Category Archives: Uncategorized

Volunteers needed: Chemists and Girl Scouts Celebrate Earth Week 2022

Volunteers are being sought to perform a variety of scientific demonstrations highlighting the chemistry of bugs, i.e. red dye from cochineal beetles, chemiluminescence, paper chromatography and more. Stations will be set up for hands on demos and groups of Scouts will rotate through the various demos. The Scouts range in age from 5 to 13. Materials will be supplied, and volunteers will be trained as necessary.

The event will be held Saturday, April 23, 2022 at ETSU from 1:00 pm EDT to 4:30 PM EDT. Volunteers will be asked to arrived at 12:00 PM EDT to be trained and stay until 5:00 PM EDT to help clean up.

See this flyer for more details and please reach out to Deborah Wilkinson (contact information on attached flyer) if interested.

Seminar March 29, 2022: “Structure-function studies of the SARS-CoV-2 spike and development of COVID-19 interventions”

Please see the registration link for our upcoming Seminar on Structure-Function Studies of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike and Development of COVID-19 Interventions on Tuesday, March 29th at 5:00 PM EDT.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Jason McLellan

Dr. Jason McLellan (University of Texas at Austin) researches viral proteins, and his work to understand how these proteins are structured and how they function has factored into the development of vaccines and potential treatments for deadly viruses that have impacted the lives of billions of people. He is one of the inventors of a way to engineer a key protein in coronaviruses for use in vaccines. The technology his team developed can be found in many leading vaccines against COVID-19 (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson and Novavax). McLellan and his colleagues also designed key proteins that form the basis of several vaccines now in clinical trials against the coronavirus, as well as separate proteins used in vaccines against respiratory syncytial virus, a virus especially dangerous for young children and seniors.

Seminar will be held via Zoom on March 29, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT. Please register in advance for this webinar at this link:

Seminar February 24, 2022: “Water Chemistry for Space Exploration at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center”

Please help us welcome Dr. Luke Roberson, Senior Principal Investigator for Flight Research at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, who will be giving a talk on “Water Chemistry for Space Exploration”. This seminar will describe how the Space Agency’s mission to return to the Moon will take place over the next few years, how technology is developed for space exploration, and how purifying water will be critical to the survival of the astronauts.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Luke B. Roberson

Dr. Luke B. Roberson is a NASA Senior Principal Investigator for Flight Research within the Exploration Research and Technology Directorate at the Kennedy Space Center. Dr. Roberson’s current research focuses on building a closed loop bioregenerative water purification system for planetary habitats, while supporting ISS water purification hardware. Prior to these projects, Dr. Roberson designed and built the Advanced Plant Habitat and two VEGGIE units, which are plant growth facilities aboard the International Space Station. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. (2005) from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Seminar will be held via Zoom on February 24th, 2022 at 4:00 PM EST. Please register in advance for this webinar at this link:

Seminar October 21, 2021: “Eastman in the Circular Economy”

The simple fact is: Our current recycling infrastructure isn’t equipped to tackle our current crisis. Enter: advanced circular recycling. Eastman’s advanced circular recycling technologies that allow brands to incorporate certified recycling content in packaging in ways the industry hasn’t been able to before. To solve the plastic waste crisis, we need a multi-faceted approach that looks ahead, not behind. Essentially, when you can used mechanical recycled content – use it! When you can’t, turn to advanced circular recycling. 

In a fast-moving presentation, Jayme will tell the audience how the world actually recycle materials today (mechanically), what the limitations are (multi-layers that can’t be recycled, stream contamination), and how we could augment the current system with new advanced circular recycling technologies. After, he will conclude with a pathway for how we can breakthrough, make our waste management system work, help brands hit their recycled content goals, and put a major dent in the plastic waste problem – together.

Presenter Bio

Jayme Leita, Director, Circular Economy Integration, Eastman

As director of circular economy integration within the sustainability and circular solutions department at Eastman, Jayme Leita is responsible for leading the development of capabilities required to deploy Eastman’s Advanced Circular Recycling technologies across the enterprise and into the marketplace.

Leita has been with Eastman since 2003 and has worked in a variety of roles in technology, marketing, and business. His experience includes process improvement, technical service, product and market development, and platform management. He has played significant roles in the design, development, commercialization, and global market activation of six new products for Eastman. In his current role, he is applying his experience to integrate the fundamentals of circularity into a platform of innovation for Eastman. 

He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Tennessee Technological University and is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt.

Leita lives in Johnson City, Tenn., with his wife Molly, their two children, Lacy and Benji, and the family dogs, Chip and Jo. In his spare time, he enjoys fly fishing, boating, reading, and traveling with his family.

Seminar will be held via Zoom on October 21, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT. Please register at this link:

Seminar September 16, 2021: “Meeting the Challenge: Decarbonization of Transportation in the 21st Century”

Decarbonization of the transportation industry is a critical part of addressing climate change.  What will be required to accomplish this massive overhaul of the industry?  Electric vehicles are a widely-publicized piece of the solution, but electrifying passenger cars and trucks will require increasing raw material availability, increasing electricity production, and adjusting our travel habits to accommodate charging realities.  Electrification isn’t a practical solution for some parts of the industry, and thus net-zero carbon fuels are also likely to be important to keeping people and goods moving.  What are these fuels likely to be, and how can these fuels be produced?  There’s no doubt that successfully addressing all of these questions will make the 21st century one of rapid change for the transportation industry and for consumers.

Presenter Bio

Scott Sluder is a senior research staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Scott has been involved in research involving clean fuels, engine performance, and emissions for 25 years. He has contributed to major national fuel and emissions policy decisions, including the introduction of ultra-low sulfur diesel in 2000, the decision to allow 15% ethanol in gasoline in 2010, and the EPA’s Tier 3 on-road emissions regulations. Scott has led research efforts for federal entities as well as private-sector customers. Scott is a recipient of several awards from SAE International, and was elected a Fellow of SAE International in 2014 for his contributions to mobility engineering.

Seminar will be held via Zoom on September 16, 2021 at 6:00 PM EDT. Please Register at this link:

Seminar June 9, 2021: “RDX and Holston Ordnance Works During World War II”

Dr. Colin F. Baxter will tell us about the journey of the super-explosive RDX (Research Department Explosive) from conceptualization at Woolwich Arsenal in England to mass production at Holston Ordnance Works in Kingsport in East Tennessee from 1942 to 1945. Twice as deadly as TNT and overshadowed only by the atomic bomb, this ordnance proved to be pivotal in the Battle of the Atlantic and directly contributed to the Allied victory in WWII. When the United States entered the conflict, the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) tasked Tennessee Eastman Company (TEC) as one of three companies assigned to develop pilot plants to manufacture RDX. This led to authorizing Tennessee Eastman to design and build the Holston Ordnance Works in Kingsport in June 1942. Dr. Baxter will illuminate both the explosive's military significance and its impact on the lives of ordinary Americans involved in the war industry in this talk.

Register using this link.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Colin F. Baxter, Professor Emeritus of History, East Tennessee State University, was born in Harrow, England.  He earned his B.Sc., degree from East Tennessee State University, and his M.A., and Ph.D., degrees from the University of Georgia.  His first teaching post was at Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina, where he taught British and European history.  He is the author of 5 books: The Normandy Campaign, 1944: A Selected Bibliography (1992); The War in North Africa, 1940-1943: A Selected Bibliography (1996); Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1887-1976: A Selected Bibliography (1999): Co-author and contributor to The American Military Tradition from Colonial Times to the Present. 2nd edition (2007).  He is the author of the Montgomery entry in the online Oxford Military Bibliographies series.  Baxter’s most recent book, The Secret History of RDX: The Super-Explosive that Helped Win World War II was published in 2018 by the University Press of Kentucky. 

2021 Annual Awards Ceremony

On April 21, 2021 at 6:00-7:30 PM EDT the Northeast Tennessee Section of the American Chemical Society will hold its annual awards ceremony virtually via Zoom. Section members should watch their e-mail for a link to the Zoom meeting.

Awards to be presented at this year’s annual awards ceremony include ACS Member Service Awards, the NETS-ACS Salutes to Excellence Award, the National Chemistry Week Recognition Award, The NETS-ACS Chemical Technician Award, NETS-ACS Outstanding Chemistry Student Awards, and the NETS-ACS Distinguished Member Award.

ACS Membership Awards are awarded annually to 40-, 50-, 60- and 70-year members of the ACS, recognizing them for their long service to the ACS and to science in general. This recognition is a small token of appreciation to many people who have dedicated their lives to science.

Salutes to Excellence is an outreach program that gives ACS local sections, international chemical sciences chapters, technical divisions, regional meetings, and national committees an opportunity to underscore outstanding accomplishments or achievements of service by external partners who have made a positive impact on everyday life or who have helped contribute to greater public awareness of chemistry. 

NETS-ACS Outstanding Chemistry Student Awards are given to outstanding chemistry students from area institutions. Selection is based on overall grade point scores and excellence in their academic achievements.

NETS-ACS Distinguished Member Award is given in recognition of a section member, selected by the Executive Committee, for their technical contribution and achievement in the field of chemistry, and outstanding contributions to chemistry education and/or perception of chemistry with the community.

NETS-ACS Chemical Technician Award is presented annually to a chemical technician who has demonstrated an extremely high degree of professionalism. Criteria used to judge the award include technical skills, communication skills, safety, reliability, leadership, teamwork, publications, and presentations. Additional professional and community activities are also considered.

For more information on section awards the criteria for selection please visit the Resources page of the NETS-ACS website.