News Release

Plenaries at American Chemical Society meeting focus on energy, materials, partnerships

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Chemical Society

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2017 -- Scientists, in four plenary talks, will explore a variety of subjects related to the "Advanced Materials, Technologies, Systems & Processes" theme of the 253rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. The meeting will take place April 2 to 6 in San Francisco.

The presentations, which are among more than 14,000 scheduled to take place at the meeting, will be held on Sunday, April 2, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. PDT, in the Gateway Ballroom 103/104 of the Moscone Center. The plenary talks, as well as all thematic programming, are organized by Kathryn Beers, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The talks will highlight the critical impacts that advances in materials, technology, systems and processes have had on energy, the environment and health, as well as the importance of collaboration between industry and academia. The titles of the plenary talks are listed below:

  • Peter Green, Ph.D.: "Clean energy challenge: An integrated approach involving basic research, innovation and human factors"

  • Jeffrey Linhardt, Ph.D.: "Technology at the interface of microelectronics, life sciences, and big data: Materials challenges"

  • Ann-Christine Albertsson, Dr.Sc.: "From design and synthesis to advanced properties and sustainable polymeric materials"

  • Keith Watson, Ph.D.: "Fostering industrial and academic partnerships"


The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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Clean energy challenge: An integrated approach involving basic research, innovation and human factors


The Paris agreement, adopted in December 2015, with its goal to limit the increase of the average global temperature of the planet to less than 2 degrees, has important implications on immediate and long-term targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and associated scientific and technological advances for research on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.

The consensus, based on a number of recent studies, is that all strategies to achieve this 2 degree limit must include a combination of three things: (1) improved efficiencies (buildings, transportation, industrial) and conservation, (2) decarbonization of electricity and fuels, (3) use of low carbon end-use alternatives. Analyses of various scenarios reveal that there are many 'pathways' to achieving the goal. All pathways are necessarily collaborative, involving policy makers, economists, scientists, engineers and consumption behavior. One of the key actions will involve the integration of large amounts of renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal) into the electric grid. This presentation will address the scientific/technological advances by NREL researchers and collaborators in renewable energy: hydrogen production, low carbon fuels, new materials and processes for solar. Advances and remaining challenges in renewable energy as well as the synergy between basic and applied R&D, analysis and deployment, together with an understanding.


From design and synthesis to advanced properties and sustainable polymeric materials


Biomacromolecules journal is a forum for the dissemination of cutting-edge research at the interface of polymer science and biology. Most covered topics in Biomacromolecules include: polymer synthesis, sustainable chemistry, monomers and polymers based on natural and renewable resources, polymeric drugs, in vitro and in vivo biocatalysis, biomacromolecular assembly, biomimetic materials, bioprocessing, bioactive surfaces, drug-delivery, polymers in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, polymeric scaffolds and hydrogels. In this context, some of our research interests at KTH Royal Institute of Technology involve the design, synthesis and surface modification of biomaterials, molecular architecture for sustainable renewable materials, and degradable polymers.


Fostering industrial and academic partnerships


In 2011, The Dow Chemical Company greatly increased its investment in chemical-related research at several academic institutions across the United States as part of its University Partnership Initiative (UPI). The intent of this initiative is to strengthen research in traditional scientific fields such as chemical engineering, chemistry, and material science that are important to Dow, to industry, and to addressing some of the world's most pressing challenges. In addition to expanding research in areas of immediate industrial relevance, the program also offers numerous other incentives, including the development of a pipeline of PhD researchers for future industrial careers and the enhancement of collaboration between Dow and Academia that will foster future innovation for years to come. Learnings from the first five years of UPI will be discussed. Specific focus will be placed on the methodologies that were used to foster a collaborative environment between Dow and Academia to meet the needs of both parties. Highlights of technical success, the positive effects that have been observed beyond technology, as well as the associated challenges will also be reviewed. Finally, Dow's vision for the future of industrial and academic partnerships and how the greater chemical community can ensure these type of partnerships continue to flourish will be addressed.

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