Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Letter from the Director: Spotlight on AI-Enabled Green Chemistry at GC&E in The Nexus Newsletter

Honored Contributor
0 0 561
By Adelina Voutchkova, Director of Sustainable Development, American Chemical Society

ACS's Director of Sustainable Development and the Green Chemistry Institute introduces the May/June 2024 issue of The Nexus newsletter, highlighting exciting new programming for this year's GC&E Conference.

By Adelina Voutchkova, Director of Sustainable Development, American Chemical Society

Adelina Nexus Intro (600 x 300 px).png

As the academic year draws to a close, I hope you're all gearing up for an exciting array of summer activities. Here at the ACS GCI, we're eagerly anticipating your presence at the 28th Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference (GC&E) in Atlanta. For those unable to join us in person, virtual registration options are available, including scholarships tailored for students from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), specific regions, and secondary school educators.

Our excitement for the conference stems from two key factors: firstly, its overarching theme, and secondly, the groundbreaking initiatives we're unveiling. This year's theme, "AI-Enabled Green Chemistry," reflects the immense potential within our reach—leveraging computational power to revolutionize the design of chemistries that simultaneously prioritize function, efficiency, and sustainability.

Addressing the complex challenge of designing safer and more sustainable chemical manufacturing processes demands a multifaceted approach. This is where the synergy of computational chemistry and machine learning may prove invaluable. By harnessing these tools, researchers can accelerate the design of molecular structures, predict potential reactions, and optimize reaction conditions, thereby streamlining experimentation and conserving resources. Furthermore, AI-driven simulations empower us to proactively assess the environmental footprint of various chemical processes, paving the way for greener alternatives.

While we're only beginning to scratch the surface of machine learning's applications in this domain, it's crucial to recognize that its efficacy hinges on robust data and a deep understanding of relevant chemical mechanisms. Accordingly, this year's conference sessions span a diverse spectrum, exploring the myriad ways existing tools can be harnessed for research. Additionally, these sessions shed light on the challenges and constraints faced, such as the imperative for data sharing and curation to underpin the models of tomorrow.

Another reason we are excited about the conference is several innovations this year. Among these innovations, you'll find an Innovation Hub showcasing cutting-edge tools and platforms, a captivating molecular escape room courtesy of the NSF-supported Molecular Maker Lab Institute, a hands-on student service project focusing on the Atlanta Watershed, and an AI Hackathon scheduled for Sunday. In an effort to offer opportunities for professional development to our community, there will be two workshops offered this year, at no additional registration cost, on circular polymers and on systems thinking in teaching. Notably, the conference's first day will mark the launch of a new web platform designed to enhance collaboration and the application of green chemistry tools within our community and with community stakeholders. We are very excited to share this beta version with you and get your feedback as we continue to develop its features to meet your needs. The platform connects to another new e-learning resource for practical green chemistry in the lab, titled the Green Chemistry and Engineering Learning Platform, which you can read more about in this issue of the Nexus.

We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta – in-person or virtually – and hearing from you how the GCI can continue to support our collective efforts to make all chemistry green.