The Science Atlantic ChemCon 2012 chemistry research student conference held at CBU concluded successfully on Thursday, May 17. More than 100 undergraduate and graduate students from Atlantic universities presented their research in posters and oral presentations. ChemCon is hosted by students for students and a group of 12 CBU chemistry students organized all the events at CBU. Mary Tait, a recent CBU BSc (Hon) chemistry grad, headed the student organizing committee and Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, was the faculty advisor.
"The quality of chemistry research and enthusiasm in the student presentations was outstanding" said Dr. MacQuarrie. Besides academic rigor, ChemCon emphasizes interactions and networking opportunities among undergraduate students, graduate students and researchers for their future academic careers and CBU students hosted a real Cape Breton kitchen party for all the participants. The conference concluded with the traditional formal banquet and awards presentation.
CBU chemistry student Jean Gillis won the ACEnet Institute for Materials Modelling and Simulation (AIMMS) Award, given for the best undergraduate presentation using computational methods. Adam Brown won the NSERC Representatives Award, awarded to the student whose work and presentation best encompass NSERC's mandate to invest in people, discovery and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians, and demonstrate the student’s potential for graduate studies and research. First year student Chris Keefe won the CIC Award for the Best Undergraduate Poster in Materials Chemistry, awarded to the undergraduate student who has given the best overall poster presentation in materials chemistry. Chris MacLean won the CIC Award for the Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation in Materials Chemistry, awarded to the undergraduate student who has given the best overall oral presentation in Materials Chemistry. The CIC Award winner for the Best Undergraduate Poster in Physical, Theoretical, or Computational went to Erica Campbell, 2nd year chemistry student. Gillis, Brown and MacLean are among nine recent BSc (Honours) chemistry graduates and will continue their careers in graduate schools and teacher education.
Unique to ChemCon is the determination of the next conference host by democratic vote of all participants. ChemCon 2013 will be hosted by the students at Memorial University of Newfoundland.