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Convention draws 857 to Binghamton

By all accounts, the 34th annual Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) was a resounding success. Held last week at various locations in downtown Binghamton, the three-day meeting attracted 857 participants and presenters from around the country, Canada and Europe, setting records for attendance, submitted abstracts and poster presentations, as well as bringing business to the area.

Though hosted by the Binghamton Local Section of the ACS, Binghamton University was a partner in its planning and execution, with more than a dozen faculty and staff on the event’s steering committee and over 60 graduate and undergraduate student volunteers.

Regional meetings provide opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students, as well as faculty and those from smaller schools and high schools, to connect and engage in discussions about research, said Wayne Jones, associate professor of chemistry and general chair of the meeting.

“It’s a more local opportunity to see the latest techniques and technologies available commercially, as well as an opportunity to attend focused symposia,” he said. “Most regional meetings such as this tend to have a focused theme.

For us, it’s microelectronics materials and nanotechnology. Binghamton has emerging expertise in these areas through research going on in our labs and with our industrial partners including meeting sponsors Corning, Rohm and Haas, and Endicott Interconnect Technologies.”

A meeting spanning several days and bringing hundreds of visitors to town is a win for the community as well, organizers said. The Greater Binghamton Convention and Visitors Bureau worked with the steering committee to ensure its success, said Lou Santoni, senior vice president of chamber services.

“We’ve been working with the chemical society for 12-plus months,” he said. “We’re helping with, and paying for, transportation between the properties and helping with registration and housing. This is a nice bit of business for the community.”

Organizers reached beyond the borders of chemistry to coordinate the event, partnering with the Materials Research Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and its Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology Society and Clarkson University.

Besides technical and poster sessions, the meeting included a career workshop, a symposium for high school chemistry teachers and a keynote address by Tobin Marks, the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry, the Vladimir N. Ipatieff Professor of Catalytic Chemistry and professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08