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Vol. 35 No. 4
July-August 2013

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

Advanced Polymeric Materials

The IUPAC–sponsored World Forum on Advanced Polymeric Materials, POLYCHAR 21, was held in March 2013 in Gwangju, South Korea. Founded in 1992, POLYCHAR had been held annually at the University of North Texas, Denton, until 2004 when it was held in Portugal, the first POLYCHAR held outside the USA. Since then, it has been held in Singapore (2005), Japan (2006), Brazil (2007), India (2008), France (2009), Germany (2010), Nepal (2011), and Croatia (2012).

Jean-Jacques Pireaux, Chair of the Prize Committee (left) and Holger Schoenherr (right).

Under the chairmanship of Byung-Wook Jo of Chosun University, Gwangju, 245 participants from 30 countries gathered from 11–15 March in the Kim Dae-Jung Convention Centre. There were 26 invited speakers and 71 oral contributions, 134 posters (in two sessions). The conference received strong support from the City of Gwangju, Chosun University, Korean Polymer Society, and numerous industry sponsors.

The name POLYCHAR is derived from polymer characterization, but the conference goes beyond that initial goal and now addresses the whole field of polymeric materials. The Short Course on Polymer Characterization, held usually on the first conference day, was established at the very beginning by the POLYCHAR founders: Witold Brostow, Michael Hess, and Kevin P. Menard. The Short Course serves as a tutorial for newcomers in the field of polymer science as well as an update by specialists in the field on recent developments in analysis and characterization of polymer systems. The topics covered in the Short Course were:

  • Thermal Characterization of Polymers, Hess (Chosun University, Korea)
  • Polymer Relaxation Dynamics analyzed through Cooperativity and Glasstransition, Saiter (University of Rouen, France)
  • Introduction into Tribology, Brostow (University of North Texas, USA)
  • Polymer Spectroscopy, IR and NMR, Hess (Chosun University, Korea)
  • Modern Electron Microscopy in Polymer Characterization, Henning (Fraunhofer Institute Mechanics of Materials, Germany)
  • Advanced Microscopy and Spectroscopic Techniques for Surface Characterization, Schoenherr (University of Siegen, Germany)
  • Basics of Scattering Techniques: X-ray, Neutron Scattering, Light Scattering, Guenet (Institute Charles Sadron, CNRS, University of Strasbourg, France)
  • HPLC-Characterization of Polymers, Chang (Pohang University of Science and Technology, Korea)

The focus of POLYCHAR 21 was “Promoting Green Chemistry,” with sessions on Nano- and Smart Materials, Polymers in Electronics and Optoelectronics, Predictive Methods and Simulation, and Biomaterials and Natural and Biodegradable Polymers, among others.

The conference included three plenary speeches:

  • Changhyun Choi (Samsung Total Petrochemicals, Chungnam, Korea): “Polymer Industry in Korea—Past, Present, and Future”
  • Hiroyuki Ono (Tokyo University of Agriculture, Tokyo, Japan): “Ionic Liquids: Potential Partner for Biorafinery”
  • Chris Ober (Cornell University, Ithaca, USA): “Lithography: A Tool in Accessing the Performance of Polymers and Other Materials Systems”

Nine keynote speakers introduced the individual sessions of the conference. A list of the topics covered in each session can be found at www.polychar21-korea.org.

Financial support from IUPAC allowed 12 students from emerging countries in Asia, Africa, and South America to attend.

The P.J. Flory Polymer Research prize was given to Betty L. Lopez, University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia, for her work on “Synthesis and Application of Meso-Nanoscopic Polymer Systems” and for fostering polymer science in Colombia.

The International Materials Science Prize was given to Holger Schoenherr, University of Siegen, Siegen, Germany, for his work on “Chemistry and Physics of Organic Biointerfaces” and for his successful international cooperation.

Three IUPAC Poster Prizes were awarded (full details online):

  • Shuk Ping Wong (University of Hong Kong, China),
  • Kwang-Ho Ko (Chosun University, Gwangju, South Korea)
  • Jeremiah Millare (Mapua Institute of Technology, Manila, Philippines)

The Jűrgen Springer Prize for a Young Scientist was given to Jelena Ciric (University of Groningen, The Netherlands), “Size-Exclusion Chromatography with Multidetection in Combination with MALDI-TOF MS as a Tool for Unreavelling the Mechanism of the Enzymatic Polymerization of Polysaccharides”

The Bruce Hartman Prize for a Young Scientists went to Nicolas Delpove (Universite de Rouen, France), “Evidence of two Mobile Amorphous Phases in Semicrystalline Polylactide From Calorimetric Investigations”

The Carl Klason Prize for an Outstanding Student Presentation was awarded to the three ex aequo winners (full details online):

  • Mathias Bechert (Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen, Germany)
  • M. Elizabeth Welch (Cornell University, Ithaca, USA)
  • Nowsheen Goonoo (University of Mauritius, Réduit, Mauritius)

The participants left Gwangju expressing their appreciation of a very effective conference with the familiar atmosphere they are used to from the earlier meetings. They were impressed by the kindness and great hospitality of the Korean people. POLYCHAR 22 will be held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, most likely in March 2014.

www.polychar21-korea.org


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