Interdisciplinary by Design

Georgia Tech hosting 93rd ACS Colloid & Surface Science Symposium


Jerry Grillo
Communications Officer II
Parker H. Petit Institute for
Bioengineering and Bioscience

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Georgia Tech hosting 93rd ACS Colloid & Surface Science Symposium

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Georgia Tech hosting 93rd ACS Colloid & Surface Science Symposium

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Colloids are all around you, on you, and inside of you. They are substances that are microscopically dispersed evenly throughout another substance – mixtures whose particles are bigger than a molecule but smaller than particles that may ordinarily be seen with the naked eye. Some common examples of colloids include milk, mayonnaise, butter, whipped cream, gelatin, jelly, muddy water, plaster, colored glass, paper, and fog.

Surface science, the study of chemical and physical phenomena at the interface of two phases, such as solid-liquid, solid-gas, and liquid gas interfaces, is closely related to colloid science. In fact, the two disciplines, colloid science and surface science, are so closely related they share center stage each year at one of the longest-running science conferences in the U.S., the American Chemical Society (ACS) Colloid & Surface Science Symposium, which is happening right now in Atlanta, hosted by the Georgia Institute of Technology at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.

And if there is a theme to the 93rd annual version of this event, which runs through Wednesday, it is diversity.

“Diversity is embroidered into the fabric of this conference,” says Sven Behrens, one of the three Georgia Tech researchers, with Valeria Milam and Seth Marder, serving as co-organizers of the symposium. “Diversity in every way – age, gender, academia, industry, nationality. This might be the most international meeting we’ve ever had. We have 124 submissions of abstracts from abroad, and 24 different nations represented.”

Behrens is associate professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Milam is associate professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering, where Marder is Regents’ Professor. Both Milam and Behrens are researchers in the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience.

“This will be a great opportunity to showcase the breadth of research happening in this arena at Georgia Tech, an area of research that cuts across different disciplines and schools,” Milam says. “The interdisciplinary approach that Georgia Tech is known for will be of interest to the people attending this conference, people whose work really does reflect that interdisciplinary approach.”

With 2,500 members, the Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry is one of the most active within the ACS, and one of the most inherently interdisciplinary and diverse, from a wide range of backgrounds including chemistry, chemical physics, material science, nanoscience, biochemistry, electrochemistry, and chemical engineering.

This year’s symposium also features 42 invited speakers, more than usual the organizers say, “combining both well-established thought leaders in their fields, as well as new, up and coming shooting stars,” Behrens says. This year also features a separate student research award section, which will be judged by the keynote speakers.

The busy event, which is drawing more than 500 people from academia and industry from across the globe, will present research in 15 different tracks, each one presided over mostly by a Georgia Tech or Emory researcher.

The last time Georgia Tech hosted this symposium was 2003. “This event isn’t typically hosted in the South,” Milam says. “We thought it was time to bring it back to Georgia Tech.”

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Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB)

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  • Created By: Jerry Grillo
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jun 17, 2019 - 4:25pm
  • Last Updated: Jun 17, 2019 - 4:25pm