Virginia Tech is hosting the World Polymer Congress June 24-29 on its campus in Blacksburg, VA. More than 800 lectures will be given and 400 posters will be provided for more than 1,400 participants, 60% of whom are expected to come from 51 countries.
The purpose of the event is to provide an international forum for scientific discovery, professional networking, research collaboration, interdisciplinary education, and dissemination of the most recent scientific advances, says Professor Timothy Long, chair of the regional organizational committee, in a congress flyer. The event will give the polymer research community an opportunity to gather and “synergistically address the many global challenges that we face including energy, sustainability, healthcare, safety, and emerging polymer technologies,” he says.
Nobel Prize winner Robert Grubbs will be one of the speakers at the event. He shared the prize in 2005 for the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis. He will speak Monday, June 25, on the controlled synthesis of functional polymers.
Other featured speakers include: Niyazi Serdar Sariciftci, director of the Linz Institute for Organic Solarcells in Austria, who will speak on organic and bio-organic polymers for sustainable optoelectronics; Professor Kazunori Kataoka from the University of Tokyo, who will speak about medical innovations, such as smart nanodevices, developed through polymer chemistry that provide gene therapy and drug delivery; and Professor Eugenia Kumacheva of the University of Toronto, who will talk about how physics and chemistry build nanopolymers.
Geoffrey Coates, professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Cornell University, will receive the DSM Performance Materials Award on Monday, June 25. The award is provided in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the advancement of the materials sciences and carries a cash prize of EUR 50,000. He will give a lecture, titled “New Polymers from Old Monomers: Advances Enabled through Catalyst Design and Discovery.”
The 800 lectures given at the event are divided between the following symposia topics: recent developments in synthesis; modern methods of characterization; surfaces and interfaces; macromolecules and nanotechnology; macromolecules in biotechnology and medicine; complex macromolecular systems; energy, optics, and optoelectronics; polymer and polymer-based membranes for energy and environmental applications; commercial frontiers; advances in interdisciplinary interactions; and polymer physics. The entire tentative technical program can be found here (PDF).
Polymer Solutions will host a booth at the event. The congress will allow the company to meet some of its clients for the first time, face to face. Engineers of the company can also take interested participants on a tour of the company’s laboratories.
Dale McGeehon has been a journalist and editor for more than 25 years, covering chemical regulation and testing for Pesticides and Toxic Chemical News and innovations in material sciences for the National Technology Transfer Center. His writing credits include Omni and College Park magazines and The New York Times.