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Vol. 32 No. 1
January-February 2010

Conference Call | Reports from recent conferences and symposia 
See also www.iupac.org/indexes/Conferences

think poly.

by Frank Wiesbrock and Franz Stelzer

Franz Stelzer, president of the EPF and chair of the EPF’09 congress.

The 12th European Polymer Congress, EPF’09, was held 12–17 July 2009 in Graz, Austria, the “Cultural Capital” of Europe in 2003. The biannual congress is one of the main activities of the European Polymer Federation (EPF), the umbrella organization for the national polymer societies in Europe that currently comprises 22 full and 4 associated member countries. Since its start in Lyon, France, in 1986, the congress series has developed to become one of the major events in polymer science.

Franz Stelzer, president of EPF for 2008–2009, was chair of the organizing committee. The international advisory board of 22 full member countries’ representatives was supported by internationally renowned researchers from North America (Virgil Percec and Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, both USA) and Asia (Akira Harada, Japan; Der-Jang Liaw, Taiwan; and Jung-Il Jin, Republic of Korea).

The EPF’09 congress hosted around 1000 participants from more than 50 countries for an intense yet relaxed exchange of scientific results and ideas among industrial partners, highly recognized scientists, and young researchers. With 7 leading-edge plenary speakers, 35 keynote and 61 invited speakers, almost 300 oral contributions and around 600 posters, the congress continued to build upon previous meetings.

Following is a list of the plenary lectures:

  • “Biofunctional Materials in Modulating Tissue and Immune Responses,” Jeffrey Alan Hubbell (EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • “Macromolecules, Assemblies, Particles—A Discovery Journey in Materials Synthesis,” Klaus Müllen (Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Germany)
  • “Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization: From Mechanisms to Materials,” Krzysztof Matyjaszewski (Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, USA)
  • “The Convergence of Top Down and Bottom Up Patterning Applied to Electronics and the Life Sciences,” Christopher Ober (Cornell University, New York, USA)
  • “Bioinspired Synthesis of Complex Functional Systems,” Virgil Percec (University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, USA)
  • “Oleo-Chemistry Meets Supramolecular Chemistry: Design of Self-Repairing Materials,” Ludwik Leibler (ESPCI-CNRS Paris, France)
  • “From Polymers to Soft Matter Devices,” Gero Decher (Louis Pasteur University, France)

The scientific program of the EPF’09 covered all aspects of polymer science, comprising contributions in particular from the pentagon synthesis, characterization, processing, application, and theory. The scientific contributions were organized in six parallel sessions indicative of current research trends: (1) Polymers from Bioresources; (2) Polymers for Medical Applications; (3) Polymers in Electronics, Photonics, and Optics; (4) Micro- and Nanostructured Polymeric Systems; (5) Engineering Polymers and Polymer Technology; and (6) General Topics in Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics.

Poster sessions were held on all remaining evenings during the EPF’09 congress. In each poster session, the five best posters were awarded prizes sponsored by the American Chemical Society (Biomacromolecules and Macromolecules), the Royal Society of Chemistry (Soft Matter and Journal of Materials Chemistry), Elsevier, Wiley-VCH (Macromolecular Journals), Springer, and Graz University of Technology.

Another milestone of the EPF’09 congress was the celebration of the “Pieter Jan Lemstra Invention Award” ceremony, sponsored by the Dutch Polymer Institute. This year’s award winner, Ulrich S. Schubert (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany; formerly Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands), was awarded at a dedicated session chaired by Jacques Joosten, director of corporate technology at DSM, The Netherlands.

An overview of the state-of-the-art research presented at the EPF’09 will be published in a dedicated, peer-reviewed issue of Macromolecular Symposia by WILEY-VCH in the near future.
The next European Polymer Congress will take place in Granada, Spain, from 26 June to 1 July 2011.

Franz Stelzer <franz.stelzer@tugraz.at> is head of the Institute for Chemistry and Technology of Materials at the Graz University of Technology and vice rector for research and technology at the Graz University of Technology, Austria.


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