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Clarkson University Will Host International Colloid And Surface Science Symposium June 12 -15

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More than 600 scientists from two dozen countries will descend upon Potsdam, New York, on June 12 to participate in the 79th American Chemical Society Colloid and Surface Science Symposium hosted by Clarkson University and the Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP).aerial

This annual gathering of the world’s preeminent chemists and engineers was last held at Clarkson in 1995. The 600+ scientists will make oral and/or poster presentations on the scientific advances and real-world applications occurring within their particular area of research. Although their subject matter is as small as one ten millionth of a centimeter, the impact of their work is highly significant. Small particle research continues to change the landscape in manufacturing, drugs, computing, defense, aerosols, printing and photography, painted and coated surfaces, dairy products, smart materials, and a host of other fields.

“Kolloid” was the ancient Greek word for glue. In today’s terminology colloid is used to describe nearly any suspension of small particles in a medium. As Science Week magazine explains to its readers, milk, for example, is a colloid because it is a suspension of milk fat globules in water, as is paint because it is a suspension of solid pigment granules in oil or water. Blood, a suspension of living cells in serum, is also a colloid, together with a host of other materials vital to life. The defining feature of colloids is that the particles are small and consequently the total surface is huge. The fat globules in a pint of homogenized milk, for example, is around 200 square meters – about the floor area of an average house.

A partial list of the technical sessions at the Symposium includes:

● Advanced nanostructured materials

● Aggregation and deposition of colloidal particles

● Nanoparticles, colloids and surfaces in advanced catalytic materials

● Nanostructures for quantum device technology

● Rheology and dynamics of complex fluids

● The interface of nanoparticles and colloids in consumer products

● The interface of nanoparticles and colloids in medical/biochemical diagnostic applications

● The interface of nanoparticles and colloids in the environment

● The interface of nanoparticles and colloids in pharmaceuticals & drug delivery applications  

Clarkson University has been a pioneer in colloid and particle science and engineering. “Clarkson scientists Stephen Brunauer and Egon Matijević formed the Clarkson Institute of Colloid and Surface Science in 1965, the first of its kind in the United States,” remarked Janos Fendler, Clarkson University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and chair of the Symposium. Matijević, the world’s foremost pioneer and expert in the science and engineering of uniform particles, is the Victor K. LaMer Professor of Colloid & Surface Science at Clarkson University. He still actively lectures and contributes to the knowledge of particle science, helping to revolutionize a broad range of industries.  Matijević is the only individual ever to receive all three awards of the American Chemical Society in colloid and surface chemistry. He has also written more than 550 scientific articles and holds more than a dozen patents. Matijević will be in attendance at the Symposium.

Although colloid science initially arose in chemistry, Matijević and other researchers soon recognized that detailed and fundamental theoretical knowledge of colloidal behavior is possible only through a combined application of physics, chemistry, mathematical physics, and chemical engineering, together with an understanding of biological structures and processes. This interdisciplinary approach to research helped Clarkson’s Institute of Colloid and Surface Science evolve into the Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP). In 1987 CAMP was designated a New York State Center of Advanced Technology (CAT).  A major goal of the Center is to transfer material technology from the laboratory to business.  

Sir John M. Thomas, professor of Chemistry at the Davy Faraday Research laboratory, The Royal Institution (RI), Great Britain, London, and Honorary Research Associate at Cambridge University, will receive an Honorary Doctoral degree from Clarkson University during the Symposium. The degree is being given in recognition of Thomas’ contributions to catalysis, solid-state chemistry and surface science. Sir Thomas will also deliver one of three plenary lectures. He has given more than 100 name and plenary lectures and has been recognized with honors that include the Davy Medal and the Rutherford Lectureship of the Royal Society, the Messel Gold Medal of the Society of Chemical Industry, the Willard Gibbs Gold Medal, and the first recipient of the award for Creative Research in Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Catalysis from the American Chemical Society, among many others. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and an Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He has authored or co-authored more than 850 original papers and reviews.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is an independent university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business and the arts and sciences. Its academically rigorous, collaborative culture involves 2,700 undergraduates and 400 graduate students in hands-on team projects, multidisciplinary research, and real-world challenges. Many faculty members achieve international recognition for their scholarship and research, and teaching is a priority at every level.  For more information, visit

Clarkson University is one of only two universities in the United States that hosts the ACS Colloid and Surface Science Symposium on a regular 10-year interval. For more information regarding the 79th Symposium contact Janos Fendler, or visit the Symposium Web site at

PHOTO CAPTION: Clarkson University will host the 79th American Chemical Society Colloid and Surface Science Symposium June 12 – 15. More than 600 scientists from around the world will attend the Symposium and present their research.
[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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