotive, communications, biomedical, electronics, sporting, and transportation industries.

History:  The first international conference on Syntactic and Composite Foams (SCF-I), under the auspices of ECI, Inc. was held in Banff, Canada in August,  2004 and was quite successful. Manufacturers of syntactic foam components had the opportunity to interact with applications specialists and academicians and numerous connections and collaborative efforts have ensued. The papers presented at the conference were published, after peer review, in a special issue of the Journal of Materials Science. The second conference in this series (SCF-II), sponsored by ECI, was held in Davos, Switzerland in 2007. That was also a very successful meeting and the papers presented at the conference were again published in Journal of Materials Science. SCF-III, held in Calabria, Italy in 2011, was the third in this series; it provided a continued forum for discussions in this rapidly growing field of syntactic foams and composite foams.  Although all of the SCF conferences have demonstrated the essence of the camaraderie that an ECI format can bring; SCF-IV in Santa Fe, NM, USA stood above the rest.  There was an extraordinary amount of interaction during the presentations, social events, and free-time. The proposed SCF-V will build on the foundation from the previous four.

Outline of Conference:  The conference is designed to be multi-disciplinary in nature to encourage participation from universities, industry (research and manufacturing), and government labs. The session outline below is very general and will be refined as papers are submitted. In each session there will be an invited or keynote speaker (except for the poster session and the round table discussion).


Session 1: Interfaces, Reinforcements, and Performance
Session 2:  Fabrication/Characterization of Particles and Hollow Spheres


Session 3: Renewables and Sustainability
Session 4:  Processing and Modeling Foam-Based Composites


Session 5: Syntactic and Composite Foams – Characterization
This afternoon is generally left free for an outdoor excursion
Session 6:  Poster Session


Session 7:  Syntactic and Composite Foams – Characterization
Session 8:  Emerging Applications and Characterization Methods


Round Table Discussion

Below are tentative areas that we will try to cover in this conference:

  • Biomedical
  • Composite foam-based structures
  • Blast, ballistic and protection
  • Functional foams and green technology
  • Aerospace
  • Electric and acoustic
  • Bio-based composite foam materials (natural fibers and fillers, non-petroleum polymers)
  • Foams and sustainability (green energy applications)
  • Buoyancy and subsea
  • Sensors
  • Process and mechanical modeling
  • Thermal management and protection
  • Tooling and Thermoforming

Conference Organization

ChairGary M. Gladysz, PhD  (Empyreus Solutions, LLC);

Co-Chair USA – Krishan K.  Chawla, PhD (Materials Science & Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham);

Co-Chair Europe Aldo R. Boccaccini, PhD (Institute of Biomaterials, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg);

Co-Chair Asia Manabu Fukushima, PhD ((National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST);

Organizing Committee

Lorenzo Bardella (University of Brescia)
Aldo Boccaccini (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
Kipp Carlisle (Trelleborg)
Krish Chawla (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
Paolo Colombo (University of Padova)
Manabu Fukushima (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST))
Gary Gladysz (Empyreus Solutions, LLC)
Nikhil Gupta (New York University – Polytechnic)
Majdi Haddad (Cuming Corp.)
Jessica Hanley (Bluestar Silicones)
Mark Koopman (University of Utah)
Dirk Lehmhus (University of Bremen)
Daniel Mendoza (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
Karana Shah (Dixie Chemical)

Sponsor Packages

Click HERE to view the Sponsor Packages available for this conference.

Abstract Submission

Original papers for oral and poster presentations are encouraged. Those who wish to be considered for an oral or poster presentation should submit a one-page (extended) abstract online.


Oral Abstract Submission Deadline:                November 15, 2016
Poster Abstract Submission Deadline:            December 30, 2016

All abstracts should be submitted electronically at THIS SITE.

Submissions must follow the template provided at this link.

Conference Venue

Siracusa, Sicily, Italy
Thanks to its geographical position, at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily has always been a crossroads for different people and cultures. From the grumbling, lava-filled volcano of Mount Etna to the ancient Greek temples of Agrigento, Sicily is a land of natural and man-made beauty.

The countryside is filled with nature reserves and vineyards, all in a near-perfect climate, mild all year round, with an average rainfall among the lowest in Europe. But Sicily is not just about nature. The Greek temples, the Byzantine, Norman and Roman monuments, the cities of Palermo, Taormina, Catania, Siracusa and Agrigento, are places where the past and the present blend into an idyllic ensemble. Sicily surprises visitors at every step with its gorgeous beauty and immense cultural heritage. A huge number of castles and manors, private villas, ancient chapels and churches are there to be explored.

The town of Siracusa (45 km from Catania), known to English speakers as Syracuse, is a wonder to behold. One of the great ancient capitals of Western civilization, the city was founded in 734 BC by Greek colonists from Corinth and soon grew to rival, and even surpass, Athens in splendor and power. Siracusa became the largest, wealthiest city-state in the West and a bulwark of Greek civilization.

A World Heritage Site, this was the second Greek colony to be founded in Sicily in the second half of the 8th century B.C. Today, Siracusa is one of the most interesting cities in Sicily – the cradle of an incredible variety of art styles: from ancient Greek plays to the baroque. Crisscrossed by two legendary rivers, the Ciane and the Ananapo. Siracusa’s beauty and the mythology of the land have inspired poets and writers from Cicero to d’Annunzio.

Conference Hotel – Grand Hotel Minareto
A luxury, five-star seaside resort located near the island of Ortigia, The Grand Hotel Minareto is perched next to the crystal-clear waters of the Plemmirio Nature Reserve. There is a magnificent view of Siracusa which is just across the bay from the hotel and Mt. Etna seems to float in the sky above Siracusa..

The resort’s 93 rooms and 4 suites are cottages scattered around the luxurious Mediterranean grounds, a splendid setting dominated by the sea and the sky. The hotel has a number of bars and restaurants, a pool, private beach and spa. Rooms are air-conditioned and have televisions, mini-bars, safes and other amenities.


Transporation Options from the Catania Airport to the Grand Hotel Minareto


Siracusa is in the southeast corner of Sicily, on Sicily’s east coast, about an hour south of Catania.  The closest airport to the Grand Hotel Minareto is Catania-Vincenzo Bellini Airport (CTA, It is 69 km from the hotel (about a one-hour drive).

You have several choices of transportation: Individual transfer, group transfer, train (and taxi), bus (and taxi), and rental car.

Nadia Davi ( of Liberty Incentives and Congresses, Italy is the contact person for those wanting to book transportation from the Catania Airport to the Gran Hotel Minareto.  Do not contact her for train, bus or rental cars.

Individual and Group Transfers

You can choose an individual transfer or a group transfer.  The group transfer will be organized by the expected time of arrival at Catania Airport within the range of one hour.  For example, if two people are arriving at 11:30 am and 6 people are arriving at 12:00 pm, then the transfer would be 8 people.  The rate of a “group” transfer is €45 per person for arrival hours between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm.  For arrivals between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am there is a night supplement of €13.5 per person.

An individual transfer (for one – three persons) in a private vehicle with driver is €90.  The night supplement is €27

Other requests will be quoted individually by Ms. Davi.

Please use this form when contacting Ms. Davi.

By Train

From Catania Station (Taxis can transport you from the airport to the train station) take a train to Syracuse (Siracusa). There are hourly trains from the train station in Catania to the train station in Siracusa.  The train ride is approximately 85 minutes.  Taxis can be hired at the Siracusa station for transfer to the hotel (about a 10-minuted drive). For schedules and fares visit

Siracusa’s train station is on Via G. Rubino (where Corso Umberto I and Via Ermocrate come together) in the “New City” mainland.  It is just south of the archaeological zone and about a dozen blocks west of the bridges to Ortigia (the “old town” on an island).

By Bus

Interbus ( runs buses to Sircusa regularly during the week from Catania to Siracusa and less frequently on Sundays.  Please visit their website for details.  This is the most economical way, although you will need to add a taxi at each end of your journey.

By rental car from Catania Fontanarossa Airport

(About 50 minutes) Get on E45 from SP701.  Follow E45 and the Catania-Siracusa highway (SS114) and take the “Siracusa Sud” exit from SS114 onto Via per Floridia/SS124 in Siracusa.  Continue on Floridia/SS124 until the next roundabout where you take the 2nd right onto Via Antonio Ascari.  At the next roundabout (Largo Primo Levi), take the second exit onto Viale Pantanelli (essentially following the main road).  At the roundabout at the Viale Paolo Orsi, turn to the right, Via Columba, (where there is a median strip of palms, and on the left you will see a McDonalds) and go straight until the crossroads where you make a right onto Via Elorina (on the left you will see a Bingo) which is now SS115.  Pass the Agip and QB petrol stations on your right and after about 500 meters pass the QB you will come to a roundabout where you will take the second exit onto Via Lido Sacramento.  At the next roundabout, take the first exit on Via Lido Sacramento. Continue straight onto Via La Maddalena which turns right and becomes Via del Faro Massollivieri.  You will see a sign for the Minareto and Nesos. Go straight on the coastal road and the hotel will be on the right.

Driving Directions

Conference Fees and Registration

Conference Fees

All conference fees are inclusive. They include registration, accommodations (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights), all meals and drinks with the exception of dinner and drinks during the excursion, excursion, taxes, and gratuities from the welcome drink and dinner on Sunday through lunch on Friday. Incidental fees (telephone calls, faxes, spa, laundry, etc.) are billed to your personal account by the hotel.


The conference fees are:

Register on or before February 26, 2017 Register after February 26, 2017
Participant (single occupancy or sharing room with a guest; guest fee additional) US $2,075.00 US $2,275.00
Participant (sharing a room with another participant) US $1,840.00 US $2,040.00
Bona fide Graduate Student (sharing a room with another student) (Those in this category must send proof of current status – copy of current Student ID can be faxed to 1-212-514-6030 or emailed to US $1,425.00 US $1,425.00
**Fees for Guest/accompanying person sharing bedroom with single occupancy participant. (Includes all meals and drinks as well as the conference excursion) US $820.00 US $820.00

If you plan to bring children to the conference, please contact ECI ( for pricing.

Conference Registration

You will need a login name and password to register for ECI conferences through our online system. If you have been a recent participant at an ECI conference or have submitted an online application or request for information about an ECI Conference, you may already have an account with us. If you know your login information, please use it.

If you are not sure whether you already have a login and password, please click on automated password retrieval and enter your e-mail address before creating a new account. If we don’t have a valid email address on file for you, a pop up window will appear stating that no records were found. Click “OK” and then follow the instructions to create a new account.

If you have any questions or experience any difficulties, please email

Pre-and Post-Conference Reservations

If you are planning to arrive early (before March 26) or to stay after the conference (night of March 31, April 1 or 2), you MUST make hotel reservations directly with the hotel.  Use the appropriate form on THIS PAGE to make your reservations.

If you have any questions or experience any difficulties, please email

Special Notes for Payment

Special Notes and Payment Instructions

We suggest that you register as soon as possible to be certain that you will have a hotel room at the conference rate.  Late registrations will be accepted on a space available basis.

All participants are encouraged to register before February 26, 2017.  There is a discounted price for registering before this date and hotel space cannot be guaranteed for registrations received after this date.  Your registration is not officially confirmed until we receive payment of the amount due.  ECI reserves the right to cancel your room registration if payment is not received. Your invoice/receipt will automatically be e-mailed upon of receipt of your registration.

Because of contractual guarantees made with the hotel for room and meal functions, no shows, late arrivals, missed meals and early departures cannot receive fee adjustments.  If you have a disability and may require accommodation in order to participate fully in this conference, please indicate this when you register. An ECI representative will contact you to discuss your specific needs. If you have special dietary requirements (e.g., vegetarian or a food allergy), please make a note on your registration.  The chef needs to know this information in advance if we are to accommodate you. ECI will attempt to accommodate special requests such as Kosher or Halal meals, but such meals may not be available at all conference sites. Any additional costs for special meal requests must be paid by the participant to ECI.

Payment must be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Amex), check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank in U.S. dollars, payable to ENGINEERING CONFERENCES INTERNATIONAL. Checks or money orders in any other currencies are NOT ACCEPTABLE.  Payment is made on the web site except for those who are sending payment by wire transfer or have a purchase order from their company/institution.

WIRE TRANSFER PAYMENT: If you are planning to make payment by wire transfer, please contact ECI for the bank information. You must add $30 to cover ECI bank charges. Please reference your full name and the conference title.  Either fax a copy of your bank transfer papers to ECI (Fax: +1-212-514-6030) or email a scanned copy to  This is very important – otherwise it is extremely difficult to trace your payment and you may not receive a receipt prior to the conference.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation must be received by ECI in writing at least 28 days prior to the start of the conference in order for a full refund (less a processing fee) to be considered. The ECI auditors require that refunds for all conference cancellations be processed after the conference so that the necessary back-up information (e.g., hotel list of those in-house) can be attached to the refund request and ECI can verify that the hotel has not charged a cancellation fee.

Cancellation fees:

  • Cancellations received more than 28 days prior to the conference start date are subject to a processing fee of 4% of the total fee, plus any direct expenses incurred by ECI.
  • Cancellations received 15 – 28 days prior to the conference start date are subject to a $250 cancellation fee plus any direct expenses incurred by ECI.
  • Cancellations received 8 – 14 days prior to the conference start date are subject to a $500 cancellation fee plus any direct expenses incurred by ECI.
  • No refunds will be issued for cancellations received less than 7 days prior to the conference start date.
  • No refunds will be issued due to inclement weather or travel disruptions/cancellations.

Registrations can be transferred without incurring any penalty or cancellation fee.

Denied or delayed visa

If a participant is forced to cancel due to a denied or delayed entry visa, ECI will issue a full refund provided that ECI has been notified of a potential visa issue at least four weeks prior to the conference start date.

Change of payment method

If an attendee who has already paid the conference fee with a credit card requests that the fee be refunded to that card so that it can be paid in a different manner (e.g., charged to an alternate credit card, or paid via check or bank transfer), a processing fee of 4% of the total fee amount will apply.


It may be necessary for reasons beyond the control of ECI to alter the content and timing of the program or the identity of the speakers. In the unfortunate circumstance that an event is cancelled, ECI is not liable for any costs incurred by participants in connection with their attendance.

Smoking is prohibited at ECI conferences and conference functions.

Should you have specific questions regarding your registration, please contact Kathy Chan (

Preliminary Program

Please click HERE to view the preliminary program.

Register Now!

Click on THIS LINK to register for this conference.

General Information

Engineering Conferences International (ECI) is a global engineering conferences program, originally established in 1962, that provides opportunities for the exploration of problems and issues of concern to engineers and scientists from many disciplines.

The format of the weeklong research conference provides morning and late afternoon or evening sessions in which major presentations are made. Available time is included during the afternoons for ad hoc meetings, informal discussions, and/or recreation. This format is designed to enhance rapport among participants and promote dialogue on the development of the meeting. We believe that the conferences have been instrumental in generating ideas and disseminating information to a greater extent than is possible through more conventional forums.

All participants are expected both to attend the entire conference and to contribute actively to the discussions. The recording/photographing of lectures and presentations is forbidden. As ECI conferences take place in an informal atmosphere, casual clothing is the usual attire.

Engineering Conferences International
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