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2014 Central Regional Meeting

September 22, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 38

Credit: Shutterstock
“Bridging Chemistry & Innovation” is the Pittsburgh meeting’s theme.

Yinz ready to experience a whole ’nother level of chemistry n’at? You’ll have a chance to pick up the local vernacular—as well as plenty of cutting-edge science—when the American Chemical Society’s Pittsburgh Section hosts the 45th Central Regional Meeting of ACS (CERM 2014) from Wednesday, Oct. 29, through Saturday, Nov. 1. The meeting will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh—Green Tree. There, we will be “Bridging Chemistry & Innovation” by exploring creative collaborations with a focus on recent technical advances.

Information about registration, accommodations, and up-to-date program details can be found on the meeting website, ­

CERM 2014 At A Glance


Dates: Oct. 29–Nov. 1

◾ Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh—Green Tree, Pittsburgh

Information contacts: Jay Auses and Heather Juzwa, general chairs, and; Michelle Ward and Adrian Michael, program chairs, and; Michelle Stevenson, ACS Department of Meetings & Exposition Services,

Website: ­

Sponsors of the conference include the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh, the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Shimadzu, and the Penn-Ohio Border and Toledo Sections of ACS.

TECHNICAL PROGRAM. The CERM 2014 technical program rivals that of national meetings and includes presentations by some of the top researchers in the region and beyond.

CERM 2014 will feature a “Celebrating Diversity in the Chemical Sciences” symposium with a twofold focus. The first symposium session will celebrate scientific excellence gained through diversity and inclusion in the chemical sciences. Speakers from underrepresented groups who are renowned leaders in their respective scientific disciplines will present their research. The second session will feature speakers who present experiential knowledge and current evidence-based findings, with an aim to raise the consciousness of the chemical community regarding the complex challenges faced by underrepresented groups in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. The session is intended to improve our current understanding of strategies that support and enhance the recruitment, retention, and advancement of underrepresented groups in STEM.

The ACS Pittsburgh Section Energy Technology Group has organized an energy symposium. Its “Electricity: Generation, Storage & Transmission” session will include topics such as nuclear power, renewable generation (hydropower and geothermal), and economics of gas versus coal generation. Two “Oil, Gas & Chemicals from Shale Formations” sessions will include topics such as the geology of regional shale formations, the economics and policy aspects of shale resource development, and the conversion of shale resources to high-value fuels and chemicals.

“Analytical Chemistry in the Central Region” will highlight speakers who are responsible for some of the numerous contributions that the Central Region of ACS has made to bioanalytical chemistry. Speakers will discuss developing new tools for bioanalytical microscale separations, cancer biomarker strategies, point-of-care diagnostics, and novel approaches to investigate fundamental processes in cell and molecular biology.

The ACS Division of Organic Chemistry is cosponsoring a symposium in honor of Cope Scholar Jeffrey N. Johnston, a chemistry professor at Vanderbilt University. This symposium will focus on organocatalysis and natural product total synthesis.

During CERM 2014, we will feature three symposia related to chemical education. “Innovations in Undergraduate Chemistry Education” will showcase examples of practices that incorporate modern approaches; demonstrate effective methods for deploying the innovations; and discuss data and perceptions about changes in student attitude, effort, and achievement. “Beyond the Cookbook: Moving Undergraduate Laboratory Courses Forward” will feature presentations of innovative aspects in moving undergraduate experimental experiences past traditional “cookbook” approaches. And those individuals who are currently looking for academic positions (as well as graduate students who may be interested in joining academia) will benefit from the “Careers in Chemical Education” symposium.

The “Surface & Microscopic Characterization of Manufactured Nanomaterials” symposium will focus on advanced manufactured nanostrucured materials including carbon nanotubes, supported metal catalysts, graphene-containing materials, nanoparticles, and multilayer thin-film devices such as solar cells, field-effect transistors, semiconductors, and glass coatings for solar control.

“Culinary Chemistry: Bridging Innovations in Food & Science” will highlight the connections between food, cooking, and chemistry. Presenters will offer insights on teaching chemistry through food and describe how culinary innovations are enhanced by the scientific approach and understanding of chemical concepts.

Symposia of particular interest to industry will include “True Stories from Entrepreneurs,” “Resources for Entrepreneurs,” and “Green Chemistry Success Stories.”

CERM 2014 has additional symposia planned related to proteomics, synthetic organic methods and developments, nucleic-acid-based materials, solid-state materials, computational modeling, polymer science, bioinorganic chemistry, electronic materials, and carbon dioxide capture.

General poster sessions will cover analytical, biological, computational, environmental, inorganic, materials, medicinal, organic, physical, and polymer chemistry, as well as chemical education.

EXHIBITION. Vendors and organizations will showcase their products and services on Wednesday and Thursday at tables in the exhibition area. Participants so far include Bruker Daltonics, Greco Gas, Metrohm USA, PerkinElmer, Reaxis, Shimadzu, Sigma-Aldrich, Pine Research Instrumentation, Qorpak, RJ Lee Group, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Vernier Software & Technology, and Waters Corp. On Friday, we will have a Graduate School & Recruitment Fair in the exhibition area to connect candidates with employers or graduate schools.

COURSES & WORKSHOPS. Through the ACS Leadership Development System, attendees can learn how to manage innovation and change. “Fostering Innovation” will take attendees through a systematic process for idea generation. This process will help attendees tap into their own innovation styles and stimulate innovative thinking for themselves and for others. In “Leading Change,” attendees will be guided through a change process that produces greater results and efficiencies. Change is difficult and has the potential to create confusion. Tools from this course will help attendees connect with a future vision, design new approaches, and engage others more effectively.

ACS will host a hands-on workshop on career pathways for chemists. This workshop is suitable for graduate students and recent grads, as well as experienced professionals considering a career change. In addition to learning about the types of careers that are available, you’ll also learn about job market and hiring trends that will help you make your choice. The workshop will allow time for you to inventory your values, interests, background, strengths, and weaknesses so you can select a career pathway to explore in detail. One-on-one résumé reviews and career guidance sessions will be offered in connection with this workshop.

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM. Designed to provide the busy undergraduate student with numerous professional development and networking opportunities, all undergraduate programming will take place on Friday.

The graduate school recruitment fair will be in operation from 9 AM to 5 PM for students to attend as time permits. The opening event is an undergraduate-only poster session where students can discuss their research with both peers and professional chemists. A résumé and networking luncheon will immediately follow this session. Students will discuss best practices in networking through interacting with chemical professionals, including career expert Joseph D. Jolson. He will discuss current trends in preparing a résumé and seeking employment.

Students are then invited to attend the lecture of keynote speaker Sara E. Skrabalak, an associate chemistry professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, as she discusses her role in developing novel nanomaterials.

For those students interested in bolstering the utility of their ACS student chapter, a panel discussion will be conducted with local outstanding student chapters. These chapters will share successful strategies for event planning, outreach, and organization as well as ACS green chemistry award ideas.

An undergraduate tailgate and social will conclude the day’s events. In the spirit of Halloween, we encourage you to dress appropriately. Might we suggest Walter White and Jesse Pinkman costumes?

HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM. We invite all teachers in the Central Region of ACS to be a part of the exciting teachers program on Saturday. The program will feature presentations by nine past winners of the ACS Division of Chemical Education Central Regional Award for Excellence in High School Teaching. A few of these winners have also won the James Bryant Conant National Award in High School Chemistry Teaching. Topics will include high school chemistry objectives, teaching practices, student projects, and student extracurricular activities. The luncheon, which is included with the teacher registration fee, is a celebration of Project SEED, with a poster session featuring the research of SEED alumni. Representatives from Vernier Software & Technology will also present demonstrations of their chemical laboratory experiments.

AWARDS. We will present several awards during the meeting. The Pittsburgh Section will present the prestigious Pittsburgh Award honoring leadership in chemical affairs. Other awards will include the Pittsburgh Section Distinguished Service Award, the Central Regional Award for Excellence in High School Teaching, the E. Ann Nalley Central Regional Award for Volunteer Service to ACS, and the Stanley C. Israel Central Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences. All former section chairs and 50- and 60-year members in attendance will be recognized.

EVENTS. We will welcome you to Pittsburgh with our kickoff networking reception on Wednesday evening. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served, and a cash bar will be available. Vendors will give away prizes and samples of local Pittsburgh food. If you prefer a night on the town, we will host an outing to Maggie’s Farm Rum in the historic Strip District, formerly the center of manufacturing and commerce in Pittsburgh and now a hip shopping and dining area. This trip includes transportation, tastings, a cocktail, and an in-depth look at the science behind making rum! Ice cream will be served at the ACS governance social on Friday afternoon.

Those who miss Maggie’s Farm Rum on Wednesday will have a second opportunity on Friday evening. This trip will also include a ride on Pittsburgh’s Duquesne Incline, one of the oldest operating funiculars in the country. The view of downtown Pittsburgh from the top of Mount Washington is one of the most beautiful in the city.

A general poster session on Wednesday morning will follow the meeting’s first plenary, and Sci-Mix poster sessions will be held on Wednesday and Thursday.

At the Younger Chemists Committee luncheon on Wednesday, Mónica Giusti, an associate professor in the food science and technology department at Ohio State University, will speak about food science.

Kathleen M. Schulz, cofounder of the ACS leadership development courses and an ACS director-at-large, will speak at the Women Chemists Committee luncheon on Thursday.

LODGING. Rooms are available at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh—Green Tree on a first-come, first-served basis at the special rate of $159 per night when booked through the meeting website.

REGISTRATION. Advance registration will close at 11:59 PM on Oct. 3. On-site registration will continue through the end of the meeting. For additional details, see

We’ve been working hard to build an engaging meeting for our chemistry friends. We’ll see yinz dahntahn in October!  


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