The annual ACS Summer School on Green Chemistry & Sustainable Energy took place on June 21–28 at Colorado School of Mines, in Golden, Colo. The program engaged 54 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from the U.S., Canada, and Latin America in a week of lectures, poster presentations, and problem-solving activities. Participants interacted with experts on a wide range of topics, including greening fossil fuels, nano-enabled textiles, renewable plastics, and tools for greening one’s research.
The summer school also introduced the graduate students and postdocs to career-related topics with the potential for a green chemistry focus, specifically entrepreneurship and science policy. Participants learned about ACS resources that can help them advance in their careers. The ACS Petroleum Research Fund (PRF), which sponsors the summer school, offered advice on writing competitive research proposals. The major project of the summer school involved students conducting a life-cycle assessment of various synthetic pathways to determine the greenest synthesis and presenting their results to the entire group.
The chemistry department at Colorado School of Mines provided support throughout the program. New Belgium Brewing Co., which is located in Fort Collins, Colo., and has a strong commitment to sustainability, donated beer to the summer school. One participant summarized the impact of the summer school by noting, “I personally feel this program is going to make a very large, real difference in the quality of my science career.”