Welcome to the home of the Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical Society.

Current Issue of The Crucible – December 2017

December 2017


Congratulations to our Latest Travel Grant Winner

Congratulations to Wheeling Jesuit Senior Ashley Trouten.  She will represent the Pittsburgh Local Section as a travel grant winner when she presents her poster “Examination of possible lead and copper in local drinking water.”  Congratulations, Ashley!

Election Results are in!  Congratulations to our 2018 Executive Committee

The Pittsburgh Section ACS is pleased to announce the elected officers for 2018:
Chair-Elect:  Brad Davis
Secretary:  Matt Baker
Secretary-Elect:  Haitao Liu
Directors:  Heather Juzwa, Toby Chapman, Logan Miller
Councilors:  Mike Mautino, Edward Zovinka (alternate), Ali Sezer (alternate)

Intel ISEF Pittsburgh Seeking Judges and Volunteers

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest pre-college science competition, is returning to Pittsburgh in 2018 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.  This competition brings together 1700 students in grades 9-12 from 75 countries, regions and territories.  These are the best and brightest in the world, having won at local, regional, state and national fairs to get here.  Twenty percent of competitors hold patents or published papers.

We need your help!  Approximately 1000 judges in 22 categories, covering the whole of science and engineering.  Judges are required to have a B.A., B.S. or a master’s degree with a minimum of six years related professional experience OR a Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent.  Senior level graduate students may also qualify.  If in doubt apply, and credentials will be reviewed.  Judges are expected to be available from Tuesday afternoon (register no later than 5:00 PM) May 15 through Wednesday evening May 16, 2018 to complete their judging assignments.  Judge training is available.  Parking and all meals are provided free. 

Judging at Intel ISEF is wonderful.  The students consistently rank talking with the judges as the high point of their experience.  The opportunity to meet these students is a tremendous experience for you.  The positive energy in the exhibit hall with the students is inspiring!   

Judging is also a great opportunity to network with fellow judges – over 1000 professionals from around the region and around the world.  The students are our future leaders and workers for industry, universities and research facilities – it’s an opportunity to meet your future students, colleagues and employees.  You will also advance STEM education, and promote good will.  Intel ISEF was held in Pittsburgh in 2012 and 2015, and was a huge success.  Join us to help make the 2018 fair even better. Become a judge.  It’s easy.  Go to https://student.societyforscience.org/grand-award-judges – click Apply to be a Grand Awards Judge at Intel ISEF 2018 in Pittsburgh!

Don’t want to judge?  Volunteer to help.  There are all kinds of jobs to do, including being an interpreter in any of 20 languages.  Go to:  https://student.societyforscience.org/volunteers to learn more.  Questions?  Email:  Judging@societyforscience.org

Congratulations to our 2017 National Chemistry Week Illustrated Poetry Contest Winners!

The Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) sponsored an illustrated poem contest for students in grades K-12 in support of the 2017 National Chemistry Week (NCW) program. Students could pick topics related to the 2017 NCW theme “Chemistry Rocks!” First and second place winners were selected from four grade categories: K-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, and 9th-12th. Poems could be any style (free verse, limerick, haiku, etc.). Entries were judged based upon relevance to and incorporation of the theme, word choice and imagery, colorful artwork, adherence to poem style, originality and creativity, and overall presentation. Each 1st place winner received a check for $50. Their winning poem was also entered into the national poem contest sponsored by the ACS’s Committee on Community Activities. None of the Pittsburgh Section entries placed in the 2017 national contest. Each 2nd place winner received a check for $25.    And the winners of the Pittsburgh Section ACS’s NCW 2017 Illustrated Poem contest are: 

K-2nd Grade
1st Place: Gus H., home school; Teacher – Allison H.
2nd Place: Lauralei K., Holy Trinity School; Teacher – Mrs. Dipaolo

K-2nd Grade Category – Gus H







3rd-5th Grade
1st Place: Violet D., North Star Middle School; Teacher – Karen Walker
2nd Place: Bayleigh L., Trinity South Elementary School; Teacher – Heather Mohr

3rd-5th Grade Category – Violet D









6th-8th Grade
1st Place: Grace H., Franklin Regional Middle School; Teacher – Todd Rhea
2nd Place: Kaylee P., Hopewell Memorial Jr. High School; Teacher – Paula Cosnek

6th-8th Grade Category – Grace H









9th-12th Grade
1st Place: Rylan S., Moon Area High School; Teacher – Tracey Spinelli
2nd Place: Alexis K., Shaler Area High School; Teacher – Rena Murphy

9th-12th Grade Category – Rylan S









Thank you to all the students who entered the contest. Thanks also go to all the teachers who allowed time in their curriculum for their students to participate in the contest.

Congratulations to all our local contest winners!

Winners of the national contest can be viewed at https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/outreach/ncw/ncw-illustrated-poem-contest/winners.html

Submitted by Michael Mautino – NCW Coordinator Pittsburgh Section ACS

Congratulations to our 2017 Pittsburgh Award Recipient – Dr. Debra Singer

Debra Singer is an Associate Fellow in the Polymer Synthesis Group at PPG industries. Originally from Denver, Colorado, she earned a BA in Chemistry at Colorado College and MS and PhD degrees at Northwestern University. After joining PPG Industries in Allison Park as a Senior Research Chemist, she advanced through technical assignments, achieving the level of Associate Fellow in 2016.  Along with increasing supervisory responsibilities in polymer synthesis as a group leader, she has maintained an active research presence at the bench. Her synthesis work has resulted in commercial products for industrial and automotive customers, including direct to metal primers and polyurea truck bed liners. Her synthesis work also led to commercialization of three types of acid etch-resistant  clear coats for automobiles that have become industry standards for excellent appearance and exterior durability.  The team was awarded the PPG President’s Award in 2008 for this work. She was also a member of the team that commercialized the first automotive powder clear coat, a product that was awarded an R&D 100 Award in 1998 as one of the 100 most significant breakthrough technologies for that year. Other areas of interest include new methods for synthesizing branched polyesters and development of robust commercial synthesis of latex resins.  Her recent assignments have been directed toward identifying new business opportunities, improving technical communication on a global level, and developing joint projects with PPG colleagues and teams in the UK and Europe. She is a co-inventor on 42 US patents and was elected to the PPG Collegium in 2011. Dr. Singer is an avid cyclist and runner and coordinates the Adopt A Highway program at PPG Allison Park.

Congratulations to our 2017 Distinguished Service Award Recipient – Dr. Fu-Tyan Lin

Fu-Tyan received his bachelor degree of science in 1963 in Physics/Chemistry and Teaching from the National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan. He enjoyed seven years of teaching in high schools and colleges in Taiwan. He came to the United States for his graduate study in August, 1969. Fu-Tyan received his MS in Physics in 1971 and Ph.D. in Polymer Science in 1979 from the University of Akron, Akron, OH. During his graduate study, he worked as a technician for the Physics Department from 1971 to 1973 and as an NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) Spectroscopist for the Institute of Polymer Science from 1973 to 1978 at the University of Akron. He was the Chemistry Instrumentation Manager at the University of Louisville, Louisville, KY in 1978-1980. He was the Director of the NMR Lab and a Research Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at the University of Pittsburgh from June, 1980. He was promoted to the Research Associate Professor in November, 1986. He retired from the University of Pittsburgh in January, 2005. In 2005, Fu-Tyan founded LIST NMR, an NMR services and consulting.  His current research interest is the separation and characterization of natural products. Fu-Tyan is the author and co-author for more than sixty papers, and presented more than twelve papers at the academic institutes and conferences. In October, 2005, he gave a plenary lecture for the  Beijing Conference and Exhibition on Instrumental Analysis (BCEIA) in Beijing, China. He gave another lecture of International Forum for BCEIA in 2011 in Beijing. Fu-Tyan organized PITTCON US Symposium at JASIS 2016 Exposition/Conference (Japan Analytical and Science Instruments Show) in September, 2016 in Tokyo-Makuhari.  Fu-Tyan has been an active member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) since 1978, a member of the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh (SSP) since 1982, a member of the Society for the Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP) since 1999, and a member of the Pittsburgh Conference (PITTCON) since 1993. He served as various committee chairs last several years for PITTCON, SSP, SACP and ACS Pittsburgh Section.  He was Chairman of the SSP in 2003-2004, and was Chairman for SACP 2011-2012. He was the Chairman for the Pittsburgh Section of ACS in 2008. He served as a Chairman for Pittsburgh ACS Polymer Group in 1985-1986. He was President of The Chinese Monte Jade Science and Technology Association, Pittsburgh Chapter, in 1999.  He is Selection Committee member for Carnegie Science Awards since 2013.  Fu-Tyan enjoys sewing, cooking, reading and listening to classical music.

National Chemistry Week/ChemFest 2017 Organizer Mike Mautino Thanks YOU!  Read Mike’s Final Report

To all of you who helped organize the Pittsburgh Section ACS’s 2017 National Chemistry Week/ChemFest event this past Friday and Saturday, October 27-28, at the Carnegie Science Center…we had a great crowd and amazing volunteer participation for the two-day event!

Total Attendance: 4,816
Friday: 2,077
Saturday: 2,739

In the nineteen years we have conducted an NCW event at the Carnegie Science Center this was our 5th best attendance.

392 people volunteered for the event – that’s a new record for this event! Of those 392 volunteers, 186 were ACS members.

Thanks go to the over 40 organizations that conducted hands-on experiments and demos, provided people for the Career Cafe program, or helped me manage the day-to-day event activities.

For media coverage KDKA TV (CBS Pittsburgh) ran a spot on Saturday evening news, as well as Monday morning. There was also a Post-Gazette photographer at the event.

Special thanks also go to our financial sponsors who made this event possible: Society For Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh, Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh, PPG Science Education Council, and the PPG Foundation.

We have reserved the Carnegie Science Center for Friday and Saturday, October 26-27, 2018 for our 20th anniversary celebration of NCW/Chemfest in Pittsburgh. The topic is “outerspace.”

Again, thank you for making this NCW celebration another successful community outreach event!

Interested in a Piece of Pittsburgh Section History?

Thank you to Carlow University’s ACS Student Affiliate Chapter, we can now enjoy past issues of our section newsletter, The Crucible.  Thank you to Carlow as they continue to scan historic issues.  We will post them on our website as they become available!  Enjoy!

Pittsburgh Section Announces New Travel Grant Application

The Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical Society has budgeted funds to help encourage undergraduate/graduate student participation in national and regional ACS meetings. The awards are intended to help defray meeting registration and travel-related expenses (lodging, transportation, per diem) for eligible students.  Click for the application.

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