Thursday, March 26, 2009

237th ACS National Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT

Went to ACS nat'l meeting in SLC Sun-Tues. Good meeting. Snowed Mon morning, mountains looked great. Sorry no pictures; no camera.

Angela Belcher (MIT), gave keynote address Sunday pm. Talked about challenges applications of nanoscience, focused on own research engineering nanotubes using bacteriophage viruses as templates. Very straightforward speaker made it clear nanoscale science technology will revolutionize many fields through applications. Nothing we didn't all know, but is nice to hear someone "important" say it. After keynote address, she and Paul Weiss (Penn State, editor-in-chief ACS Nano) participated in panel on careers in chemistry, both spoke of being very satisfied with careers. Dr. Weiss: “I work with some of the smartest people, I choose my own projects, and I get to satisfy my curiosity. This is the best job in the world.” (Forgive errors in quotation from memory, wasn't taking notes). Definitely reminded why I love science. Weiss seems brilliant. Might like to work with him some day.

Heard Nate Lewis give his energy future talk Tues morning, running through energy scenarios quickly analyzing “alternative” solutions, disproving them all. Concludes only solar makes any sense. Brilliant man. Friend Jordan joins his group in summer.

Sat in on Small Chemical Business Symposium Tues pm. Heard George Whitesides (Harvard), Robert Grubbs(Caltech) et al talk about commercializing research. Whitesides talked about local ecosystems supporting entrepreneurship, maybe 6 (Silicon Valley, Hwy 128 in Mass, Austin, Seattle, etc.) I knew they existed, didn't know how important. Should look into. Grubbs, Nobel Laureate, was working on catalyst, commercialized, then commercialized multiple applications of said catalyst. Developed polymer with extraordinary tensile strength, other properties. Should look into. Remembered corollary life goal: join their ranks.

Upcoming: musings on Woodie Flowers, education reform. Maybe more verbose.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Greetings from Salt Lake City

I'm attending the 237th annual ACS national meeting from today until Tuesday evening, so expect a post or two on that. Also coming up: my response to a lecture by Woodie Flowers on a whole range of topics, especially personalized learning through new media.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

first post!1

Requisite introductory post goes here:

This blog will host links and musings on things in which I am interested.  Specifically, it will focus on applications of engineering (in the broader sense of the term) to modern challenges: from urban planning to industrial design to nanotechnology to virtual reality.  It will highlight human-centered design and the intersection of creativity and rigor in problem-solving.  It will likely be succinct.

The author reserves the right to modify both the content and the intent of this blog at any time, with or without warning.