ND sponsors first annual Soft Polymer Materials Symposium

Soft Polymer Materials Symposium overhead phoo

On November 4, Notre Dame hosted the inaugural Soft Polymer Materials Symposium at McKenna Hall. Twelve ND faculty and postdocs presented their current research in the areas of general synthesis, application, and characterization of soft polymer materials.

According to event organizer Dr. Haifeng Gao, assistant professor in the department 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 In particular, participants were encouraged to present ongoing research with unpublished results that could generate greater impact if collaborations are implemented.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 Dr. Jonathan Whitmer, assistant professor in 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.”

Dr. 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.”

Soft Polymer Materials Symposium Yoo Wiegand photo

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”

Soft Polymer Materials Symposium Seekell photo

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).

A full roster of the event presentations and posters is available in this pdf.