On November 4, Notre Dame hosted the inaugural Soft Polymer Materials Symposium at McKenna Hall. Twelve Notre Dame faculty and postdocs presented their current research in the areas of general synthesis, application, and characterization of soft polymer materials.
According to event organizer Haifeng Gao, assistant professor of chemistry & biochemistry, the purpose of the event was to promote intensive discussion and increased collaboration at Notre Dame. In particular, participants were encouraged to present ongoing research with unpublished results that could generate greater impact if collaborations are implemented.
“I found the symposium to be very informative and helpful,” said Jonathan Whitmer, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. “I learned in more detail what my colleagues are doing and have several new ideas for collaboration stemming from the meeting.”
Chia Chang, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, added, “I can see the event resonated with the soft polymer materials community at Notre Dame. I am impressed by our strengths in nanoscale self-assembly, both on the theoretical and experimental sides and spanning the entire spectrum from fundamentals to applications.”
In addition to the talks, 19 postdocs and graduate students participated in the event’s afternoon poster session competition. Awards were given to the top three posters:
1st place and $500: Brian Yoo (chemical & biomolecular engineering)
Poster: “A molecular understanding of the toxic interactions of ionic liquids towards a lipid biomembrane”
2nd place and $300: Jacob Weidman (chemical & biomolecular engineering)
Poster: “Affinity- and size-based separations of heavy metal ions via self-assembled nanoporous membranes”
3rd place and $200: Robert Graff (chemistry & biochemistry)
Poster: “Microemulsion polymerization of inimer: A method to produce hyperbranched polymers with uniform structure”
The event was sponsored by Notre Dame’s College of Science, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, College of Engineering, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Center for Nano Science & Technology (NDnano), and Advanced Diagnostics & Therapeutics (AD&T).