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Report from IUPAC-Sponsored Symposiaum

UNESCO Preconference Workshop and UNESCO School and IUPAC Conference on Macromolecules and Materials Science
8-9 and 10-12 April 2000, Matieland, South Africa

> Back to Calendar

Profs. J.C. Jansen
and R.D. Sanderson

This collaboration between UNESCO and IUPAC, organized by Prof. Ron Sanderson of the University of Stellenbosch, Matieland, South Africa (E-mail: [email protected]), attracted 160 attendees, of whom 66 came from countries other than South Africa. Good representation from the African continent included delegates from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, and Nigeria. The large number of students who actively participated in the weeklong proceedings was most gratifying.

At the UNESCO Preconference Workshop, 1 local speaker and 17 international speakers presented informative lectures on introduction to polymers, chain polymerization reactions, polymer degradation and stabilization, polymer recycling, and analysis and characterization of polymers.

Prof. P. S. Steyn, IUPAC Vice President, opened the UNESCO School and IUPAC Conference with greetings from IUPAC, and he was followed by 24 plenary lecturers from 10 countries. Scientists from another 3 countries presented invited talks. Highlights of the conference included the following:

    • excellent work on plastics recycling, described by Dr. Hans Zweifel from Basel, Switzerland;
    • a new stopflow kinetic device developed by Prof. Minoru Terano of the Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Japan for measuring reaction kinetics in ZieglerNatta and metallocene polymerizations;
    • an excellent overview of selfassembly nanomaterials given by Prof. Samuel I. Stupp of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA, followed by a thermodynamic prediction of nanostructure synthesis by Dr. Lionel Vayssieres of Dr. Anders Hagfeldt’s research group at Uppsala University, Sweden;
    • a description of new colloidal copying of organic structures by Prof. R. D. Sanderson and Charl Faul of Stellenbosch University in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Markus Antonietti of Max-Planck-Institut in Golm, Germany;
    • a discussion by Dr. Ioan Tincul of Sasol Technology, Modderfontein, South Africa, of the newer polyolefins, synthesized by Ziegler Natta, and the new propene pentene copolymer with low haze currently being commercialized by the Sasol subsidiary Polifin;
    • a fine overview of the newest findings on "living- free" radical polymerizations presented by the group of Dr. Bert Klumperman (Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands), Axel Müller (University of Bayreuth, Germany), Stefan Bon (University of Warwick, England, UK), and San Thang (CSIRO, Australia); and • an exciting discussion of new techniques for materials processing with supercritical fluids, with emphasis on applications to polymers, presented by Prof. Gerda van Rosmalen of Delft University, Netherlands. Concluding remarks given by top technical people from industry included summaries of the following topics:
    • South African coatings technology priorities (Dr. Boyd Cooray, Plascon Paints, Johannesburg, South Africa);
    • quietly improving the quality of life (Bryan Webster, Rohm & Haas, South Africa);
    • acrylic emulsion polymers for future paints (R. Baumstark, BASF AG, Germany);
    • Revertex’s development needs (Technical Director, Revertex, South Africa); and
    • Polifin’s technology goals (Mrs. Karol Camerol, Polifin, Modderfontein, South Africa).
University of Stellenbosch campus, Matieland, South Africa

In concluding, the group stressed the importance of training in polymer science and chemistry in South Africa at the postgraduate level to the South African economy and the associated need to establish technical competencies. The overseas plenary speakers were very agreeable to assist thereby in augmenting the goals of UNESCO and IUPAC. The conference banquet at the famous Boschendal wine estate, close to Franschhoek, was greatly enjoyed by all who attended it.

A virtual encyclopedic CD-ROM that incorporates the abstracts and overheads given by all the plenary speakers at both the School and Conference has been created. This CD-ROM provides an excellent tool for teaching and expanding course notes and was made available to all delegates. It is also available at USD 50 a copy through the Institute for Polymer Science Conference web site, http://www.sun.ac.za/polymer/polymer.html. It will be placed in an abridged form on the web site after approval by each of the contributors.

Announcements of the 2001 (4th, Johannesburg) and 2002 (5th, Stellenbosch) conferences appear in this issue.

Prof. P. S. Steyn
IUPAC Vice President Prof. R. D. Sanderson
Conference Chair
University of Stellenbosch
Matieland, South Africa

> Published in Chem. Int. 22(5), 2000

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