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Profiles

Snapshots of new ACS members

Networking opportunities, open access, and career growth are just a few reasons new members cite for joining the American Chemical Society

by Linda Wang
January 7, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 1

 

With more than 151,000 members, the American Chemical Society membership is growing.

Benefits of membership to the world’s largest scientific society include access to career development tools and resources; discounts on registration for ACS-sponsored meetings; networking through local sections, technical divisions, student chapters, and international chemical sciences chapters; access to C&EN, SciFinder, and ACS journals; access to the ACS Webinars archives; and access to ACS member insurance plans. Membership is currently $171.00 a year for regular members, $85.50 for graduate students, and $56.00 for undergraduate students ($28.00 without C&EN).

The following is a snapshot of several new members from around the world.

Karl Börjesson

Associate professor of physical chemistry, University of Gothenburg

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Credit: Courtesy of Karl Börjesson
Karl Börjesson

Why did you join ACS?

I joined ACS to get a discount on purchasing open access when publishing in ACS journals. I have funds from both the Swedish Research Council and the European Research Council requiring that all research articles published are made open access.

What do you love about chemistry?

The thing I love most about chemistry is the enormous intellectual challenge that is required to solve problems, no matter if it is the synthesis of a new compound, an NMR spectrum that did not look as expected, the reason why a by-product is formed in a reaction, or how to extract light in the fastest possible manner from an excited triplet state of an organic molecule.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your career?

Over the past three years, I have built up my own research group, going from 0 to about 10 people, and purchased a lot of equipment. I did not realize how difficult it is to recruit people; my biggest challenge is getting people to apply to positions at a small university far up in northern Europe.

What are some of your hobbies?

I brew my own beer. I have been doing so for the past 10 years.

Tamal Chatterjee

Postdoctoral researcher, Paris Diderot University

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Credit: Courtesy of Tamal Chatterjee
Tamal Chatterjee

Why did you join ACS?

As a chemistry researcher, I have been following various journals from different publishers. I think the most unique features of ACS publications are associated with its systematic archives, easy availability of a particular reference, and colorful interface of the journals. Furthermore, different events organized by ACS provide chances to build a network within the scientific community. The CAS division offers effortless and vivid search of literature, patents, and seminars, which opens a lot of opportunities for researchers.

What is your area of research?

Currently, I am working on the design of effective molecular catalysts which convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into either fuel or useful chemicals by the means of electrochemical or photochemical energy. After doing my PhD on porphyrin synthesis and characterization, I want to use the synthetic knowledge to address an important global issue. In this regard, I choose to work on carbon dioxide reduction reactions using porphyrin-based molecular catalysts.

What do you hope to gain from your ACS membership?

As a new member, I will be looking for the information regarding different symposia, scholarships, and travel grants organized by ACS during the year. Also, information about the new features and particulars added to the journals or magazine will be of immense interest.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your career?

The biggest challenge for me would be to shape my research in such a way that will help me maintain a bridge between industry and academia.

Noor Eldabagh

Graduate student and adjunct lab professor of chemistry, William Paterson University

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Credit: Courtesy of Noor Eldabagh
Noor Eldabagh

Why did you join ACS?

Throughout my undergraduate career as a double major in biology and chemistry, I did research at the interface of theoretical and computational chemistry and nanoscience. I was privileged enough to have several opportunities to present my research at ACS national and regional meetings, and after meeting and talking to others who were attending, I felt that I belonged and wanted to continue to meet with other scientists pushing the boundaries of their discipline. In addition to the network of chemical scientists, I was also drawn to the access that membership provides to interesting ACS journals and events.

What do you hope to gain from your ACS membership?

I am looking forward to participating in upcoming ACS meetings and attending talks by other graduate students, professors, and professionals in the chemical sciences. I am drawn to ACS by the sense of community that it embodies; every time I have attended an ACS conference, no matter what city it’s being hosted in, I have enjoyed being part of this outstanding scientific group that tackles some of the biggest (and smallest) problems that science can potentially solve.

What have you gotten out of attending ACS national meetings?

As an undergraduate, presenting my posters at ACS national meetings allowed me to develop my presentation skills in a way that I could never learn had I not attended these conferences. I had given poster presentations at smaller symposia before, but being in the middle of a huge room in the presence of hundreds of other great young scientists really catalyzed how quickly I learned to effectively and eloquently present my research, and this skill has helped me in graduate school, where I gave an oral presentation for the first time at the American Physical Society conference in Los Angeles in March and at the ACS national meeting in Boston this past summer. ACS is very special to me because my formative experiences as a scientist were associated with ACS. I attended and presented at my first national meeting through ACS and published my first paper in ACS Photonics during my undergraduate years and my first first-author paper in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

Jonas Fernandes

Research scientist, Braskem America

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Credit: Courtesy of Jonas Fernandes
Jonas Fernandes

Why did you join ACS?

I often participate in the ACS conferences, and my motivation to join is to be more active within the scientific community through one of the most respected societies worldwide.

What is your area of research?

My research focuses on developing catalysts for olefin polymerization and investigating its influence in the polymerization processes and in polymer properties. I started my work in this field seven years ago after joining the catalysis research group at Braskem shortly after concluding my PhD in polymer chemistry at Kyoto University.

What do you love about chemistry?

I love the complexity. It is fascinating that even fields of chemistry assumed to be matured, such as polyolefins, still remain with so many fundamental questions. Chemistry is also a field that evolves with the needs of the society. It is constantly challenged, and it is very dynamic.

Craig Goodman

PhD candidate, Clemson University

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Credit: Courtesy of Craig Goodman
Craig Goodman

Why did you join ACS?

Two things: One, career opportunities. ACS is a great way to browse these opportunities and help you figure out what you might want to do for a living. The second thing would be C&EN’s knack for featuring scientific articles and papers that I find really interesting.

What do you love about chemistry?

I study bioinorganic chemistry. I’ve ­always been fascinated by both disease and chemical transformations that underlie biological processes. So, studying the involvement of metals in certain untoward physiological processes seemed a great fit for me. Chemistry blows my mind every time I see just how perfectly nature has tailored or adapted some biomolecule to perfectly execute its intended function. I think that’s my favorite feeling.

What do you hope to get out of your membership?

I’m going to be honest: a job. Aside from that, I’d say I’m looking forward to getting my feet wet in the professional chemist world.

What are some of your hobbies?

I play the carillon pretty regularly in my free time—a musical instrument composed of at least two octaves’ worth of bells. I think it’s a good way to both relax and destress.

Sahika Inal

Assistant professor of bioscience and electrical engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

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Credit: Courtesy of Sahika Inal
Sahika Inal

Why did you join ACS?

I am an author and a reader of ACS journals, so there is nothing more natural than to be, officially, a part of a community that I follow. I also wanted to hear about the advances that are going on and activities that I can take part in.

What is your area of research?

My research is in the area of bioelectronics. My research interests cover organic electronic materials and devices that can address research and clinical health monitoring and therapy needs. I got trained as a textile engineer who had broad interests in polymer science and applications of carbon-based semiconductors. What fascinated me most is the potential of these materials for recording small biological signals and modulating biological events. After a related graduate degree in experimental physics, I went further down the rabbit hole.

What do you love about chemistry?

I love everything about the chemistry of materials. I am not a chemist myself but work closely with chemists. A small modification in the chemical structure can lead to a completely different material with unexpected properties that can be leveraged in an application that no one has ever thought about. My eyes look for the material’s ability to communicate with living systems, and having the power of chemistry to change the fate of a compound in the lab just fascinates me.

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Constantinos Neochoritis

Assistant professor of organic chemistry, University of Crete .

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Credit: Courtesy of Constantinos Neochoritis
Constantinos Neochoritis

Why did you join ACS?

I was already familiar with ACS since my master’s degree in Greece and mostly later on as an author in ACS journals. This decision to join came after realizing that ACS throughout the last decade has slowly been transformed from a strictly research society to a worldwide community for chemists. It not only covers scientific problems through its prestigious journals but also gives a general briefing of what is happening all over the world.

What do you love about chemistry?

As far as I can remember, I was always in love with science. Chemistry and especially organic chemistry became my passions. The art of creating something totally novel that no one ever synthesized on Earth is absolutely fascinating. If you combine that with the rationale of doing something that could eventually improve people’s lives, what more could you ask for?

What do you hope to gain from your ACS membership?

I want to be actively engaged in the worldwide mission of today’s chemists. It is a tremendous responsibility and obligation for the society we are serving.

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