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Vol. 32 No. 4
July-August 2010

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

Advanced Polymeric Materials

by Werner Mormann and Michael Hess

The 18th Word Forum on Advanced Polymeric Materials
POLYCHAR 18—was held in Siegen, Germany, 7–10 April 2010. It was proceeded by the Short Course on Polymer Characterization, a regular tutorial with a long tradition, held on 6 April by designated experts in their field. The name POLYCHAR is derived from polymer characterization and addresses the whole field of polymeric materials.

The conference was hosted by the Department of Macromolecular Chemistry of the University of Siegen in the southern tip of the State of North-Rhine-Westfalia, County of Siegen-Wittgenstein. Although located in a water-rich hill country with vast forests, it has been a center of iron ore mining and the manufacturing of high-tech materials and products for a long time. Hence, it proved to be a good place for non-metal materials scientists to meet.

Goerg Michler (left), chair of the POLYCHAR Prize Committee; Andrezej Galeski, recipient of the Paul J. Flory Medal 2010; and Werner Mormann, chair of POLYCHAR 18.

About 250 registered participants (23 from industry) from 5 continents and 41 countries attended this intensive three-day meeting that offered 129 oral contributions, arranged in three parallel sessions, and one poster session with 112 contributions. Six keynote speakers and 38 invited speakers formed the framework of the sessions which covered Synthesis, Physico-Chemical Properties, Surfaces & Interfaces, Characterization, Application, and Processing.

Delegates were welcomed by the Conference Chair Werner Mormann. He was followed by Jung-Il Jin, IUPAC past president, in his function as official IUPAC representative.

The titles of the following keynote lectures demonstrate the borad range of subjects covered by the conference:

  • Gero Decher, Strasbourg (France), “Toward Soft Matter Thin Film Devices”
  • David Grainger, Salt Lake City (USA), “Molecular Sorting at Surfaces: Protein-Protein Capture to Pattern and their Analysis”
  • Tony Ryan, Sheffield (UK), “The Quest for Motility: Making Polymers Swim”
  • Jiasong He, Beijing (China), “Microfoaming of Polymers by Supercritical CO2-Technique”
  • Michael Buchmeiser, Stuttgart (Germany), “Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization Derived Materials for Heterogeneous Catalysis, Separation Science and Tissue Engineering”
  • Kwang-Sup Lee, Daejeon (Republic of Korea), “Recent Advances in Two-Photon Stereolithography”

As an IUPAC-sponsored international conference, POLYCHAR attracts internationally renowned scientists from all over the world. The philosophy of POLYCHAR from the very beginning was to give young scientists and advanced students a forum in which to present their results themselves as oral presentations or posters, and to allow them to meet and establish contacts with the established scientists from academia and industry.

IUPAC sponsorship and a German Academic Exchange Service grant were used to support the attendance of 24 students from developing and underprivileged countries and a researcher from the University of Nigeria. The German Research Council and Funds of Chemical Industry enabled conference organizers to attract high-level scientists from all over the world.

The conference concluded with two P.J. Flory Award Speeches and a prize ceremony honoring the recipients of the award:

  • Hans Wolfgang Spiess, Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, for his pioneering work in the field of Solid-State-NMR for the analysis of structure and dynamics of polymer systems
  • Andrzej Galeski, Centre of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lodz, for his pioneering work on strength and toughness of semicrystalline polymers, blends, and filled polymer systems

The International Materials Science Prize was given to Peter Mallon, Stellenbosch (South Africa), who gave a talk on “Synthesis, Morphology, and Electrospinning of Polydimethylsiloxane-based Copolymers.”

Jung-Il Jin (right), past president of IUPAC, presents an IUPAC-poster prize to Lei Nie, University of Sheffield, England.

The Jürgen Springer Award for a Young Scientist was given to Davide Tranchida, Humboldt fellow at the University of Siegen, for his presentation on “Mechanical Properties of Morphologies Studied by Atomic Force Microscopy Nanoindentation: Polymer Brushes and Polymeric Nanophases.”

Because of strong competition, the Carl Klason Prize for the Best Student Paper was awarded to three ex aequo winners:

  • Victor Baukh, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands (advisor Henk Huinink) for his paper on “NMR-Imaging of Water Absorption by Multilayer Coatings”
  • Gareth Bayley, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa (advisor Peter Mallon) for his presentation on “Carbon Nanotube-Filled Electrospun Polyacrylonitrile-Graft-Poly(dimethylsiloxane) Fibers for Silicone Elastomer Composites”
  • Anais Vuillequez, University of Rouen, France (advisor Jean-Marc Saiter) for her paper on “Glass Transition and Enthalpy Relaxation in Glassy Materials: from Polymers to Food Industry”

IUPAC Poster Prizes were awarded as follows:

  • Nattaya Muksing, Chulangkorn University Bangkok, Thailand (advisor Rathanawan Magaraphan), for her poster “Peroxide Cured Natural Rubber/Fluorelastomer/High-Density Polyethylene via Dynamic Vulcanization”
  • Lei Nie, University of Sheffield, England (advisor Tony J. Ryan), for his poster “Water Vaper Transport in Liquid Crystalline Thermosets”
  • Nataliia Puzko, Lviv Polytechnic National University, Lviv Ukraine (advisor Michail Bratychak), for her poster “Regulation of Carbon-Chain Polymer Surface Properties”

Winners of the Wiley Poster Prize:

  • Anton Ginzburg, Deutsches Kunststoffinstitut Darmstadt Germany (advisor Tibor Macko), for his poster “Characterization of Polyolefines with High-Temperature Two-Dimensional Liquid Chromatography”
  • Fritjof Nilsson, Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, Sweden (advisor Ulf W. Gedde), for his poster “Modelling the Permittivity of Anisotropic Composites”

The POLYCHAR-18 Poster Prize was given to Anna Trinker, University of Cologne (advisor Bernd Tieke), for her poster “Functionalization of Hydrogels Based on N-Isopropylacrylamide and Cationic Surfactant Monomers via Counterion Exchange.”

IUPAC sponsorship was vital in supplying international recognition, credibility, and attracting many high-quality speakers from all over the world and all fields of polymer science and technology.

With more than 80 registered participants from academia and industry, this IUPAC-sponsored Short Course on Polymer Characterization was very popular and provided newcomers with a better understanding of the field. Following are some highlights:

  • “Atomic Force Spectroscopy: Morphology and Surface Analysis Beyond Topography,” H. Schönherr, Siegen (Germany)
  • “Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis,” M. Hess, Siegen (Germany)
  • “Comprehensive Characterization of Macromolecules by Liquid Chromatography,” P. Kilz, PSS Darmstadt (Germany) and C. Johann, Wyatt Technology Europe, Dernbach (Germany)
  • “Characterization of Thin Polymer Films by Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Monitoring (QCM-D),” S. Svedhem, Lund (Sweden)
  • “Assessing Transport Properties of Polymers by Experimental Techniques and Simulation Techniques,” U.W. Gedde, Stockholm (Sweden)

Manuscripts will be published in Macromolecular Symposia, as well as in Polymer Engineering & Science after the usual process of peer review.

Future POLYCHAR conferences are scheduled as follows:

  • POLYCHAR-19, Katmandu, Nepal, March 2011
  • POLYCHAR-20, Zagreb, Croatia, 2012
  • POLYCHAR-21, Gwangju, South Korea, 2013

For more information, see <www.unt.edu/POLYCHAR>.


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