Second Annual Notre Dame Soft Polymer Materials Symposium Held in Jordan Hall

Author: Heidi Deethardt

2015 SPM Symposium

On October 22, Notre Dame’s 2nd Annual Soft Polymer Materials Symposium drew more than 40 graduate students, post docs, and faculty from the Colleges of Science and Engineering to Jordan Hall to learn about the breadth of the University’s exciting research initiatives and to identify possible opportunities for future collaborations in the field.

Eleven faculty and postdocs presented their research, and 20 graduate students participated in a poster session that included research on the synthesis, characterization, and applications of soft polymer materials on membrane separation, environmental remediation, cancer therapy, and advanced imaging and diagnostics. Additionally, Ray Boucher of Dow AgroScience gave an invited talk entitled, “Delivering convenience in a complex world: The challenge and opportunity for novel formulation in pesticide delivery.”

2015 SPM Symposium Haifeng Gao Felicia Roland
Prof. Haifeng Gao and chemistry graduate student Felicia Roland

“I am thrilled with the turnout and the level of interest across campus that this symposium is generating, and I am looking forward to learning about all the collaborations that have been spawned as a result of this great one-day event,” said co-organizer Haifeng Gao, assistant professor, chemistry and biochemistry.

“As with last year’s event, this year’s symposium gave me several new ideas for how I might collaborate with colleagues in both Science and Engineering,” said Jonathan Whitmer, assistant professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering. “The event is a great forum for showcasing Notre Dame’s growing breadth of expertise in soft polymer materials.”

The ND-sponsored annual campus event is designed to promote the development of a highly collaborative polymer research program at Notre Dame and to facilitate outreach to local high schools and community colleges. Students from Marian High School and Indiana University South Bend participated in the associated Science Forum that included presentations from Dr. Gao and Dr. Doug Rice, postdoc in chemistry and biochemistry. An open discussion followed, and included Ray Boucher as well as Dr. David Balkin, managing director of NDnano. 

2015 SPM Symposium Jon Whitmer Joseph Aboki
Prof. Jonathan Whitmer and chemical engineering graduate student Joseph Aboki. Photos: Wes Evard, Notre Dame.

$150 prizes for the top six graduate student/postdoc posters were awarded to Xiaosong Cao, Robert Graff, Mark Summe, Jacob Weidman, Jennifer Wiegand, and Teng Zhang.

The event was sponsored by Notre Dame’s Center for Nano Science and Technology (NDnano), the Center for Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics (AD&T), Notre Dame’s College of Engineering, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Notre Dame’s College of Science, and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

2015 Soft Polymer Materials presenters and posters