The Department of Chemistry hosted the 46th Southeast Undergraduate Research Conference (SURC) in the University Center on January 31, 2014. The Conference was well-attended by 120 attendees from almost fifty institutions in the southeast region and ten graduate school and industry recruiters.
“The Conference was a huge success.” said the conference organizer Rachel Rui. “One of the recruiters told me that this is the largest and most well-attended he has ever seen in at least the past fifteen years.”
This year’s SURC was comprised of two poster and two oral presentation sessions. It was intended to provide a platform for the top undergraduate chemistry researchers in the Southeastern US to present their work. To complete this experience for the conference attendees, the Department also compiled a graduate school/career fair followed by department tours led by the chemistry faculty members with the goal to introduce the undergraduates to the atmosphere of graduate studies and the environment of the chemistry graduate programs here at UT.
“This event is also be a great graduate student recruiting opportunity for our department.” said Frank Vogt, Associate Department Head of the Chemistry Department. “In particular, we are delighted that almost thirty percent of the attending students are from minority groups. This will help our department to become more visible and attractive to an important group of students that in the past has not considered us for their graduate studies.”
The conference was concluded by an awards banquet at the University Center Ballroom. Eighteen monetary rewards were given to the best presentations in analytical, inorganic, organic, polymer, physical chemistry and biochemistry. In addition, twelve presenters received honorable mentions. Jimmy Mays, Professor of Chemistry and Distinguished Scientist, presented a keynote speech, followed by the award ceremony and closing remarks from Dr. Diane Schmidt, alumna of the Department and 2014 president-elect of the American Chemical Society.
“I would like to thank all of our sponsors and their generous support which not only provided the awards for the best presentations but also the travel support for minority students.” said Rui “For a small conference like this, getting students here has always been a challenge.”
Chemistry Departments in the southeast region rotate to host SURC. The next one will be hosted by the University of South Carolina in 2015, followed by the Georgia State University in 2016.
Click the links below to enjoy pictures taken during 2014 SURC.