Meetings and Events

2019 Occidental College
High School Chemistry Teachers Meeting

This is a meeting for Chemistry Teachers
by Chemistry Teachers!

November 9, 2019

Occidental College
1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Mosher Room 1

Registration opens at 8 AM, Program 9 AM to 3 PM,
Lunch Included
Free parking on campus

Featuring presentations by:
Barry Vella, Venice High School, Susannah Hall, Hollywood STEM Academy, Paul Groves (retired), South Pasadena High School and Michael Morgan and Caroline Morgan, Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School
and more…

The fee is $30 (nonrefundable) payable to SCALACS. Pre-service teachers can attend for just $5! Paypal registration is now open. To register and pay by Paypal, please go to Please remember that your registration is not complete until you pay. You will receive a confirmation from Paypal. The deadline to register is October 31, 2019.

Questions about the program or to volunteer to give a presentation, contact Michael A. Morgan (Education Chair) at

Sponsored by the Southern California Section of the
American Chemical Society and the
Occidental College Department of Chemistry


Science Café Seminars

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Los Angeles City College
Room Chem 3

855 N. Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029

Seminar 1
10:00 am -11:00 am
Two Birds in One Shot: Transforming the Greenhouse Gas Carbon Dioxide into an Energy and Fuel source with the Assistance of Hydrogen
G. K. Surya Prakash, Ph.D.
Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute

Seminar 2
11:00 am—12:00 noon
Did Mendeleev Drink Tap Water?
Paul A. Rochelle, Ph.D.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Lunch: Free Pizza 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm

Seminar 1 (10:00 am to 11:00 am):
G. K. Surya Prakash, Ph.D.

Professor and George A. and Judith A. Olah
Nobel Laureate Chair in Hydrocarbon Chemistry
Chairman, Department of Chemistry
Director, Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute
University of Southern California
837 Bloom Walk
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1661, USA

Abstract: Methanol, a liquid at ambient temperature, is preferable to low volumetric energy density hydrogen gas for energy storage and transportation. It is also an excellent drop in fuel for internal combustion (gasoline) and auto-ignition (diesel) engines. It is an excellent fuel for direct oxidation fuel cells. Dimethyl ether (DME) derived from methanol is a high cetane diesel substitute and also could replace liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Methanol is a convenient feedstock to produce ethylene and propylene that can be converted to synthetic petrochemical products. Chemical recycling of excess carbon dioxide formed from human activities, natural and industrial sources, or even from the air can be converted to methanol via capture followed by reductive conversion with hydrogen. Any available energy source (preferably alternative energies such as solar, wind, geothermal, atomic, etc.) can provide the needed energy for generating hydrogen. Direct electrochemical reduction of CO2 is also possible. Methanol, presently produced from fossil fuel-based syngas (mixture of CO and H2), can also be made by direct oxidative conversion of natural gas or other methane sources. Even coal and biomass can be converted to methanol through syngas. The Methanol Economy concept that was jointly developed with the late Nobel Laureate colleague, George A. Olah is expected to solve the energy and material problems of the world in the long run and at the same time address the issue of global warming due to increased CO2 emissions by excessive fossil fuel use by efficient “Carbon Neutral Energy Cycles.” If carbon is the problem, carbon has to be the solution!

Biography: Professor Surya Prakash was born in 1953 in Bangalore, India. He holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry from the Bangalore University and a M.Sc. from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. He obtained his Ph. D. in chemistry under the tutelage of late Professor Olah (1994 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry) at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1978. He joined USC faculty in 1981 and is currently a Professor and Director holding the Olah Nobel Laureate Chair in Hydrocarbon Chemistry at the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute. He also serves as the Chairman of the Chemistry Department at USC. His research encompasses superacid, hydrocarbon, synthetic organic, organosilicon and organofluorine chemistry, with particular emphasis in the areas of energy, greenhouse gas abatement and catalysis. He is a Co-Proponent of the Methanol Economy Concept based on carbon dioxide capture and recycling. He co-invented the direct oxidation methanol fuel cell. He has trained more than 125 doctoral and post-doctoral scholars. He is a prolific author with > 800 peer-reviewed publications holding > 100 patents. He has published 14 books. He has received many awards and recognitions including the American Chemical Society Awards: the 2004 Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry, the 2006 George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry, the 2006 Richard C. Tolman Award (from the Southern California section of the American Chemical Society) and the 2018 Late Career Cope Scholar Award. He has also received the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, IIT- Madras and the 2010 CRSI Medal from the Chemical Research Society of India. He has co-shared with the late Professor Olah, the inaugural $1 Million the 2013 Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation by the State of Israel. In 2015, he won the Henri Moissan International Prize for excellence in Fluorine Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, a Member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences, Foreign Fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India and a Fellow of the American Chemical Society. He also sits on Editorial Boards of several International Journals. Professor Prakash’s book, co-authored with G. A. Olah and A. Goeppert, “Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy” (Wiley-VCH, 2006 and 2nd Edition, 2009, 3rd Expanded Edition 2018, translated into Chinese, Hungarian, Japanese, Swedish and Russian) is getting worldwide attention.

Seminar 2 (11:00 am to 12:00 noon)

Paul A. Rochelle, Ph.D.
Microbiology Unit Manager
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Title: Did Mendeleev Drink Tap Water?

Abstract: Mendeleev was born in a small village close to the Tobol and Irtysh Rivers in Siberia. These rivers are the lifeblood of a vast region, serving the transport, economic, and drinking water needs of millions of people. They are impacted by industrialization, pollution, diversion, damming for hydroelectric power, and a changing climate that alters rainfall patterns. These same stressors have and continue to impact major rivers in the western United States. But state and federal regulations, and water industry practices in the U.S. provide protection for sources of drinking water, ensure adequate treatment to remove contaminants, and prepare for future threats to the quality of drinking water.

Mendeleev published his first periodic table in 1869 and many of the issues that occupy water quality professionals today are represented by elements that appeared on that first table- calcium, carbon, chlorine, lead, manganese, oxygen, and even uranium. Coincidentally, 1869 also marked the birth of Mary Mallon, later to be known as “Typhoid Mary”. The microbe she carried, Salmonella typhi, was responsible for thousands of deaths from contaminated drinking water prior to the introduction of routine disinfection with chlorine- Group VII on Mendeleev’s 1871 version of his periodic table.

This presentation will review the links between a variety of chemical elements and the quality of drinking water, the impacts of elements and their compounds on source waters, and speculate on the water that Mendeleev was probably drinking.

Biography: Dr. Paul Rochelle is the Microbiology Unit Manager in the Water Quality Section at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. He has undergraduate degrees in biology and microbiology and a Ph.D. in environmental microbiology. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He has authored or co-authored over 70 papers and book chapters on environmental microbiology, application of molecular methods, and various water quality issues. His research has been funded by the USEPA, USDA, WERF, and the Water Research Foundation, for projects on pathogen detection, UV and ozone disinfection of pathogens, development and application of Cryptosporidium infectivity assays, microbial source tracking, and microbiological aspects of drinking water treatment. He has served on many water industry committees and expert panels covering topics such as pathogens in distribution systems and premise plumbing, cyanotoxins, EPA’s Contaminant Candidate List, EPA’s pathogen health assessments, and validation of molecular methods for indicator monitoring in environmental waters.
His responsibilities at Metropolitan include overseeing compliance with federal and state drinking water regulations, the reservoir management program, all aspects of source water microbiology, pathogen monitoring (Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and viruses), cyanotoxin monitoring and control, and managing invasive mussels. He also co-authored the microbiological monitoring and testing plan for Metropolitan’s demonstration-scale 0.5 MGD recycled water plant, which will start operating in fall 2019, and he will oversee evaluation of pathogen removal efficiency during the testing period.

RSVP: This event and the pizza are free but we do need a head count for pizza. Please email Nancy in the Section Office at and let her know if you can attend. RSVP by October 24th.

Directions and Parking:  Please park in Lot 4 off of Heliotrope Drive. A campus map and directions can be found at


Franco American Leadership Tour

October 28, 2019

Porous Silicon, A Biodegradable Semiconductor for Nanomedicine

Frédérique Cunin
Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier

Pasadena City College
E Building, Room E 220

1570 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106

6:00 pm Pizza and soft drinks
7:00 pm Lecture

The Franco-American Lectureship Prize is a joint endeavor between ACS and the French Chemical Society (SCF), awarded on a rotating basis to an American or French chemist. This year, the French recipient was selected by the ACS Committee on International Activities, with the SCF selecting an American chemist next year. As part of her prize, Cunin is conducting a lecture tour at ACS local sections and universities in the U.S. We invite you to join us for pizza followed by this interesting lecture.

Abstract: The application of nanotechnologies into medicine promises to offer solutions when applied to health challenges such as cancer. In particular the development of local therapies will reduce side effects associated with systemic administration of chemotherapy drugs, and will allow preservation or limited resection of organs with small size tumors. Local therapy is also indicated to overcome the intrinsic biological resistance of certain incurable malignancies, leading to failure of conventional treatment approaches. Our research projects aim to develop biodegradable multifunctional anti-cancer materials based on mesoporous silicon to be used for the local treatment of cancer. Porous silicon nanostructures are bioresorbable in vivo. In addition they can be excited by near infrared excitation light offering possibilities for phototherapies, and for light triggered treatment. The development of photoactive porous silicon nanostructures functionalized with organic ligands for applications in imaging, drug delivery and photo-activated therapies, as well as for tissue engineering will be presented.

Biography: Frédérique Cunin, Ph.D., is the winner of the 2019 Franco-American Lectureship Prize. The prize honors chemists and chemical engineers who have
contributed significantly to research cooperation between the United States and France.

Cunin is a materials science researcher at the Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier in Montpellier, France, where she focuses on the development and fundamental properties of porous silicon particles. In particular, her research has applications in nanomedicine, targeted anti-cancer therapies, gene-based therapies and tissue engineering. Cunin has long-established ties to the U.S. research community, including spending time as a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Michael Sailor, Ph.D. of the University of California, San Diego. She has worked extensively to build bridges between French and American chemistry practitioners and has served as an organizer for several cross-cultural research conferences. Notably, Cunin served as a co-principal investigator on a joint National Science Foundation/Centre national de la recherche scientifique grant, Materials World Network: Cooperative Activity in Materials Research Between US Investigators and their Counterparts Abroad.

Directions and Parking: Please see the campus map for directions and parking information:

RSVP: This event and the pizza are free but we do need a head count for pizza. Please RSVP by October 24th to Nancy in the Section Office at


Prior meetings: