JanFeb - Society News
Incoming CSChE president and sometime flautist Jim McLellan of Queen's University performs at the annual awards banquet of the chemical engineering conference in Vancouver last October.
Panelists debate the science and politics of sustainability in Vancouver last fall. Left to right: Cynthia Mitchell, University of Queensland, Kathryn Harrison, University of British Columbia, Roland Clift, University of Surrey, Claudio Arato, Sonoro Energy, Ltd. and Scott Harrison, BC Hydro.
Pacific coast perfect conference place
With a stated goal of becoming the ‘world’s greenest city’ by 2020, Vancouver was the perfect locale for a conference with the theme of “Energy, Environment and Sustainability.” The 62nd Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference, held from October 14-17, 2012, brought together over 1,000 delegates from around the world to discuss the latest research in a variety of process-related disciplines. Even with the diversity of topics, one overarching message was clear: chemical engineering has a key role to play in meeting the needs of a growing and increasingly affluent world population, without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same.
Philippe Tanguy, VP of R&D Programs, Partnerships and International Relations at Total, opened the conference with a realistic assessment of the global energy picture. He argued that while alternatives are on the way, in the short term we must rely on efficiency and conservation to “decouple energy use from economic growth.” Kathryn Harrison of the University of British Columbia examined the politics of sustainability. “There is a high level of consensus among scientists about what needs to be done, yet governments aren't doing it,” she said, citing among many other things the problems of advocating for the needs of a generation that hasn’t yet been born. Such plenary talks were followed by insightful Q and A panels, featuring Canadian and international experts on sustainability, both within engineering and without.
In the technical sessions, 771 presenters — the highest yet for a national CSChE conference — discussed subjects ranging from algal biofuel to carbon capture and storage, from stem cell production to smart biomaterials. The Pacific coast location led to the strongest-ever presence from overseas, with over 220 international participants, mostly from Asia. The conference also incorporated the 3rd International Symposium on Gasification and its Applications (iSGA3), a perfect illustration of how established technologies are being adapted for new uses in a sustainability-conscious world. Photos from the conference and videos from select lectures can be found by visiting www.csche2012.ca and following the links.
High numbers of chemists suffer eye injuries: survey
Last summer, 347 CIC members participated in a survey conducted by CNIB (formerly the Canadian National Institute for the Blind) that sought to better understand the incidence and nature of laboratory eye injuries in Canada. The results of the survey, along with key recommendations, have now been released by CNIB. The study found that one in eighteen respondents (5.5 per cent) was found to have experienced at least one eye injury over the course of their careers. One in four of the injuries was radiation induced (mostly ultraviolet radiation). Only one of the reported accidents resulted in permanent vision loss in the injured eye. The rest resolved in two weeks or less. About half of all accidents resulted in injury to both eyes.
In its report, CNIB suggests a few simple precautions: Wearing safety goggles rather than safety glasses, including eye safety in lab safety training and wearing safety glasses that absorb radiation (primarily UV radiation). For the full report, visit http://cnib.ca/en/research/news/Pages/default.aspx.
A new iPod, iPad and Playbook app, available for free, connects user to the interactive periodic table produced by Chem13 News and sponsored by the CIC Chemical Education Fund during 2011, the International Year of Chemistry. High school students from all over Canada created images for each of the elements. Find more at uwaterloo.ca/chem13news/
Things to know
It’s time to renew your CIC and Constituent Society membership for 2013. Be sure to maintain your Canadian Society for Chemistry, Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering or Canadian Society for Chemical Technology membership to continue to access CIC member benefits like ACCN, the Canadian Chemical News, reduced registration rates for conferences and professional development courses and access to our career service initiatives. Renew now at https://secure.cheminst.ca/default.asp, where you can also sign up for our convenient automatic renewal service to save you time next year!
The first round Call for Symposium Submissions for the Pacifichem Congress, scheduled to run December 15-20, 2015, opens January 1, 2013. Find out more at www.pacifichem.org.
The abstract submission deadline for the 96th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, to be held May 26-30, 2013 in Québec, Que. is February 15, 2013. Submit your abstract now and find out more at www.csc2013.ca.
The deadline for submitting abstracts for the CSC's Undergraduate and Graduate Student Poster Competitions is March 20, 2013. The competition will take place at the 96th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, Québec, Que. For competition guidelines see www.csc2013.ca.
Faculty Advisor Award nominations are due by April 1, 2013. Take this opportunity to recognize the professor who has taken an active role in working with your Student Chapter. For more information go to www.cheminst.ca/students.
Nominations for the Student Chapter Merit Awards are due April 1, 2013 (CSC and CSCT) and June 1, 2013 (CSChE). This is the opportunity for Student Chapters to highlight their programming from the past school year. Find out more at www.cheminst.ca/students.
More joy for job hunters
The CIC signed an agreement with CareerJoy last fall as part of the Institute’s expanding career services. CareerJoy is a career and leadership coaching firm that offers support for job hunters such as resume writing, interview skills, job search techniques as well as professional learning opportunities like team coaching skills for senior managers and career progression advice. The CareerJoy services will be offered to CIC members at a 15 per cent discounted fee. CareerJoy will also provide a career workshop at one or both of the CSC and CSChE conferences and will allow the CIC to display podcasts and advice columns on its website.
For the record
Students from Bert Edwards Science and Technology School in Kamloops B.C. conduct a “kissing balloons” experiment as part of a cross-Canada attempt to establish a new World Record for the Largest Practical Science Lesson at multiple locations. For the experiment, students blow towards two balloons tied to a string causing them to collide as a result of higher air pressure surrounding the balloons when air is pushed towards them. Thousands of students at 135 locations participated in the record attempt, which also included a second experiment called the “Water Mister” that demonstrates Bernoulli’s principle. The event took place on October 12 to kick off National Science and Technology week that runs in conjunction with National Chemistry Week. Students are waiting to find out if their attempt was successful for inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Mitch Winnik, 2011 winner of the SCI Canada LeSueur Award, is now also the recipient of the American Chemical Society’s Applied Polymer Scienc eAward.He is the first person at a Canadian university to receive an ACS National Award for polymer work. The award recognizes Winnik’s pioneering work in applying the tools of nanotechnology to the study of coatings, one of the outcomes of which has been the development of more environmentally friendly paints.
Tao (Toby) Zeng, a post-doctoral student in the University of Waterloo’s chemistry department is the recipient of the 2012 Polanyi Prize in chemistry, worth $20,000. Zeng’s research focuses on the properties of nano-scale molecular superfluids composed of parahydrogen molecules.
Joe Schwarcz launched his latest book, The Right Chemistry, in November. Published by Doubleday Canada, the book is a collection of essays and shorter items addressing the theme of chemicals in everyday life including health, nutrition, beauty products, cleaning products, DNA, and the means by which Lady Gaga's meat dress was held together.
Robert Hancock, professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at the University of British Columbia, was awarded the 2012 Prix Galien, considered the most prestigious honour in Canadianpharmaceutical research. The award recognizes Hancock’s research into the complex interactions betweenantibiotics and bacteria.
Chemistry cat takes the cake
For this year’s YouTube Contest, high school students were asked to communicate chemistry concepts in a creative way by posting a video less than three minutes in length to YouTube. Each entry touched on one of three categories: the benefits of chemistry in everyday life, contributions of a recognized chemist or busting a commonly held myth about chemistry. Heather Tang and Benjamin Levy’s YouTube contest-winning video (above) features “Chemistry Cat” who points out the chemistry involved in everything from toothpaste to falling leaves. Watch the winning videos as well as the runners-up at www.cheminst.ca/youtube.
New award for biological and medicinal chemistry
The Canadian Society for Chemistry added a new award to its roster last fall. Called The Teva Canada Limited Biological and Medicinal Chemistry (BMC) Lectureship Award, it bears the name of its sponsor, a Toronto-based generic pharmaceutical company. The award will be presented to a scientist who has made a distinguished contribution to the field of biological or medicinal chemistry within the past five years of the initial nomination deadline date while working in Canada.
“We’re very pleased to add this award to the CSC’s portfolio,” says Jeffrey Keillor, University of Ottawa professor and the CSC’s Director of Awards. “One of the distinctive aspects of this award is that Teva has chosen to recognize contributions in biological chemistry, in line with their own research interests. This award will allow us to highlight some of the excellent biological chemistry carried out recently in Canada.”
Go to www.cheminst.ca/awards to see the full Terms of Reference for the new award. Nominations should be received by January 31, 2013 for the 2013 award.
Save the date
February 20-21, 2013
CONRAD 3rd Oil Sands Clay
Conference and Workshop
March 22-23, 2013
Atlantic Inorganic Discussion Weekend
April 4, 2013
CIC "Green, Clean, and Sustainable"
Seminar and SCI Canada Awards Dinner
May 26-30, 2013
96th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition
June 6-8, 2013
College Chemistry Canada
Corner Brook, Nfld.
June 15–19, 2013
World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing
August 11-16, 2013
44th World Chemistry Congress
August 18-23, 2013
9th World Congress of Chemical Engineering (WCCE9)
Coex, Seoul, Korea
September 15-18, 2013
October 20-23, 2013
63rd Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference (CSChE2013)
The CIC wishes to extend its condolences to the families of E. Y. Spencer, FCIC, David E. Steere, MCIC, John Bailie (Jake) Stothers, FCIC and John B. Westmore, MCIC.
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