Syntactic and Composite Foams VI

An ECI Conference Series


May 5 – 10, 2024
Riga, Latvia

About This Conference

Syntactic foams and multifunctional 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, biocompatibility/absorbable, enhanced energy absorption characteristics, and thermal and flame-retardant properties.  

The scope of the conference will include 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, biological, etc.). Fabrication, characterization, modeling, and applications of the foams will be addressed, as well.  

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 emerged from of conventional blown polymer foams via 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. 

Conference Organization

Conference Chairs

G.M. Gladysz, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA
K.K. Chawla, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA
A.R. Boccaccini, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
Nikhil Gupta, New York University, USA
Andrei Shishkin, Riga Technical University, Latvia

Organizing Committee

Nick Bazin (AWE, United Kingdom)
Aldo R. Boccaccini (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany)
Lorenzo Bardella (University of Brescia, Italy)
Krish Chawla (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA)
Rachel Collino (Los Alamos National Lab, USA)
Manabu Fukushima (IAST, Japan)
Nikhil Gupta (New York University, USA)
Michele Modesti (University of Padova, Italy)
Gary Strickland (CARBONART, Australia)

Draft Program

Sunday, May 5, 2024

17:00 – 18:30 Open check-in
18:00 – 19:30 Welcome reception 
19:30 – 21:30 Dinner

Monday, May 6, 2024

07:30 – 08:45 Breakfast Buffet
09:00 – 10:30 Session 1: Reviews and Overview of Syntactic & Composite Foams
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 – 12:30 Session 2: Metal and Ceramic-based Composite Foams 
12:30 – 13:45 Lunch Buffet
13:45 – 16:30 Networking
16:30 – 17:00 Afternoon coffee Break
18:30 – 19:15 Invited Talk
19:30- 21:30 Dinner followed by social hour

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

07:30 – 08:45 Breakfast Buffet
09:00 – 10:30 Session 3: Bio-materials and Applications
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 – 12:30 Session 4: Bio-materials and Applications
12:30 – 13:45 Lunch Buffet
13:45 Leave for Riga Technical University
14:00 – 18:00 Poster Session and Tour of RTU research facilities 
19:00 – 21:00 Offsite dinner followed by social hour
21:00 Return to hotel

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

07:30 – 08:45 Breakfast Buffet
09:00 – 10:30 Session 5: Syntactic Foam Development and Testing
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 – 12:30 Session 6: TBA
12:30 – 13:45 Lunch Buffet
13:45 – 18:00 Conference Excursion: Guided tour of Historic Old Town Riga 
(UNESCO World Heritage Site)
19:00 Dinner your own

Thursday, May 9, 2024

07:30 – 08:45 Breakfast Buffet
09:00 – 10:30 Session 7: Syntactic Foam Development and Testing (continued)
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 – 12:30 Session 8: Hollow Particle and Fiber Development and Testing
12:30 – 13:45 Lunch Buffet
13:45 – 16:30 Networking
16:30 – 17:00 Afternoon Coffee Break
18:30 – 19:15 Invited Talk
19:30- 21:30 Conference Banquet followed by social hour

Friday, May 10, 2024

08:30 – 09:30 Breakfast Buffet
10:00 – 12:00 Conference Review and SCF-VII Planning Session
12:00 Adjournment and Departures

Call for Abstracts

To ensure receipt of mailings regarding your submission, please add ‘‘ to your address book.

Abstracts (one page maximum) that include specific results and conclusions to allow a scientific assessment of the proposed oral presentation are invited.

Please prepare your abstract according to this template: docx or doc.

Abstracts must be submitted electronically using the template provided at THIS LINK.

Oral abstract submission deadline:
March 15, 2024

Poster abstract submission deadline:
March 15, 2024

Abstracts of all presentations will be made available to conference participants prior to the start of the conference.

Note: Only a limited number of oral presentation slots are available and thus all submissions for oral sessions will be considered for both oral and poster presentation.

Venue Information

Best Sites of Riga [PDF]

Radisson Blu Daugava Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Information [PDF]

The conference will be held at the Radisson Blu Daugava Hotel in Riga, Latvia.  (24 Kugu Street, Riga LV-1048, Latvia)  This picturesque riverside setting lies just 15 minutes from the airport where taxis and ride-shares are available and within walking distance of embassies and key business destinations. The hotel is adjacent to Riga’s Old Town, where conference participants can visit key historical sites.  In addition to the magnificent scenery, the hotel offers free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, flat-screen TV (with cable or satellite TV), in-room safe and tea and coffee-making provisions.  The Radisson signature Super Breakfast Buffet is included and is served each morning at Panorama Restaurant. This elegant on-site restaurant specializes in international cuisine and offers convenient room service. Both the restaurant and hotel lobby bar overlook the Daugava River creating a memorable atmosphere for sharing delicious food and drinks.  There is a spa and sauna on site and bvicycles may be rented at the hotel.  The hotel is verified sustainable on Hotel Sustainability Basics. 

Latvia is located on the Baltic Sea, at the mouth of the Daugava River, between Lithuania and Estonia. Its landscape is marked by wide beaches as well as dense, sprawling forests. Its capital, Riga, is considered a cultural center and is noted for 19th century wooden and Art nouveau/Jugendstill architecture, a vast Central Market and a medieval Old Town with St. Peter’s Church. Riga’s museums include the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, showcasing local crafts, food and music.  Riga’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The city is a brilliant mix of the old and the now.  One can glimpse a 700-year-old church next to a modern store next to a new building that was reconstructed to look old. Nearly all Latvians speak three languages. The city is served by Riga International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in the Baltic states.

Riga was founded in 1201, developed as a center of Viking trade during the early middle ages, and is a former Hanseatic League member. Riga’s historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, noted for its Art Nouveau/Jugendstil architecture and 19th century wooden architecture.

Among the places to visit in Riga are the Central Market, the largest in Europe.  It is made up of five massive former Zeppelin hangars, each of which sells different types of products.  One can find anything from fresh cheese, pickles, flowers to pig snouts.  The market is geared to local inhabitants doing their weekly shopping and thus is an authentic experience.

In the Old Town are some of the city’s prettiest buildings and the House of the Blackheads is one of the nicest.  Originally built to house the Blackheads Guild in the 14th century, the Gothic-Dutch Renaissance building was destroyed by a combination of World War II bombings and neglect during the Soviet period; however, it was reconstructed in 1999 and is quite beautiful.

St. Peter’s Church in Old Town offers the best bird’s-eye view of the city. Take the clanking elevator 235 feet up to the panoramic viewing platform for magnificent views of Old Town, the Central Market, and the river.  It’s worth to visit the 13th-century Lutheran church. Other than the altar, a bronze candle holder, and the original statue of Knight Roland which previously stood in Town Hall Square, the interior is sparsely decorated. There are regular art exhibits also on display. There is an admission charge.

The Old Town is a series of squares filled with cafes, shops, and historic buildings. Dome Square has several architectural monuments, including the Cathedral, the Bourse House, and other Riga attractions. Livu Square, once the site of Riga River, has flower beds and outdoor cafes as well as the Small Guild, the Russian Drama Theater, and the infamous Cat House. Nearby, the reconstructed Town Hall Square is a monument to the city’s past.

Just one-half mile from Old Town is the Riga’s Art Nouveau district centered around Alberta, Elizabetes, and Strelniku streets. The 100-year-old buildings here are unique, to say the least, and are a true highlight of Riga sightseeing.  The Art Nouveau movement in the city (and, indeed, throughout Europe) was a rejection of everything plain, which is apparent as you stroll the streets. As you gaze up at the facades, faces, animals, and unusual things stare back. Look for the details in the buildings and visit the Riga Art Nouveau Museum to learn about the style and its history in more detail.

The oldest group of houses in Riga is known as the Three Brothers. Legend has it that they were built by the same family, although they certainly weren’t built by brothers because they date from different time periods. The oldest building—the white house—dates from the 15th century and is influenced by the architectural styles seen in other Hanseatic cities like Bruges and Lubeck. The pale yellow house was built in the mid-17th century. The largest of the three, it now houses the Latvian Museum of Architecture. The narrow white house is from the late 17th century.

When in Riga, the gleaming golden dome of the Nativity of Christ Cathedral is impossible to miss.  The orthodox cathedral was originally opened in 1884 and served as a house of worship before the Soviets took it over.  Under the Soviet reign, this lovely building was used as a planetarium but has been restored to its original purpose.  The Cathedral is one of the most interesting places to visit in the city because the interior is  brilliantly decorated with Neo-Byzantine art and bright icons.

Across the Daugava River about 20 minutes from Old Town is the Kalnciema Quarter, a bustling hub of fun things to do. This area is renowned for its wooden architectural heritage dating from the 19th century but is popular for the numerous cultural and artistic events that happen here.  In the Quarter, there are regular art exhibitions, plays, concerts, and family-friendly events. Most of the programs and workshops are free, and the area is always buzzing with activity.

The 140-foot-tall Freedom Monument is impossible to miss on a walk around the city. At the junction of Old and Central Riga, the granite and copper pillar celebrates national unity, independence, and freedom in Latvia. Its creation was funded entirely by Latvian citizens as a memorial to those who died in the struggle for independence.  The female Liberty at the top–known familiarly as “Milda”–holds three stars that represent the original cultural regions of Latvia. Below her, 55 more sculptures on multiple levels depict Latvian history and culture.

The medieval town of Riga was surrounded by strong walls to protect it from attackers, with few entrance and exit points. The only city gate remaining today is the Swedish Gate, which dates from 1698 when the Swedes ruled the city. Immediately behind the walls are some of the small, original medieval streets. Troksnu iela, which was built next to the old city wall in the 13th century, is now a colorful street with a series of bars and cafes.

The Powder Tower – Originally built in 1330, the Sand Tower was one of more than 20 enormous towers that stood as part of the city’s defense system. Over the centuries, it has taken its share of blows and been reconstructed several times.  The tower’s current design dates from 1650, around the time when it became known as Powder Tower because it served as a repository for some of the city’s gunpowder. It soars a staggering 84 feet, and its walls are nearly 10 feet thick. The Powder Tower is part of the Latvian War Museum.

The food in Latvia is excellent and one should not leave without trying Riga’s traditional drink, Black Balsam, a 90-proof herbal liqueur. Drunk straight, it’s pretty strong and has a bit of a medicinal taste. To make it more palatable, it is often mixed with schnapps or in drinks like coffee, Coke, or black currant juice.  It was developed by a Latvian pharmacist in the middle of the 18th century and contains about 20 different plants.

Note that there are free walking tours which are organized every day.  Departure is at noon and the tour lasts about 2-2.5 hours.  The tours are in English and registration is free.  It is customary to leave the guide a tip at the end of the tour.

Conference Fees and Registration

Conference Fees

The conference fee includes the following: conference registration, accommodations (nights of Sunday (May 5), Monday (May 6), Tuesday (May 7), Wednesday (May 8), and Thursday (May 9); check-out on Friday (May 10)), coffee breaks, social hours, poster session, excursion, taxes and gratuities from dinner on Sunday through breakfast on Friday with the exception of Tuesday dinner on your own.  Incidental fees (laundry, minibar, spa, etc.) are billed to your personal account by the hotel.

Local residents of Riga who wish to participate in the conference and who will not need a hotel room should contact Renee Smith.


The conference fees are:

Register on or before April 15, 2024Register after 
April 15, 2024
Participants and Bona fide Graduate Student Registration Options
Participant (single occupancy or sharing room with a guest**; guest fee additional)US $2,155US $2,355
Participant (sharing a room with another participant/student)TBDTBD
Bona fide Graduate Student (sharing a room with another participant/student)
The student rate applies to individuals who have not yet obtained their doctoral degree.
(Those in this category must upload proof of current status during registration – copy of current Student ID or a letter from your University confirming your student status)
Bona fide Graduate Student (single occupancy or sharing room with a guest**; guest fee additional)
The student rate applies to individuals who have not yet obtained their doctoral degree.
(Those in this category must upload proof of current status during registration – copy of current Student ID or a letter from your University confirming your student status)
US $1,740US $1,940
Fees for Guest / Accompanying Person – Guests/accompanying persons may not attend technical sessions.
**Fees for Guest/accompanying person sharing bedroom with a participant. (Includes all conference included meals and activities)TBDTBD
**Fees for Guest/accompanying person sharing bedroom with a participant. (Bed & Breakfast ONLY, NO meals and activities)TBDTBD
Local residents of Riga
Participant (exclude breakfast and hotel)US $1,620US $1,820
Bona fide Graduate Student (exclude breakfast and hotel)
The student rate applies to individuals who have not yet obtained their doctoral degree.
(Those in this category must upload proof of current status during registration – copy of current Student ID or a letter from your University confirming your student status)
US $1,205US $1,405

If you plan to bring children to the conference, please contact Renee Smith for pricing.

Conference Registration

Register Now

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 Renee Smith.

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.  

All participants are encouraged to register before April 15, 2024.  There is a discounted price for registering before this date.  Hotel space cannot be guaranteed for registrations received after April 20, 2024.  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.  Should you need a signed receipt or a certificate of attendance (sent after the conclusion of the conference), please contact Renee Smith.

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. The participant must pay any additional costs for special meal requests that ECI pays a surcharge for.

Payment must be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, and 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 must be 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 Renee Smith for the bank information. You must add $30 to cover ECI bank charges. Please reference your full name and the conference title.  Please email a scanned copy to Renee Smith.  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 may 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 if 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 Renee Smith.

Pre and Post Conference Reservation Form

If you are arriving early or staying after the conference and wish to extend your stay in the conference hotel, please download and complete the Pre/Post Conference Reservation form posted below and send it directly to the conference hotel. ECI does not guarantee or pay for rooms reserved before or after the conference – you must reserve extra nights directly with the hotel and you are responsible for paying the hotel directly for any extra nights.

Form Coming Soon!


General Information about ECI

Engineering Conferences International (ECI) is a not-for-profit, 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 conference provides morning and late afternoon or evening sessions in which major presentations are made. Poster sessions will be scheduled for evening discussion as well. 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 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.

Smoking is prohibited at ECI conferences and conference functions.

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