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69th Southeastern Regional Meeting

by Linda Wang
October 9, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 40

Charlotte, N.C.
Credit: Shutterstock
Charlotte, N.C.

The ACS Carolina-Piedmont Local Section will host the 69th Southeastern Regional Meeting (SERMACS) at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 7–11. The general chair is Jordan Poler of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. The program chairs are Dan Rabinovich, also of UNC Charlotte, and David Brown of Davidson College.

SERMACS 2017 at a glance

Dates: Nov. 7–11

Chairs: Jordan Poler,, general chair; Dan Rabinovich,, program chair; David Brown,, assistant program chair


The meeting theme is “Humans to Hybrids” and will feature five plenary lectures, Diversity Day, an exposition, a graduate school fair, K–12 programming, multiple poster sessions and workshops, and more than 30 invited symposia. SERMACS 2017 is being held concurrently with the 2017 Solar Energy Research Center Conference and the North Carolina Photochemistry Symposium.

Technical program. With more than 1,400 submitted abstracts, the technical program will cover all the traditional areas of chemistry as well as bioinorganic chemistry, polymeric nanomaterials, biological mass spectrometry, organofluorine chemistry, analytical neurochemistry, microwave chemistry, heterocyclic carbenes, ionic liquids, and the chemistry of fermentation. The meeting will also highlight advances in sustainability and energy conversion and storage, with plenary lectures by Naomi Halas of Rice University and Nathan Lewis of California Institute of Technology.

Other topical symposia include the chemistry of art and artifacts, chemistry and the law, mechanochemistry, astrochemistry, the history of chemistry, and synthetic biology. A centennial symposium honoring R. B. Woodward will take place on Saturday morning.

General oral and poster sessions will cover analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, physical, and polymer chemistry, as well as chemical education. Joe Schwarcz of McGill University will deliver a plenary lecture on science communication and pseudoscience.

Workshops. There will be workshops on microwave-assisted chemistry, electrochemistry, chemical safety, and chemical entrepreneurship. Two ACS Career Pathways programs will focus on professional development for new and established chemists and include topics such as résumé writing and how to identify your professional strengths and values.

On Saturday, Chemistry Educator Day will include an overview of the ACS Project SEED program, activities for high school chemistry teachers, a plenary lecture by Eric Scerri of the University of California, Los Angeles, on the periodic table, and a live Chemistry Demonstration Extravaganza by Al Hazari of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Exposition. A reception on Wednesday afternoon will kick off the exposition, which will run through early afternoon on Friday. The expo will offer meeting attendees an opportunity to learn about the latest products and equipment on the market.

Social events. Diversity Day on Thursday will feature a series of lectures addressing the challenges and opportunities faced by chemists from underrepresented minorities. The luncheon will feature Rigoberto Hernandez of Johns Hopkins University as the keynote speaker. Later in the evening, meeting attendees can interact with members of ACS governance during an ice cream social. Off-site events include the LGBTQ & Allies Social, and a Younger Chemists Committee gathering at a local brewery.

The undergraduate program, with more than 60 oral and 300 poster presentations, will kick off on Friday morning with a breakfast and special lecture by Kathy Reichs, a renowned forensic anthropologist and novelist.

The Graduate School & Recruiting Fair will take place on Friday and Saturday afternoon. Representatives from more than 25 graduate programs will be available to talk with meeting attendees at the fair.

Awards. The following awards will be presented during the awards luncheon on Saturday: the ACS CHED Southeastern Regional Award for Excellence in High School Teaching, the E. Ann Nalley Regional Award for Volunteer Service to ACS, the Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences, and the Partners for Progress & Prosperity (P3) Award.

Registration and lodging. Advance registration for the meeting will close on Oct. 13; registration at the on-site rate will be available through the end of the meeting. Rooms can be reserved online at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel, and special conference rates will be available online until Oct. 17. To register for the meeting, or for more information, visit


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