Meetings and Events

Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW) Digital Illustrated Poem Contest
The theme this year is “Protecting Our Planet Through Chemistry”

We had 22 students participate in our Digital Illustrated Poem Contest. Local winners advance to the national contest for a chance to win cash prizes. ACS will award $300 to first-place and $150 to second-place national contest winners in each grade category! Here are our local winners:

K-2 Category
Riyana Bhaka, 2nd Grade, St. Michael’s School

Grades 6-8 Category
Hyunwoo Lee, 8th Grade, Thomas Starr King Middle School

Grades 9-12 Category
Celine Yu, 11th Grade, Alhambra High School

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all the students who participated in the Poem Contest.


Welcome to the 106th Annual
Southern California Section
American Chemical Society
High School Educational Awards Night

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
7:00 pm

Featuring a Special Message from
Frances Arnold
Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering,
Bioengineering and Biochemistry at the
California Institute of Technology and
the 2018 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

We honor the top high school teams, the top scorers of the competition, the National Olympiad Team and Finalist, and the top student from each school with ten or more participants in the local section exam.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, schools closed about the time we would normally give the local section High School Olympiad Exam. National ACS, as well as our section, developed the test on-line. Even with the virus, we had 780 students from 33 schools take the local section test – 623 took it online.

The top students from the local exam were invited to participate in Part I of the online National Exam on April 26, 2020. The top 150 students from the Part I test were then invited to participate in Part II of the National Exam on May 3. We had 7 students qualify for Part II. Their names are annotated with an asterisk below. The top scorer from Part II is Alex Dang and he is one of 20 students nation-wide who will go to the National ACS Virtual Study Camp to be held online May 31st to June 12th, 2020. The International Olympiad will be an online event in July.

Congratulations to our National ACS Exam Team for 2020:

*Gordon He Guo, Arcadia High School
*Alex Dang, Arcadia High School
Tyler Weigand, Harvard-Westlake
Aaron Zhao, Harvard-Westlake
*Phillip Jeong, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies
Sameer Nayyar, Loyola High School
Matthew Kim, Loyola High School
Theodore Dupont, North Hollywood High School
*Albert Zhang, North Hollywood High School
*Akash Anand, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School
Jia Hu, San Marino High School
*Sunjae Kim, West Torrance High School
*Randall Scharpf, West Torrance High School
Kenneth Nguyen, Whitney High School
Harry Yaun, Whitney High School


Open for Early Registration Only $150
(PayPal OK but not required; you can use your own card)

Introduction to Polymer Science & Engineering
Presented by
Prof. Gary Wnek,
Case Western Reserve University
June 8 – 9, 2020
Web-Based Live Presentation
Details Below and on

Overview: This two-day short course will be presented by a recognized expert in the field of Polymer Science and Engineering. The course is designed to introduce scientists, engineers, or other professionals to basic principles, terminology, and applications of polymeric materials. No formal training or experience with polymers is assumed or expected. The course aims to offer a sufficient introduction to the field to give professionals a foundation on which to build deeper expertise rapidly. A course wiki site will be available with slides and selected readings, and will remain open to interactive discussions regarding clarification of concepts as well as a source for additional information on specific course topics. The combination of an excellent speaker, an affordable price, and focus on practical applications makes this an exceptional opportunity.

Topics Covered:

Introductions to polymer concepts and definitions
Property comparisons across materials classes
Polymer structure-property relationships; emphasis on engineering plastics and multi-functionality
Common characterization methods (thermal analysis, molecular weight determination, spectroscopy)
Fibers and composites
Adhesion between dissimilar materials
Basic mechanical properties (strength, stiffness, toughness, creep)
Overview of viscoelasticity and time-temperature dependence
Overview of rheology and basic processing methods (injection molding, extrusion) and newer processes (e.g., micro-layering, additive manufacturing)
Additives (flame retardants, anti-oxidants, others)
Resin selection and applications: short case studies
Sustainability considerations (recycling and re-use, etc.)
Emerging trends and new applications

Instructor Background: Gary Wnek is the Joseph F. Toot, Jr., Professor of Engineering, and Professor and Chair of Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. Prof. Wnek’s research interests include polymers for applications in drug delivery and regenerative medicine, synthetic macromolecular constructs that mimic physiological functions, processing of polymer fiber/matrix composites, flammability mitigation of common polymers, and novel concepts for polymer packaging designs. He has authored or co-authored 200 publications and holds 34 US patents. Prof. Wnek earned his Ph.D. In Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1980 and his B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1977.

Changes to Remote Attendance (details below):

No course paper handouts, no in-person attendance
Attendees will still have access to the on-line course wiki after the class
Interactive participation will still be possible with Q&A, etc.
Registrants will get course information for logging on using Zoom
Class size will be slightly larger due to venue size limits being removed
Registration deadline dates are changed to allow longer registration period. As always, registration may close early if maximum attendance is reached.
Due to decreased overhead costs the registration fees are much lower.
Course sponsors will have access to provide recorded/timed material during breaks between live lectures, and their presentations will be saved for later viewing.

Practical Details
EVENT DATES: June 8 – 9, 2020

New Reduced Pricing and Deadlines:
$150 early registration, ending Friday May 22
$200 regular registration, ending Monday, June 1
$300 late registration, if still available, after Monday, June 1.

Registration and payment required prior to course. No drop-ins allowed.
Registration is not complete until payment is received.
Registration may be closed early if the course capacity is reached.

Additional instructions will be provided to those who register for the event.

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations by you: allowed until June 1 – you will receive a refund minus a fixed $50 administrative cancellation fee. You must cancel in writing or e-mail and have a verifiable acknowledgment from us that you have cancelled in time. No cancellations will be allowed after June 1. Registrants who did not cancel in time will not receive a refund.

Cancellations by GGPF: if for any reason GGPF has to cancel the class, you will be notified no later than June 1 and you will receive a full refund.

Registration Details
(1) Begin the registration process by using the direct link in this advertisement, or by going to the main web page,, and clicking on “Introduction to Polymer Science and Engineering (Short Course)”. After you have completed all the required information, click “Submit” at the bottom of the page. This will take you to a page where you can review your information, then click “Confirm Registration”. If someone other than the attendee is filling out the registration form, please ensure that it is the attendee’s name and contact information in the appropriate fields in the registration.

(2) You will be asked to choose to pay by Credit Card (via PayPal) or Check. We are requesting that all short course registrations choose the Credit Card option. Please note: if you do have or want PayPal, you can use your own credit card.
Details: Click on the “PayPal” icon. This will redirect you to the PayPal website where you can submit your credit card information and complete the payment process. A PayPal account is not necessary. If you do not have a PayPal account, or if you do not wish to use one which you may already have, do not use the “login” option at the PayPal website; select “Pay with Debit or Credit Card” instead.
If you must choose to pay by check, you will need to provide payment by mailing a check made out to “GGPF” in the appropriate amount. Contact David Olmeijer for further instructions at Your registration will not be considered complete until a check is received.

(3) If your company requires it, the GGPF Tax ID number will be provided to you by e-mailing a request to David Olmeijer at Please note that the conference registration fee covers the short course expenses and is not a tax deductible donation.

(4) An automated e-mail receipt will be provided as soon as you register and is usually sufficient for corporate reimbursement. If you require a hardcopy receipt, please contact us and one can be mailed to you.

Contact Information:

For course content details, contact Lothar Kleiner,
For registration difficulties, contact If you can’t reach the webmaster, contact Clayton Henderson,
For information on how to sponsor the event, contact Bruce Prime,
The Golden Gate Polymer Forum (GGPF) is a successful 40-year non-profit educational organization dedicated to the study of polymeric materials and devices. We sponsor well attended monthly polymer forums, and annual symposiums or short-courses. The GGPF attracts scientists, engineers, and sales professionals (from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies), as well as academics, all of whom are interested in the study of and advancements in polymer science, materials, or engineering. GGPF events, in addition to providing a forum for cutting edge research and industry practices, allow for collaborative networking. The majority of our attendees are from the Bay Area, yet we attract people from out of state as well as international guests, thanks to our reputation in the industry as a premier and easily affordable educational forum.


The Southern California Section is pleased to announce the
2019 Richard C. Tolman Award Recipient:
Professor A. S. Borovik
University of California, Irvine

Tolman Award Dinner:
Tentatively Scheduled for September, 2020
UCI University Club
801 East Peltason Drive
Irvine, CA 92697

Tolman Address:
Molecular Complexity and Inorganic Chemistry: Utilizing Non-Covalent Interactions to
Control Function

The Award: The Richard C. Tolman Medal is awarded each year by the Southern California Section of the American Chemical Society in recognition of outstanding contributions to chemistry in Southern California. The Tolman Medal recognizes broad accomplishments in chemistry rather than a single fundamental discovery. These contributions may be of several kinds, including seminal research of widely regarded influence, achievements of broad impact in chemical technology, significant contributions to chemical education, and outstanding leadership in science on a national level. To be eligible for the Medal, the recipient must have accomplished a major portion of his or her work while a resident of Southern California.

Abstract: Location matters…no compound operates in isolation without interacting with its local environment. Metalloproteins are example systems whose active sites contain intricate structures that aid the performance of specific functions with high selectivities and efficiencies. The complexity of these systems complicates the study of their function and the understanding of the properties that give rise to their reactivity. One approach that has contributed to the current level of knowledge is the study of synthetic constructs that mimic one or more aspects of the native metalloproteins. These systems allow for analysis of individual components of structure and how they affect function. We are thus able to establish structure-function correlations that are necessary for evaluating mechanisms. Using key architectural features from active sites of metalloproteins as inspiration, my group has developed design approaches to prepare systems that regulate local environments around a metal center. These systems are used to study the activation of small molecules (e.g., O2 and H2O) that are essential in maintenance of human health. This presentation will highlight our molecular designs from small synthetic complexes to the use of larger, more diverse protein hosts.

Biography: A. S. Borovik was raised in Chicago and received his B.S. degree in Chemistry with Honors from Humboldt State University. As an undergraduate student he did research at Oregon State University as an NSF Summer Fellow and at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as a WHOI Fellow. Both research experiences involved using nuclear chemistry to trace metal ions in the environment. He obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill under Tom Sorrell where he developed photophysical models for the active site of copper proteins. As an NIH postdoctoral fellow with Larry Que at the University of Minnesota, he designed synthetic complexes that replicated the properties of dinuclear iron centers in proteins. Upon completion of his postdoctoral fellowship, Professor Borovik joined the faculty at Ithaca College where he taught chemistry and mentored 6 undergraduate research students for two years. He then moved to the University of California-Berkeley as a postdoctoral associate with Ken Raymond, working on stereonostic coordination chemistry. From there, he joined the Chemistry Department at Kansas State University where he began a broad program on the effects of the secondary coordination sphere on metal ions. After 3 years, he moved his research group to the University of Kansas, continuing research on the development of metal complexes and hybrid materials with unique structural and functional properties. In 2006, Professor Borovik and his research group moved to the University of California-Irvine, expanding his approach to now include designing artificial metalloproteins. Professor Borovik has won several teaching and research awards that include a 2017 MERIT Award from the NIH and the 2018 National Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. He is currently a UCI Distinguished Professor.

Dinner: Information regarding dinner and cost will be available in the September issue of SCALACS and on our website.