Technical Program Chairs:  Dr. Dongchan (Shaun) Ahn and Dr. John M. Roberts
The  Dow Chemical Company

The technical program of the 2019 ACS CERM provides a world-class complement of technical symposia, poster sessions, invited speakers and participants that represent a premier scientific meeting that covers all major areas of the chemical sciences that fall under the theme of “Molecules to Materials”.  Hosted in the renowned H Hotel in Midland, Michigan with a unique representation of participants from industry, academia and government, the technical program offers unusual opportunities for networking and collaboration with leaders in each sector.  Coupled with special “whole brain” and outreach events that are part of the broader 2019 CERM meeting agenda, the technical program represents a premier celebration of the impact of Chemistry in everyday life.

Topical Symposia

Technical Program will offer a full slate of standard topical sessions in classical areas of chemistry including:

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Bio-organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemical Education
  • Health & Environmental Safety / Regulatory Chemistry

Special Symposia

ACS Central Region Chemical Heritage

Historical review of the chemical industry’s impact on the central region and society through the achievements of industry pioneers.

Symposium Co-chair(s):

Gregg Zank, Marc-Andre Courtemanche

Adhesion, Surfaces, and Interfaces

The Adhesion, Surfaces, & Interfaces symposium at CERM 2019 will cover a materials, methods and applications that will well align to the research interests of the Colloid and Surface Chemistry division.

The topics of the Adhesion, Surfaces, & Interfaces symposium include various aspects of chemistry, interfaces, analysis and applications. These include the following:

- Chemistry: synthesis & use of adhesives, coupling agents, compatibilizers, adhesion promoters; macroscopic and nanoscale interfacial self-assembly involving polymers, bio-inspired materials.

- Interfaces: wettability and solid/liquid interactions, polymer/metal interfaces, polymer/inorganic composites, surface modification.

- Analysis: novel surface analytical techniques, novel experimental methods for adhesion, accelerated aging

- Applications: adhesive bonding in automotive industry, role of adhesion in composite materials, biomedical applications, pressure sensitive adhesives and release paper.

Symposium Co-chair(s):

Ali Dhinojwala (Akron), Edoardo Nicoli (Dow Chemical)

Bioinorganic: Metalloproteins, Model Complexes, and Metals in Medicine
Metalloproteins play an essential role in catalyzing nature’s most interesting and difficult chemical reactivity. Metalloprotein functionality is better understood from studying their synthetic model complexes and many metalloproteins have been identified as drug targets. Other synthetic metal complexes have been identified as effective drugs against a number of diseases. All of these themes will be discussed.  
Cosmetic Chemistry: The Science Beyond Beauty
Exploring cosmetic chemistry and the science beyond beauty care products, this session will highlight beauty and personal care product development from ingredient discovery through formulation design, claim substantiation, and preservation. The morning session will consist of 20 minutes presentations that will give a few high level examples of these phases of product development.   The afternoon session will provide a more in-depth review of the chemistry behind various aspects and beauty care. Symposium Co-chair(s): Bart Maxon (The Dow Chemical Company, Consumer Solutions: Home & Personal Care) Paul Parkanzky (Amway Corporation)  
Novel Chemistries Enabling High Performance Buildings

Session will cover novel chemistry-based approaches to enable and enhance high performance buildings.  Topics will include items such as but not limited to silicone-based materials used to dehumidify interior air, paint components that remove formaldehyde from living spaces (FormaShield™) or make paints more sustainable (Evoque™), liquid-applied coatings to reduce building envelope leaks (LiquidArmor™), breathable silicone based coatings, and  more sustainable fire retardants for building insulation (BluEdge™).

Symposium Co-chair(s):

Larry Carbary (The Dow Chemical Company), Valentina Woodcraft (DuPont)


Feedstock and Energy Related Catalysis

As the world’s population continues to increase, the push toward sustainable and environmentally benign sources of energy and the raw materials used in consumer products is of critical importance. Catalysis, whether in the context of transforming basic chemical building blocks with lower energy intensity and higher yield or enabling the use of renewable energy sources will be a cornerstone for future progress. This symposium presents recent advances in catalysis related to the efficient utilization of feedstocks and renewable energy sources.

Symposium Co-chair(s):

David Laitar and Emily Tsui (The Dow Chemical Company)

Chemical Tools for Investigating Biology
Research in biochemistry and chemical biology fits naturally into the 50th CERM meeting’s theme, “Molecules to Materials.” This symposium will highlight research involving the design and applications of novel molecular tools to gain a better understanding of biomacromolecular structure and function in living systems. It is intended that this symposium will feature not only preeminent academic scientists in this field, but also younger scientists at the graduate and postdoctoral levels. Symposium Co-chair(s): Dr. Ben Swarts and Dr. Lin Zhao  
The Central Nature of Diversity in Organic Chemistry
The symposium will showcase the broad impact of organic chemistry on the advancement of science. The symposium will highlight diversity, both in terms of the areas in which organic chemistry is being applied and in the backgrounds of the speakers themselves.  
Coordination chemistry: characterization and applications”
This session will cover themes such as synthetic models of metalloenzymes, single-molecule magnets, stimuli-responsive magnetic resonance imaging agents, and transition metal-catalyzed reactions (e.g., photochemical reactions and CH functionalization).
Enabling chemical synthesis- from methods to molecules
This session will explore topics around the development of new chemical methods methods that enable target-oriented synthesis. This session will also highlight the use of these methods to provide novel synthetic routes to biologically relevant targets, including natural products, pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. Symposium Co-chair(s): Elizabeth McCusker and Neeraj Sane both of Corteva Agriscience™ Agriculture Division of DowDuPont ™
Synthesis and Characterization of Advanced Polymeric Materials
This symposium will include talks for scientists and engineers who synthesize, character, study, and use polymers and their composites. Such interdisciplinary research is vital to understanding structure-property-application relationships such that next generation of materials is produced and used. Symposium Co-chair(s): Emily Pentzer (Case Western Reserve University, Department of Chemistry; Cleveland, OH), Dominik Konkolewicz (Miami University, Department of Chemistry; Oxford, OH)  
Polymer and Colloid Science: Fundamentals and Applications

The symposium on Polymer and Colloid Science at CERM 2019 will cover a range of topics, including:

  • Self-Assembly in Polymers and Colloids: experimental characterization of self-assembled structures in bulk and solution, theory and modeling, rheology, and applications (in Personal Care, Food and Pharma, and other industries)
  • Modeling and Theory: novel theoretical and computational approaches to describe polymer phase behavior, solubility and miscibility, physical properties, and performance.
  • Nanocomposites: characterization, morphology, rheology, surface functionalization of nanoparticles, nanoparticle dispersion in polymer matrices, properties, and applications.
  • Polymers that surround us: chemistry, processing, and performance of widely used polymers like polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, and cellulose.


  • Aqueous Colloidal Dispersions and their applications: colloidal dispersion stability, structure, and rheology, application of colloidal dispersions in industry (Paints and Coatings, Food and Pharma, etc.)

Symposium Co-chair(s): Valeriy Ginzburg (Dow), Leela Rakesh (Central Michigan University)


Process Chemistry and Development
This symposium will be the likely landing place for most engineering-oriented talks at CERM2019. As such 50% of the sessions will be dedicated to the intersection between chemistry and engineering, including process separations, reaction engineering, and continuous (flow) chemistry.  Traditional process chemistry, including route selection and novel synthesis, will make up the difference. Symposium Co-chair(s): Alan Stottlemyer Reetam Chakrabarti Jayachandran Devaraj  
Chemistry and Transportation
Session 1: Composite Materials for Lightweighting of Automobiles Session 2:
  1. Latest Trends in Transportation:
    1. Thermoplastics in Automotive
    2. Trends in Marine Transportation
  2. Advances in Processing.
Symposium Co-chair(s): Bharati Balijepalli and Jason Reese (Dow Automotive)  
Safety in the Undergraduate Curriculum
The ACS Committee on Professional Training has a robust set of expectations outlined in the 2015 Guidelines for Bachelor’s Degree Programs. The strategies to upgrade the inclusion of safety instruction in the undergraduate curriculum are evolving as new resources and ideas are emerging.  This symposium will explore various options to meet the CPT expectations. Symposium Co-chair(s):  David C. Finster  
Materials for Advanced Separations

The symposium will cover a broad scope of separation applications with emphasis on novel material development and/or fundamental understanding of materials.  The topics of the symposium include but are not limited to:

  • Novel material development for processes involving adsorption, absorption, membrane separations, chromatography, biological separations, extraction, crystallization, and filtration.
  • Experimental and/or computational work that provides insight into the fundamental understanding of how existing or novel materials function.
  • Scaled processes that utilize novel materials in industrial applications.
  • Computational methods / predictive models to design materials with unique properties.
  • Structure/property relationships of materials for separations.

Symposium Co-chairs:  Aaron J. Greiner (Dow), David S. Sholl (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Invited Speakers

Committed Plenary Speakers


Committed Technical Program Speakers

(as of October, 2018)
  • Dr. David Bank, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Prof. Paul Chirik, Princeton University
  • Prof. Ali Dhinojwala, University of Akron
  • Prof. Guangbin Dong, University of Chicago
  • Dr. Michael Ferritto, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Dr. Valeriy Ginzburg, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Prof. Sharon Glotzer, University of Michigan
  • Dr. Marty Johnson, Eli Lilly
  • Dr. Peter Johnson, Corteva Agroscience
  • Prof. Sinan Keten, Northwestern University
  • Dr. Kent Knaebel, Adsorption Research
  • Dr. Pat Knerr, Novo Nordisk
  • Prof. Ron G. Larson, University of Michigan
  • Prof. Edward Maginn, University of Notre Dame
  • Prof. Thomas Meade, Northwestern University
  • Prof. Forrest Meggers, Princeton University
  • Prof. Vincent Pecoraro, University of Michigan
  • Prof. Emily Pentzer, Case Western Reserve University
  • Dr. Neeraj Sane, Corteva Agroscience
  • Prof. Corrina Schindler, University of Michigan
  • Prof. David S. Sholl, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Prof. Kenneth R. Shull, Northwestern University
  • Dr. Mark F. Sonnenschein, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Prof. David Tierney, Miami University (Ohio)
  • Prof. Christine Thomas, The Ohio State University
  • Dr. Richard A. Vaia, Wright Patterson Airforce Base
  • Prof. Mary Wirth, Purdue Universtiy