Confirmed Symposia


Current State-of-the-Art Micro and Nanoscale Analytical Techniques

Dr. J. Christian, SRNL

Analysis of small regions-of-interest and nanomaterials continues to be an active area of research that is bolstered by development of new analytical techniques and instrumentation with improved sensitivity and chemical resolution under robust conditions…

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Nanophotonics and Plasmonics

Prof. W. Wei, U. Florida

Photoresponsive nanoparticles have been extensively investigated to efficiently harness light for a broad range of applications including photovoltaics, solar heating, photocatalysis, etc. This symposium will cover optically sensitive semiconductor and plasmonic nanostructures…

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Anisotropic/Isotropic Nanostructures: Fabrication and Applications

Dr. S. Murph, SRNL

This symposium session reviews recent advances in synthesis, characterization, and physico-chemical properties of anisotropic nanomaterials highlighting emerging applications of nanomaterials to sensing and imaging, catalysis, biological and environmental implications…

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Pu-238 Production and Use

Dr. E. Fox, SRNL

This symposium will highlight the research and discoveries associated with the Savannah River Site’s designation as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The landmark is titled “Savannah River Site’s Production, Separation, and Supply of Heat Source Plutonium-238 to Power Space Exploration”.


Alternative Science Careers

Dr. G. Fugate, ORNL; Prof. Brian Agee, Augusta University

The SERMACS Alternative Science Careers will have various professionals speaking on their career path and how choices they have made have affected their career. Students will have the ability to discuss topics such as how to develop career goals, deciding whether to pursue a graduate degree, how to prepare for graduate school to help provide the insights needed to be successful.

Cope Scholar

Cope Scholar Symposium

Prof. S. Townsend, Vanderbilt; recognizing Prof. M. G. Finn, Georgia Tech; Prof. Q. Wang, University of South Carolina

The symposium will be dedicated to recognize the research achievements of Professor M. G. Finn of Georgia Institute of Technology. We will invite leading chemists to highlight the multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary feature of modern chemistry in this symposium.


Spectroscopy and Dynamics

Prof. M.A. Roberts Reber, U. Georgia

The goal of this symposium is to highlight the quality and breadth of spectroscopy in the southeast. This includes any research that uses spectroscopic techniques to elucidate molecular structure or dynamics. Both ultrafast spectroscopy and frequency-resolved spectroscopy will be represented.

Diversity in the Chemical Enterprise: Chemistry Braille Workshop

Dr. T. Whiteside, SRNL

Diversity in the Chemical Enterprise: Hispanic Perspectives

Dr. O. Rivera, SRNL

Diversity in the Chemical Enterprise: LGBTQ+ Perspectives

Dr. C. J. Bannochie, SRNL

Diversity in the Chemical Enterprise: NOBCChE Perspectives

Prof. Rena A.S. Robinson, Vanderbilt University

Diversity in the Chemical Enterprise: Women Chemists of Color in the Southeast

Prof. Z. Wilson-Kennedy, LSU

Diversity in the Chemical Enterprise: Women Chemists in the Southeast

Prof. Judith Iriarte-Gross, Middle TN State U
Ethics logo

Intercollegiate Chemistry Ethics Bowl

Prof. Craig P. McClure, Drexel

The Intercollegiate Chemistry Ethics Bowl (ICEB) will have its debut at SERMACS 2018.  In this bowl, college teams will have the chance to explore issues in chemistry research, employment, and industry that have an ethical component.  Teams will give their thoughts and input about questions that come from case studies, about ethical applications of chemistry, behavior in the workplace, and more.  For more information, see the ICEB website at, or contact Craig McClure at  Awards will be presented to the top teams.

Electrochemistry and Microfluidics

Prof. Steve Creager, Clemson

Electrochemical approaches are well suited for analyzing and controlling microfluidic streams. The small size of embedded electrodes the inherent control of mass transfer offered by flowing streams are well suited to electrochemical detection, and the strong link between surface electrical properties…

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Advances in Chiral Analysis

Dr. Rina Dukor, BioTools; Dr. Justin Neill, BrightSpec, Inc.

Chirality is a fundamental property of all biological systems. This session will bring together researchers in asymmetric synthesis, chiral analysis, and other areas to discuss new developments in chiral pharmacueticals and natural products.

Advances in Actinide Coordination Chemistry and Ligand Design

Prof. Modi Wetzler, Clemson

Advances in coordination chemistry of the actinide elements are the fundamental driving force that supports DOE missions in advanced nuclear energy, stewardship responsibilities, and environmental remediation. There is abundant overlap with the theme of the…

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Chemistry Applications of Neutron Scattering

Prof. John Larese, UT-Knoxville

This symposium explores the chemistry applications of neutron scattering, covering both structure and dynamics, and including applications in catalysis, spectroscopy, materials and imaging.


Microwave and Other Synthetic Methodologies for Nanomaterial Fabrication

Dr. Aaron Washington, SRNL; Dr. Simona Murph, SRNL

This symposium is focused on materials developed from microwave synthetic techniques that are applicable as sensors (chemical, radiological, and biological) and/or usable in radiological environments. Additionally, microwave generated materials that focus on energy transfer, radiation hardening and nuclear storage would be applicable in this session.

Medicinal Chemistry in Drug Development

Prof. Siva Panda, AU

New drug development is a complex process where many scientific disciplines are involved and medicinal chemistry plays an important role in this process. Discovery of a new drug requires a better understanding of synthetic chemistry, computational chemistry…

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Mass Spectrometry Methods in Nuclear Science

Dr. Brian Ticknor, ORNL

Nuclear Science utilizes mass spectrometry in a wide variety of ways, including safeguards, material accountancy, verification, non-proliferation, forensics, isotope production, environmental remediation, and waste characterization and treatment, among others.  Additionally, basic science research into the chemistry of the lanthanide and actinide elements often uses mass spectrometry as a detection and characterization technique. This broad symposium welcomes contributions from recent mass spectrometry research related to all areas of nuclear science.

Nuclear Measurements- Radiochemical Analyses And Nuclear Non-Destructive Assays

Dr. David DiPrete, SRNL

Frontiers in Nucleic Acid Chemistry

Prof. Jeffrey Petty, Furman

The symposium will focus on structural, thermodynamic, and kinetic studies of nucleic acids. The interaction of nucleic acids with a range of ligands will be highlighted.

Advanced Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion

Dr. Patrick Ward, SRNL

Providing experimental and theoretical insight into the next generation of energy storage and conversion materials, this symposium broadly covers developments in battery research, hydrogen fuel cell technology, and solar energy storage and conversion…

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Electrocatalysts and Electrode Materials for Electrochemical Sensing, Imaging, & Energy Conversion

Prof. Shanlin Pan, Univ. Alabama

This symposium will consider experimental and theoretical papers of small electrode electroanalytical techniques and papers related to energy storage/conversion with nanostructured materials or assemblings. In order to provide ultrasensitive detection of…

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Biochemical Mechanisms of Essential Cellular Targets

Prof. Y. George Zheng, UGA, and Prof. Emily Weinert, Emory

This symposium focuses on new advances in the study of biochemical mechanisms of important protein targets in cells. Mechanistic investigation at the molecular level provides key insights into the function of receptors, enzymes, and many other protein targets in cell physiology…

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Organic Chemistry Tools for Synthesis, Biomedicine, and Materials Science

Prof. Qian Wang, U., South Carolina, and Prof. David Díaz, University of Regensburg and IPNA-CSIC

The symposium will explore the development of modern chemical reactions (e.g. click chemistry) and their applications to problems in compound and polymer synthesis, chemical biology, and materials science. The programming will be complementary to the topics explored in the Cope Scholar honorary symposium which will also be held at SERMACS.

Complex Systems and Polymers for the Environment

Prof. Dvora Perahia, Clemson

The symposium will focus on the fundamentals that guide the design of macromolecular complexes whose structure enables removing/separating a large range of pollutants from air, water and soil. Polymers and polymer-particulate complexes exhibit…

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Topics in Environmental Monitoring

Prof. Tammy Boles, Tennessee Tech

This symposium will present current research in the broad field of environmental monitoring using different types of instrumentation.


Electrochemistry and 2D Materials

Prof. Steven Creager, Clemson

Graphene and related 2-D materials are receiving significant attention regarding their electrochemical properties. Their high electrical conductivity, high surface-to-mass ratio, and potentially controllable permeability suggest applications in a variety…

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Wasteform Synthesis and Development

Dr. Charles Crawford, SRNL

The safe disposition of waste generated from commercial nuclear power plants and legacy weapons production is critical to prevent the release of radionuclides into the biosphere. Consequently, extensive research has been devoted to the synthesis and…

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Entrepreneurs Toolkit

Entrepreneurs Tool-Kit: Resources and True Stories

Dr. Joe Sabol, ACS Division of Small Chemical Businesses
Energy Policy

Chemistry and Public Policy: Energy and Elections

Dr. Joe Sabol, ACS Committee on Chemistry and Public Affairs
Project Seed

Project SEED 50th Anniversary

Prof. Ajay Mallia (Georgia Gwinnett College) and Prof. Douglas Masterson (U. Southern Mississippi)
Intellectual Property icon

Protecting Your Biggest Assets: Using Patents to Secure and Leverage Your Innovations

Dr. M. David Weingarten, Finnegan

Patents are often vital to the existence, growth, and survival of a company. This symposium will focus on protecting your innovations through patent procurement and enforcement. Specifically, it will cover the legal requirements and basic process for obtaining a patent, the practical effects of recent changes to U.S. patent law and procedure, and strategies for leveraging your company’s patent assets.


Putting Science to Work at SRNL

Dr. Vahid Majidi, SRNL

Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) is a unique facility within the Department of Energy (DOE) complex, located in South Carolina.  The genesis of the of the lab was deeply rooted in industrial scale, complex chemical processing to support…

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Green Chemistry Symposium

Prof. Brian Agee, Augusta University

SERMACS Green Chemistry Workshop Symposium offers an innovative method of introducing program to introduce undergraduate students to green techniques with which they are unfamiliar. Participants receive instruction on the principles of green chemistry, industrial applications, and potential impacts to human health and the environment and gain guidance on  hands-on experience with safer, cost-effective methods that minimize waste and are drop-in replacements for traditional secondary chemistry methods.

Global Exchange and Research Collaboration in Chemistry and Allied Sciences: Best Practices, Resources, and Networks to Assure Success

Jens Breffke, Ph.D.; Dr. Brad Miller, ACS