Message from the Director

Contributor III
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Contributed by David Constable, Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute®

It’s hard to believe that we are only a few weeks away from the 19th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, to be held in N. Bethesda, MD., July 14th through the 16th. Putting on a Conference like this with all the various activities beyond the technical programming is a consuming undertaking.

We start on Monday, July 13th with the NSF Student Workshop, a Chemical Manufacturers Roundtable meeting, and the Presidential Green Chemistry Awards Ceremony; and the Conference hasn’t even started yet!

Tuesday begins with breakfast and introductory remarks, followed by a morning of technical programs. At about mid-day we will be honored to host Senator Chris Coons, one of the primary sponsors of the Sustainable Chemistry R&D Act, and a huge supporter of green and sustainable chemistry. There is a lunch Keynote speaker, Dr. Deborah Mielewski from Ford,  technical programming in the afternoon, another Industrial Roundtable meeting followed by a Conference welcome reception, where the Hancock and Breen award winners will be announced.

Wednesday follows a similar pattern but a keynote presentation by Dr. Angela Belcher kicks off the day. Lunch is accompanied by a poster session followed by the afternoon technical sessions, and another Industrial roundtable meeting. The evening will hold an ACS Career Workshop and an invitation-only poster reception for the Industrial Roundtables. Thursday morning we recognize the student poster award winners and the Applied Separations award winner, after which Dr. Frances Arnold will deliver the morning keynote address. There is solid technical programming in both the morning and the afternoon.

We are pleased to once again host a live webinar on Thursday afternoon with our ACS Colleagues Webinars team, along with two important industry-related meetings.  The first meeting is an exploratory workshop for those people interested in forming a Biochemical Technology Leadership Roundtable which is seeking to bring interested parties across the biochemical value chain to collaboratively solve scientific and technical challenges associated with commercializing biorenewable chemicals. The second meeting will be a brainstorming session to assist our chemical manufacturers in progressing their Alternatives to Distillation Roadmap planning grant recently awarded by NIST. On Friday, there is another Industrial Roundtable meeting. All-in-all, it’s a very busy week!

None of this would be possible without the hard work on the part of many people. The conference organizing committee members, Dr. David Leahy of BMS, Dr. Bruce Lipshutz, Dr. Richard Wool, and Dr. Joseph Stanzione have been meeting regularly since last July, and have assembled an outstanding technical program. We were deeply saddened by Dr. Wool’s untimely passing earlier this year, and are indebted to Dr. Stanzione for stepping in over the past few months to ensure continuity of Richard’s vision.

We are very grateful for their hard work and for the work of the session chairs who have assembled an impressive array of speakers and to the Industrial Roundtables for their work in programming. We are also very grateful to all of our sponsors and exhibitors who have made this meeting possible and have added to its attraction. Last, but not least, there is an army of ACS staff, ACS GCI staff, and volunteers who have contributed to the success of this conference over the course of the past year; without them, this conference would not be a reality.

Finally, I would like to note the success this past week of the ACS Summer School on Sustainable Energy and Green Chemistry.  Dr. Mary Kirchoff has been assembling a great line up of speakers each year for many years and this year was no exception.  I was encouraged that a larger number of students are coming to the school with more than a passing knowledge of green and sustainable chemistry and appreciated the discussions, poster sessions and the general level of enthusiasm for green chemistry. This is a great program and I very much appreciate the hard work of Mary’s staff and the sponsorship of the Petroleum Research Fund that make this event possible.

I hope to see you all in North Bethesda in just a few weeks!  As always, please do let me know what you think.


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