First International Symposium on MATERIALS FROM RENEWABLES

North Dakota State University (NDSU) faculty dsc_4752organized the First International Symposium on Materials from Renewables which was held July 19-20 on the NDSU campus with 65 participants attending. The event was co-organized by faculty at the University of Georgia (UGA).
The event was sponsored by the North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, known as ND EPSCoR; North Dakota Soybean Council; United Soybean Board; NDSU Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials; NDSU College of Science and Mathematics; and NDSU College of Engineering.
The symposium explored aspects of research related to the use of renewable, natural materials, including applications in all fields of science and engineering. A special focus of this year’s conference was renewable polymer synthesis and nanomaterials or nanocomposites from renewable resources.
The symposium was an important platform to discuss bio-based materials, a growing area of development as researchers and industries seek alternatives to petroleum-based products.
NDSU members of the organizing committee included Andriy Voronov, associate professor of coatings and polymeric materials; Dean Webster, professor and chair of coatings and polymeric materials; and Mukund Sibi, University Distinguished Professor of chemistry and biochemisty and James A Meier Professor. Organizing committee members at the University of Georgia include Jason Locklin, Sergiy Minko and Suraj Sharma.
“The use of natural ingredients has become one of the major current trends in making new advanced materials for the global market,” Voronov said. “The symposium focused on recent research efforts devoted to making materials from renewable resources, such as natural polymers, biomass, and plant and vegetable oils, as well as on challenges related to their further characterization, processing and application.”
A distinguished group of speakers addressed research, processing and application for making materials from renewable resources, such as natural polymers and plant or vegetable oils. The conference provided opportunities for students to hear from top scientists who are working on emerging research.
As part of the conference a poster competition was held for the students with 33 students participating. The top three winning posters were: Ivan Hevus (NDSU) with his poster titled “Biobased Cationic UVCurable Resins for Waterborne Printing Inks”; Adlina Paramarts (NDSU) with her poster “High Performance Ambient Cure Coating derived from Soybean Oil-based Acrylic Resin”; and Caitlin Bussard (NDSU) with her poster “Optimizing the Synthesis of Redox Neutral Dialdehydes from Cellulosic Biomass.”dsc_4870
“We believe that, if successful, this inaugural symposium will help us in organizing a sustainable series of the conferences in the future,” Webster said. “Every other year it will be at the NDSU campus, increasing NDSU’s exposure and impact in the growing field of sustainable materials.”
The symposium is intended to become an annual event, rotating between the NDSU and UGA campuses. The second symposium is planned for fall 2017 at UGA.

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