I am honored to serve as Chair of the PMSE Division in 2010. The Division is in excellent condition, thanks to the leadership of the past Chairs, including most immediately Bryan Coughlin, Dean Webster, and Elliott Douglas, and I intend to continue this upward trajectory throughout my tenure. Of course, the success of our division is also due to the hard work of the volunteers on the Executive Committee and at the national and regional meetings, as well as the loyalty of our 4500+ members. I thank you all for the contributions you have made in the past and will make in the coming year! We need everyone's involvement in order to realize our vision: Reaching out across technical, generational, and international boundaries to create the premier hone of materials science and engineering for the global chemistry community.
I am pleased to highlight the strides we have taken to meet the individual goals supporting our vision and strategic plan. As always, we welcome your new ideas and candid feedback as we seek to provide valuable services to our membership and increase the impact and visibility of the division. Feel free to contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (319-335-0681) if you do not catch me at one of the national meetings.
Goal #1: Transform program content to capture emerging trends in materials science and engineering for the global chemistry community.
Our programming at national meetings is skillfully coordinated by the PMSE Program Chairs: Christopher Soles, Jeffrey Pyun, and Todd R. Younkin. At the spring meeting in San Francisco, they have slated symposia hitting “hot” topics in materials development: polymeric coatings, synthesis and characterization of nanostructured materials for a variety of applications, materials using principles of green chemistry and sustainability, and biological polymers (emphasis mine). Cutting-edge and interdisciplinary themes continue for the fall meeting in Boston as well. Please take time to look at the multi-year programming website, which is updated regularly as new symposia are proposed and organized: http://pmse.sites.acs.org/organizeasymposium.htm. Please contact any of the program chairs with your ideas for future symposium topics.
Goal #2: Create the premier interactive web portal in materials science and engineering for the global chemistry community.
Our webmaster, Qinghuang Lin, is spearheading a committee to upgrade the PMSE website. His 2009 Innovative Project Grants for Divisional Enhancement proposal successfully secured $5,000 for this web initiative. You may remember being surveyed last year regarding content and features you would desire to access on the PMSE website. We are also hoping to publish an electronic newsletter that would enable us to deliver articles and updates on more than a semiannual basis to keep our members informed of what is going on in PMSE, as well as the materials science and engineering community in general. I encourage you to check the website on a regular basis and give us feedback on our progress and ideas for enhanced content.
PMSE has also completed its move to on-line preprints through ACS Publications. This decision has been in the works for several years now and was enacted this year when the 3-year CD contract came up for renewal. Discontinuing the CD has many advantages to our members: (1) the division has realized a significant cost savings by eliminating the CD production and mailing (an important benefit in today's economy), (2) members have access to back issues (without the worry of using their own storage space), and (3) the web version is much “greener” than the paper and CD versions. We continue to look for ways to enhance the usability and visibility of PMSE e-Prints. We are considering an external vendor to host the preprint collection, allow easier searching through the archives, and enable citation listing through the electronic indexes. Finally, please note that the request in this newsletter for early volumes of PMSE Preprints. Our goal is to acquire a full set of preprints and scan and add them to our on-line archive.
Goal #3: Strengthen the chemistry community in materials science and engineering by fostering interactions and creating an enhanced global presence.
We are continuing to advance program changes that facilitate networking of our members at the national meetings. I encourage you to attend the PMSE Young Investigators symposium at the spring meeting in San Francisco. Learn what the up and coming PMSE members are doing and take time to meet and greet them. Also notice the International Symposium on Polybenzoxazine for a global perspective on this flexible thermosetting resin. The reformatted PMSE/POLY poster sessions were well-received at the D.C. meeting last fall, so we are continuing and refining this experiment. Take advantage of the morning and afternoon session breaks to view the posters and chat with the authors over coffee or tea.
PMSE is also expanding its outreach to graduate students in polymer departments across the country. Our initial venture with the Case Western Reserve University Macro Student Organization has gone well, with PMSE offering support for its professional development activities and yearly regional conference. We are now partnering with our sister division, Polymer Chemistry, to develop strong ties with other schools and encourage the students to be active in the polymer community both as they are in school and after they graduate. Our hope is that these relationships will provide domestic and international students with mentoring and perspective as they begin their careers and our divisions with new ideas and fresh energy in an ever-changing global environment.
I would also like to call to your attention the various national and divisional awards our members are receiving. The first class of ACS Fellows was inducted last year. Of the 163 fellows inducted, 14 are PMSE members: Frank D. Blum, Edwin A. Chandross, Timothy E. Long, James E. McGrath, Christopher K. Ober, Donald R. Paul, Eli M. Pearce, Elsa Reichmanis, Ann Beal Salamone, Thomas W. Smith, E. Thomas Strom, S. Richard Turner, C. Grant Willson, and Kenneth J. Wynne. Congratulations to you all for an honor well-deserved and a strong representation of the impact our members have in chemistry and the community! The PMSE nomination committee for the 2010 ACS Fellows program is headed by Daniel Savin, and I look forward to more PMSE members in the second class as well. The PMSE Fellows program is in its tenth year now, and Jaime C. Grunlan and Qinghuang Lin lead the selection committee. Again, we have an excellent list of inductees: Benny D. Freeman, Jeffrey S. Moore, and Judy S. Riffle. Be sure to attend the PMSE/POLY award reception on Wednesday evening at the spring meeting in San Francisco to congratulate them. Several other PMSE members will also be honored at the awards reception and through symposia at the spring meeting: Andrew J. Lovinger (ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science), David J. Lohse and Nikos Hadjichristidis (PMSE Cooperative Research Award), Timothy P. Lodge (ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry), Harry R. Allcock (Paul J. Flory Polymer Educational Award), and Michael Jaffe (PMSE Distinguished Service Award). I applaud you all for your respective contributions to the field!
One more event that you will want to put on your San Francisco schedule is the PMSE Business Meeting on Monday at 5 PM. We will be voting on the proposed revisions to PMSE's by-laws, which were emailed to the membership last fall. Not only will approval of these changes bring the by-law language up to date with recent ACS terminology changes, but they will also allow the division to pursue electronic voting in the future. Although we are always looking for ways to reduce costs and keep in step with technological advancements, I must point out that our PMSE Investment Committee, chaired by David Chung, has been doing an excellent job protecting and advancing the PMSE investment portfolio even in the midst of such uncertain economic times. Their conscientious efforts have allowed us to meet all our financial obligations, including the cash prizes for our divisional awards.
Finally, I would like to thank all the members who ran for PMSE offices in the fall elections. It is wonderful to have so many people willing to serve! I congratulate our 2010-2012 Councilor, Michael Jaffe, and Alternate Councilor, Frank Jones, along with our 2010-2011 Members-at-Large: Lisa Saunders Baugh, Kevin Cavicchi, John Gilmer, Zhiqun Lin, Anjali Patil, and Leslie Sperling. I look forward to serving PMSE with you! We are always seeking new volunteers to assist with the division's activities throughout the year, so please let me know if you are interested in serving alongside us.