DH Richards Travel Bursary Report 2017

By Laura MacDougall – University of Warwick who attended the 254th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition in Washington D.C.

The 254th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition was held in Washington D.C. from the 20th-24th August 2017. The meeting brought together the chemistry community from across the globe to present and discuss a wide range of chemistry areas with a theme of ‘Chemistry impact on the global economy’. I would like to thank Macro Group UK for kindly awarding me the D H Richards memorial bursary to attend this conference, enabling me to present my PhD work through two oral and one poster presentations. In addition, it gave me the opportunity to attend presentations given by many of the leading researchers in the field.

My PhD has focused on the synthesis of thiol-yne click poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels for tissues engineering applications. To reflect my research areas, I was particularly interested in the Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) division at this conference, especially the gels and other amorphous soft solids session. There were many interesting talks in this division covering a wide range of topics, from many different areas of polymer chemistry and material science, from 3D printing marmite (Marc in het Panhuis) to the mechanochemistry of elastomers (Hideyuki Otsuka). The range of different presentations at this meeting has inspired innovative approaches for my own PhD project to overcome the remaining challenges I have in my thesis.

The conference was attended by over 12,000 people with a vast array of talks, exhibits, career fairs and poster sessions. Having this experience during my PhD gave me an opportunity to further understand different academic research careers as well as giving me the chance to discuss my PhD projects with an international audience which was an unique opportunity and one which will influence my future work and career.

Overall, I gained a range of new experiences by attending the ACS national meeting and I would like to thank the Macro Group again for their contribution towards the trip.