JACKSON, Tenn. – March 15, 2005 – Six chemistry students from Union University presented their findings from research projects in San Diego in the undergraduate program at this year’s national meeting of the American Chemical Society.
The ACS meeting March 13-17 was expected to draw 18,000-20,000 chemists, plus 2,000-2,500 undergraduate students, according to Union chemistry professor Charles Baldwin.
In addition to the participation by the students, Baldwin served as program chair for this year’s undergraduate program, held March 13-14.
“It’s a first-rate professional experience,” Baldwin said of the conference. “The students have an opportunity to interact with professionals in the chemical field from all over the United States, as well as internationally.”
Baldwin said students from as far away as Sweden, Germany and Japan would also attend the event.
The six Union students attending the conference presented posters they had prepared that summarized research projects they worked on last summer.
Kate Ayers, a senior from Collierville, Tenn., researched silicone-based surfactants that could be used in flexible polyurethane foam
“I tested silicone-based surfactants,” she said. “They have a backbone that is not soluble in water and a tail that is soluble in water. It affects the characteristics of the foam we made.”
Union senior Brent Jones did research for Florida-based Petroferm. The senior from Harrisburg, Ill., said some of his discoveries might prove helpful as the company develops new plastics.
Baldwin said a $40,000 grant from Petroferm, a specialty chemical manufacturer, funded all six student projects.
In addition to Jones and Ayers, other students attending the conference and presenting their research were Carolyn Morton of Alamo, Tenn., Marianne Barnett of Waynesboro, Tenn., Sarah Perlinger of Littleton, Colo., and Kiera Knappman of Shippensburg, Pa.