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Polymer-based alternative energy, sustainability, industrial innovation headline conference


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 22, 2010 – The Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute at Virginia Tech is holding its 2010 Technical Conference and Review, “Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Virginia Tech: Enabling a Healthy and Sustainable World — II” on Monday, Oct. 11, through Wednesday, Oct. 13, at the Holtzman Alumni Center and Skelton Conference Center at the Inn at Virginia. 

Three distinguished plenary lecturers will headline the program.

  • Larry Wendling, vice president, 3M Corporate Research, will discuss the innovation process at 3M and how it continues to generate new products from new technology. 
  • Robert Weiss, the Hezzleton E. Simmons Professor of Engineering at the University of Akron, will discuss the properties of ion containing polymers and their role in alternative energy and other applications. This lecture will lead off two sessions focused on polymeric materials research and the role these materials have in alternative energy and sustainability.
  • Marc Hillmyer, the Elmore H. Northey Professor of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota, will discuss new polymeric materials from sustainable non-petroleum sources.

"These three plenary lectures spotlight important themes of the Virginia Tech program in macromolecular science and engineering, which is housed in the Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute on campus," said S. Richard Turner, institute director.  "New useful polymeric materials from sustainable sources and polymeric materials that enable the efficient generation and storage of energy are important areas ripe for innovations that can have important impacts on the economic base of the commonwealth and the nation."

The conference begins at noon Monday and includes five half-day sessions with 26 lectures from Virginia Tech faculty members and two poster sessions featuring more than 100 student posters describing frontier polymer research across the university. 

Many of these presentations highlight another important area of polymer research at Virginia Tech -- the creation of novel polymeric materials and processes that lead to the efficient delivery of modern therapeutic agents, enable the regeneration of tissue, and that will enable the medical diagnostic agents of the future. 

The Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute at Virginia Tech is an interdisciplinary institute of more than 50 faculty members representing 14 departments from five colleges and has the goal of promoting world-class research in macromolecular science and engineering.  Information for the conference can be found on the institute website.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.