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Virginia Tech and the Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute hosted the 44th IUPAC World Polymer Congress in Blacksburg, USA, 24–29 June 2012. Timothy E. Long, S. Richard Turner, and Robert B. Moore organized the conference that attracted more than 1 400 attendees from 52 countries with 60 percent international attendees. The Congress provided an international forum for scientific discovery, professional networking, research collaboration, interdisciplinary education, and dissemination of the most recent scientific advances. More than 1 200 presentations (766 oral and 475 poster presentations) ensured a diverse technical program, and 12 plenary speakers provided some key focal points.
|Virginia Tech Hokie Bird and "President Thomas Jefferson." Photo by David Elmore.
The themes of the conference focused on “Enabling Technologies for a Safe, Sustainable, Healthy World.” Polymers continue to enable many emerging technologies such as tissue regeneration, multilayer structures, processing, drug delivery, water purification, security, biomedical technologies, alternate energy, sustainable resources, smart surfaces and interfaces, high-performance engineering, polymers, energy storage and generation, sensors, and electro-active devices. In most instances, these technologies require functional nanoscale polymers, and polymer design for intelligent response to external stimuli represents an exciting frontier. There is an over-arching need for these technological solutions of the future to also adhere to the principles of earth sustainability. Recent advances in ionic liquids and agricultural based feed stocks are extending performance and decreasing our dependence on petroleum-based monomers. The IUPAC MACRO World Polymer Congress 2012 assembled an international community for the presentation of recent advances in polymer synthesis, physical characterization, engineering, and performance in several complementary emerging technologies.
|Timothy E. Long delivering his welcoming speech.
IUPAC MACRO World Polymer Congress 2012 comprised 11 parallel symposia and 145 technical sessions organized by leading scientists in the field of polymer science from across the globe. Participants stated that the lectures and topics presented in these symposia were very diverse and highlighted the up-to-date research in the polymer field. Moreover, the conference provided mechanisms for professional networking through evening poster sessions and the participation of industrial, national laboratory, government, and academic scientists and engineers. The program also ensured an integration of polymer design with recent advances in polymer characterization techniques with a focus on morphological structure and correlation of structure with properties and performance. Additionally, the conference was preceded by a short course, which allowed current and future scientific leaders in both academia and industry to network and gain appreciation for new directions prior to the conference.
IUPAC MACRO 2012 included the following symposia topics:
- Recent Developments in Synthesis
- Modern Methods of Characterizations
- 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
- Polymer Physics
In addition to the 11 parallel symposia, the conference also featured a total of 12 (5 U.S. and 7 international) plenary speakers who presented on a wide range of topics related to the themes of the conference. Plenary speakers were selected based on the diversity and impact of their research in the polymer science field. Plenary lectures highlighted the following topics:
- Polymers for Sustainable Optoelectronics
- Medical Innovation through Polymer Chemistry
- Controlled Synthesis of Functional Polymers
- Advancement of the Materials Sciences
- Nanostructured Materials
- Polymer Characterization
- Advances in Education
- Development in Aqueous Synthesis
- Purification and Separation Membrane Materials
- Synthesis of Complex Nanoparticles
- Polymer Physics
- Complementary Hydrogen Bonding
Among the awards presented during the conference were the following:
- DSM Performance Materials Award (Geoffrey Coates)
- Third Polymer International–IUPAC Award for Creativity in Applied Polymer Science or Polymer Technology (Ali Khademhosseini)
- Samsung–IUPAC Young Polymer Scientist (Rachel O’Reilly)
- Sigma-Aldrich Lectures (Luis Campos, Christine Luscombe, Anzar Khan)
- IUPAC-sponsored poster prizes (Sandra Tripp, Sarah N. Bronson, Brian T. Michal)
Apart from the technical program, the participants were welcomed by the Virginia Tech Hokie Bird and President Thomas Jefferson. They also enjoyed an evening at the welcoming reception, dinner receptions during poster sessions, a banquet reception with a presentation on origami by Robert J. Lang, several musical performances including the renowned Poly and the Mers (an “in-house” band of Virginia Tech faculty).
In an effort to reduce waste and remain a sustainable conference, the IUPAC MACRO 2012 organizers provided each attendee with a refillable water bottle, biodegradable bag, and a searchable flash drive for all submitted abstracts and conference proceedings. This is in an effort to reduce the amount of paper used in printing abstracts. As a result of IUPAC MACRO 2012, Virginia Tech has received two permanent water refill stations for future use.
|Plenary lectures at Burruss Auditorium. Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech/Logan Wallace.
IUPAC MACRO World Polymer Congress 2012 received generous financial supports from 39 sponsors. Additionally, some of these sponsors provided the conference materials and partially sponsored several events. Virginia Tech ensured the success of the conference with financial support and access to the university auditorium, lodging, lecture rooms, and poster ballroom.
MACRO 2014 will be held in Chiangmai, Thailand, from 6–11 July <http://www.macro2014.com>.
last modified 21 March 2013.
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