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70th Southeastern Regional Meeting

by Linda Wang
September 29, 2018 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 96, Issue 39


Photo of Augusta, Ga.
Credit: Shutterstock
Augusta, Ga.

The ACS Savannah River Local Section will host the 70th Southeastern Regional Meeting of ACS (SERMACS 2018) at the Augusta Convention Center from Wednesday, Oct. 31, to Saturday, Nov. 3, in Augusta, Ga. The meeting theme is “Securing Tomorrow through Innovation Today.”

SERMACS 2018 at a glance

Dates: Oct. 31–Nov. 3

Location: Augusta, Ga.

Information contacts: General chairs, Chris Bannochie and Tad Whiteside,


Technical program. The conference will feature multiple strong symposia in analytical, biological, medicinal, organic, nanomaterial, nuclear, and physical chemistry. Highlights include the following: “Putting Science to Work at SRNL” will explore the multidisciplinary work being conducted at the Savannah River National Laboratory. “Pu-238 Production & Use” will focus on the research and discoveries associated with the Savannah River Site’s designation as a National Historic Chemical Landmark.

The “Cope Scholar Symposium” will honor the career of M. G. Finn of Georgia Institute of Technology and will be paired with programming on organic synthesis tools. There will be three days of talks on nanostructures and their applications. The 50th anniversary of Project SEED will be commemorated. A two-day symposium will celebrate diversity in the chemical enterprise.

Plenary speakers include Alan Marshall of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory Ion Cyclotron Resonance Facility and Florida State University, Cato Laurencin of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Jillian Buriak of the University of Alberta, and Dale Ensor of Tennessee Tech University.

Exhibition. The exhibition will take place from Wednesday to Friday. Exhibitors include Agilent, Bruker Optics, Eastman Chemical, IKA Works, Quantachrome, Teledyne, PerkinElmer, Rigaku Oxford Diffraction, Pine Research Instrumentation, Biotage, MicroLAB, CEM, Vernier Software & Technology, and Morton Publishing.

Courses and workshops. ACS on Campus will offer workshops on using SciFinder, preparing manuscripts, and taking advantage of ACS resources. The ACS Leadership Development System is conducting workshops titled “Leading Change” and “Coaching & Feedback.” Four ACS Career Pathways courses will cover choosing a career path and topics in developing networking and interviewing skills. Mock interviews and résumé reviews can be scheduled on-site. A job fair and employer interviews will take place on Friday.

Undergraduate program. There are numerous oral and poster sessions dedicated to undergraduate research. Undergraduates can participate in team competitions, including an ethics bowl and a chemistry quiz bowl. Other highlights include a program on alternative careers in science, an undergraduate chemical demonstration program, a pizza party, an undergraduate poster contest, and a graduate school fair.

High school program. The High School Teacher Program will take place on Saturday and include demonstrations by Al Hazari of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Daniel Swartling of Tennessee Tech University. Representatives from Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness will discuss how to present nuclear science in classroom lectures. Simona Murph of SRNL will provide instruction on nanotechnology. Will Ashby of Augusta’s Sumo Robot League will lead a session on how to program sensors and motors.

Awards. Award presentations will include the E. Ann Nalley Regional Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society, the Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences, and the Regional Award for Excellence in High School Teaching.


Social events. Social activities include a Division of Professional Relations trick-or-treat networking reception on Wednesday evening, followed by a screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the historical Imperial Theatre. A reception commemorating the Savannah River Site’s designation as a National Historic Chemical Landmark will be on Thursday evening. A fermentation chemistry social at Savannah River Brewing will be held on Friday evening. Tours include visits to the Savannah River Site and Augusta University’s new Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center.

Lodging and registration. When booked before Oct. 9 through the meeting website, rooms are available at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center for the special conference rate of $155 per night.

Advance registration rates will end on Oct. 8. On-site registration will continue through the end of the meeting. For additional details, visit


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