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UNH Hosts International Polymer Colloids Conference

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
July 6, 2011

Last week, more than 100 scientists from around the world came to UNH to share the latest research and innovations on particles so small more than 1,000 of them fit across the width of a human hair.

Don Sundberg and John Tsavalas, emeritus professor and research assistant professor in UNH’s Nanostructured Polymers Research Center, hosted the Polymer Colloids Conference of the International Polymer Colloids Group (IPCG). The biannual conference is the major gathering in the field of polymer colloids, nanoparticles used for decades in coatings and adhesives and more recently in emerging fields like microelectronics and pharmaceuticals.

The conference followed the format of the legendary Gordon Research Conferences, a series of science conferences held in New Hampshire and other New England states since the 1940s; this conference began as a Gordon conference in 1977 and spun off to its own conference in 2007. Sundberg and Tsavalas note that this conference retained the spirit of communication and the free exchange of ideas at the frontiers of discovery that are hallmarks of the Gordon Research Conferences.

From Sunday, June 26 through Thursday, June 30, scientists presented their work in morning and evening sessions in Holloway Commons; afternoons were left free for attendees to get to know each other and explore the New Hampshire Seacoast. A pre-conference Graduate Research Symposium over the weekend hosted master classes and oral presentations for 35 graduate students in the field. In addition to Tsavalas and Sundberg, UNH research associate professor Marshall Ming and four UNH graduate students from their research group participated.

“We’re very proud that this group chose UNH for its conference,” says Sundberg. “It means we’ve been a major presence in the world of polymer colloids.”

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