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58th Southeast Regional Meeting

October 2, 2006 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 84, Issue 40

Credit: Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Riverwalk on the banks of the Savannah River is an integral part of downtown Augusta.
Credit: Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Riverwalk on the banks of the Savannah River is an integral part of downtown Augusta.

The 58th Southeast Regional Meeting (SERMACS 2006), hosted by the ACS Savannah River Section in collaboration with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Central Savannah River Section, will be held in Augusta, Ga., from Wednesday, Nov. 1, through Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Augusta Marriott Hotel & Suites on Augusta's downtown Riverwalk.

Meeting highlights include a variety of symposia with emphasis on nuclear chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, and energy. The meeting website,, is the most up-to-date source of information on the program, special events, and exposition. Online registration and room reservations can also be accessed from the website.

TECHNICAL PROGRAM. Analytical chemistry session topics include spectroscopy with featured presenters Tuan Vo-Dinh of Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Richard A. Dluhy of the University of Georgia; Ricardo Aroca of the University of Windsor; and Richard Russo of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; mass spectrometry with Jon Amster of the University of Georgia; Gary Glish of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Michael C. Fitzgerald of Duke University; and Michael Sigman of the University of Central Florida. Other topics are radiochemical separations, chemical sensors for chemical and biological threat agents detection, and chemical sensors for environmental characterization and monitoring.

The biochemical program features special sessions in "Chemistry of Drug Abuse" with keynote speaker F. Ivy Carroll, RTI International; "Frontiers in Nucleic Acid Chemistry"; "Bioinorganic Modeling"; and "Chemistry of Aging," featuring D. Allan Butterfield, University of Kentucky, and Keith D. Wilkinson, Emory University.

Sessions in nuclear chemistry include "Recent Developments in Nuclear Fuel Cycle Processing" featuring Pascal Baron of the Commissariat À l'Energie Atomique in Marcoule, France; "Nuclear Medicine" with keynote speaker Michael J. Welch of Washington University in St. Louis; and several sessions sponsored by AIChE on nuclear engineering, "Design, Operation & Research in Pilot Plants," "Commercial Chemical Processing," and "Production & Storage of Hydrogen."

Energy-related themes are found in the "Energy of the Future Forum," the chemical education session on "Energy in the Classroom: What, When & How?" and "Chemistry of Explosives," with a presentation on fireworks by John Conkling, Washington College. A number of interdisciplinary symposia include "Origins of Life," "Linking Polymer Chemistry & Engineering," and "Atmospheric Chemistry," with presentations by Neil Donahue of Carnegie Mellon University and Vicki Grassian of the University of Iowa.

Also featured is the Cope Scholar Symposium, "Catalysis in Organic Chemistry," with 2005 Cope Scholar Huw Davies of the State University of New York, Buffalo. Rob Coleman of Ohio State University, Dennis Liotta of Emory University, and Daniel Comins, of North Carolina State University, will give presentations at the "Advances in Organic Synthesis" session.

"Advances in Fluorine Chemistry" will feature Kenneth Kirk of the National Institutes of Health and Wallace Brey and Bill Dolbier of the University of Florida. A chemical health and safety symposium will discuss emergency response using the 2005 Graniteville, S.C., chlorine rail disaster as a case study. The Women Chemists Committee will present "Thriving in the Workplace," which highlights the best practices and challenges that face early- and mid-career women chemists and chemical engineers. The student affiliates program, set within a chocolate feast, features Joe Vinson of the University of Scranton, presenting the "Chemistry of Chocolate" and Lihong D'Angelo of Coca-Cola, on the "Chemistry of Sweeteners."

Workshops. Technical workshops will be offered on "Natural Gas Supply Management" and "Working in the Pharmaceutical Industry." There will also be a variety of educational workshops and a general interest workshop will be offered on "Local Section Government Action Networks."

Special Events. SERMACS 2006 has planned several special events at some unique Augusta venues, including a golf tournament at the River Golf Club on Wednesday afternoon; an opening reception at the National Science Center's Fort Discovery on Wednesday evening; and a soirée on the historic Augusta Canal at the Augusta Canal Interpretive Center on Thursday afternoon, which will include boat rides and a barbecue dinner. In addition, "First Friday," a monthly celebration of the arts in downtown Augusta, will take place within walking distance of the hotel.

Other special events include an awards luncheon on Thursday honoring national, regional, and local award recipients; a diversity forum and reception on Thursday featuring several participating societies and groups; the Women Chemists & Chemical Engineers Luncheon on Friday featuring keynote speaker ACS President-Elect Catherine T. Hunt; the ACS Savannah River Section's 50th anniversary retrospective and celebration on Friday; and a teachers' luncheon on Saturday.

On Thursday morning, the ACS Member Insurance Program is hosting a complimentary breakfast for attendees interested in how they can benefit from significant savings with the ACS Member Insurance Program, which includes various affordable, portable, and convenient insurance plans to ACS members. On-site sign-up is available at registration.

On Friday, all registered attendees are invited to enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast hosted by Eric Bigham, ACS District IV Director. Recent ACS Board of Directors actions and activities will be discussed. Attendees are encouraged to bring their ideas, questions, or concerns about ACS.

Chemical Education Program. On Friday and Saturday, there will be programs for K-12 science educators featuring several workshops and a Chemagination poster and essay contest for high school students. "Putting the 'pH'un Back into Chemistry: An Educator Program for Advancing K-12 Chemical Education" will feature several workshops including environmental chemistry, forensics, classroom demonstrations, instrument demonstrations, local science opportunities for educators and students, and process-oriented guided-inquiry learning (POGIL), a student-centered instructional approach that combines group learning with a guided inquiry paradigm.

The Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Workshop for Teachers will cover the basic concepts of hydrogen and the steps required to build a fuel-cell car for classroom demonstrations. Each workshop will emphasize lessons and skills that educators can take back to their classrooms. A luncheon will break up Saturday's full schedule of events and give educators a chance to mingle with fellow classmates. Visit for more details on these workshops.

The Chemagination poster and essay contest will take place on Saturday. Teams of two or three students will be asked to design the cover of ChemMatters magazine and write a supporting article about an innovation they envision happening 25 years into the future that will improve the quality of people's lives. The innovation categories are alternative energy sources, environment, medicine or health, and new materials. Prizes will be awarded to the winners.

A graduate school fair and an undergraduate poster contest are also scheduled. Currently, there are more than 20 chemistry, biochemistry, and chemical engineering departments signed up for the graduate school fair, with spaces still available. The fair will run from 10 AM to 2 PM on Saturday. The undergraduate poster session will be in full swing during the graduate school fair. Prizes will be awarded to the best posters.

Exposition. An exposition will be held on Thursday and Friday in the main ballroom of the Marriott and will be conveniently located among the meeting rooms. Scheduled breaks and technical poster sessions will be held in the same room. Drawings for an iPod will be held each day. More than 35 regional and national vendors will be present at the exposition and a limited number of booths may still be available. Confirmed meeting vendors are listed on the exposition page of the SERMACS 2006 website. Interested vendors should contact Stephanie Myers at

Awards. A number of regional awards will be presented at the meeting including the Regional Industrial Innovation Award, the Henry Hill Award for Professionalism in Chemistry, the Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences, and the Regional Award for Volunteer Service to ACS.

ACS Chemjobs Career Center. The Chemjobs Regional Employment Center (CREC) will be held on Thursday and Friday from 8:30 AM to 5 PM. The center provides an array of career services, including online job searches, career workshops, and one-on-one résumé reviews. All job seekers and employers must sign up online at (click on "Chemjobs Regional Employment Center") to participate. The first four employers to register will receive 50% off the registration fee.

The following workshops will be presented on Thursday: "Résumé Preparation," 9 AM; "Interviewing Skills," 10 AM; and "Targeting the Job Market," 11 AM. Individual résumé reviews will also be held on Thursday from 1 to 5 PM, so bring a copy of your résumé. ACS members and national and student affiliates who wish to have their résumés reviewed by a career consultant should preregister.

CREC is open to ACS members and national and student affiliates. Job seekers may post their résumés, search for job opportunities, and communicate with employers, all online. Employers may search résumés and manage their accounts online.

Lodging. The meeting will be held in the joint convention space conveniently connecting the hotel and suites portions of the Augusta Marriott. The conference rate at the Marriott is $144 per night for bookings made by Oct. 9. Self-parking is free for hotel guests, and valet parking is available for $10 per day. Conference attendees who are not guests at the hotel can park for $3.25 per day without in-and-out privileges and $5.00 per day with in-and-out privileges. Use group reservation code SERSERA for the main tower and use SERSERO for the suites.

Travel. Delta Airlines and US Airways fly to Augusta Regional Airport. A free Marriott shuttle from the Augusta airport is available. Shuttle service must be arranged in advance through the Marriott front office by calling (706) 722-8900 for both arrival and departure. A taxi ride from the airport to the Marriott is about $15 one way.

Alternative airports include the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, which is serviced by most major carriers and is about 60 miles (50 minutes on I-20) east of Augusta. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is about 150 miles (two hours on I-20) west of Augusta and has a paid shuttle service ($150 round trip) with EZ Ride of Augusta, phone (888) 441-7867 or (706) 860-4900.




Golf Tournament at the River Golf Club

Opening Reception at the National Science Center's Fort Discovery


Natural Gas Supply Management


Functional Polymers & Biomacromolecules I

Advances in Organic Synthesis


Frontiers in Nucleic Acid Chemistry I

Recent Developments in Nuclear Fuel Cycle Processing

Chemical & Biological Detection I: Food Safety Sensors

Emerging Environmental Technologies: Innovative Chemistry-Based Concepts

Developments in Thermochemical Routes to Hydrogen Production

Polymer General Papers

Inorganic General Papers

Analytical General Papers


Chemistry of Aging

Atmospheric Chemistry I

Linking Polymer Chemistry & Engineering

Innovative Applications of Ceramics

Forum: Energy of the Future-Alternative Energy Sources

Design, Operation & Research in Pilot Plants

Cope Scholar Symposium: Catalysis in Organic Chemistry

Henry Hill Award Symposium

Frontiers in Nucleic Acids Chemistry II

Beryllium Analysis

Chemical & Biological Detection II: Threat Agents Detection

Structural Techniques at the Interface of Chemistry & Biology


Chemistry Advances & Process Improvements in Pulp & Paper Processing

Applied Geochemical & Biological Processes for Remediation of Groundwater & Soil

Women Chemists Committee Symposium: Thriving in the Workplace

Organic General Papers



ACS Insurance Programs Breakfast

Awards Luncheon

Diversity Forum & Reception

Soirée on the Historic Augusta Canal at the Augusta Canal Interpretive Center


Local Section Government Action Networks


Micro Total Analytical Systems

Modern Developments & Applications of Mass Spectrometry

Energy in the Classroom: What, When & How?

Advances in Hydrogen Storage

Chemistry & the Law 2006 Update: What Chemists Need To Know

Atmospheric Chemistry II

Radiochemical Separations

Functional Polymers & Biomacromolecules II

Frontiers in Nucleic Acid Chemistry III

Medicinal Chemistry General Papers


Chemical Sensors & Systems for Environmental Characterization & Monitoring

Turf Chemistry

Chemistry of Explosives I

Advances in Fluorine Chemistry I

Chemical Processing in Commercial Chemical Industry & Department of Energy I

Frontiers in Nucleic Acid Chemistry IV

Future of Scientific Publishing

Advances in Laser-Induced Ablation & Plasma Spectroscopy

Industrial Innovation Awards Symposium



ACS District Director's Breakfast

Women Chemists & Chemical Engineers Luncheon

Savannah River Local Section 50th Anniversary Retrospective & Celebration

"First Friday" in downtown Augusta


Local Section Government Action Networks

Small Chemical Business: Working in the Pharmaceutical Industry


Nuclear Medicine

Bioinorganic Modeling

Peptide- & Protein-Based Materials: Science & Engineering

Scholarship in Chemical Education

Chemistry of Drug Abuse

Chemical Processing in Commercial Chemical Industry & Department of Energy II

Advances in Fluorine Chemistry II

Origins of Life I

Issues in Emergency Response

Physical Chemistry General Papers

Undergraduate & Graduate Student Papers in Chemical Engineering


Surface-Enhanced Vibrational Spectroscopy

Nanoscale Catalyst Design for Hydrogen Storage

Student Affiliates Program: Chemistry Is Like a Box of Chocolates

Chemistry of Explosives II

Savannah River Local Section 50th Anniversary Symposium

Origins of Life II

Chemical Education General Papers

Agrochemistry General Papers

Biochemistry General Papers



Teachers Luncheon

Graduate School Fair


Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Workshop for Teachers

Ocean Optics Instrumentation Showcase

Hands-On Vernier Laboratory Instrumentation

Process-Oriented Guided-Inquiry Learning (POGIL)

Environmental Chemistry

Forensic Chemistry

Classroom Demonstrations

Educator/Student Programs Offered through Westinghouse, Savannah River Site & ACS


Computers in Chemical Education


History of Chemistry

Computers in Chemistry


ACS has negotiated discount rates for air and ground travel for a minimum of three days before and after the meeting.

Air: United, (800) 521-4041, Meeting Code 517SM, and American Airlines, (800) 800-433-1790, Discount Code S18593

Ground: Avis, (800) 331-1600, AWD Code: B120799, and Hertz, (800) 654-2240, CV# 02UZ0005


Dates: Nov. 1-4

Location: Augusta Marriott Hotel & Suites, Augusta, Ga.


Information Contacts: Chris Bannochie, general chair, (803) 725-8088, or e-mail; Tom Crute, programming chair, (706) 667-4517, or e-mail; and Stephanie Myers, exhibition chair, e-mail


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