Organizations & People
Report from IUPAC-Sponsored
UNESCO Preconference Workshop and UNESCO School and
IUPAC Conference on Macromolecules and Materials Science
8-9 and 10-12 April 2000, Matieland, South Africa
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This collaboration between UNESCO and IUPAC, organized by Prof.
Ron Sanderson of the University of Stellenbosch, Matieland, South
Africa (E-mail: [email protected]),
attracted 160 attendees, of whom 66 came from countries other than
South Africa. Good representation from the African continent included
delegates from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, and
Nigeria. The large number of students who actively participated
in the weeklong proceedings was most gratifying.
At the UNESCO Preconference Workshop, 1 local speaker and 17 international
speakers presented informative lectures on introduction to polymers,
chain polymerization reactions, polymer degradation and stabilization,
polymer recycling, and analysis and characterization of polymers.
Prof. P. S. Steyn, IUPAC Vice President, opened the UNESCO School
and IUPAC Conference with greetings from IUPAC, and he was followed
by 24 plenary lecturers from 10 countries. Scientists from another
3 countries presented invited talks. Highlights of the conference
included the following:
excellent work on plastics recycling, described
by Dr. Hans Zweifel from Basel, Switzerland;
a new stopflow kinetic device developed by Prof.
Minoru Terano of the Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
in Japan for measuring reaction kinetics in ZieglerNatta and metallocene
an excellent overview of selfassembly nanomaterials
given by Prof. Samuel I. Stupp of Northwestern University, Evanston,
Illinois, USA, followed by a thermodynamic prediction of nanostructure
synthesis by Dr. Lionel Vayssieres of Dr. Anders Hagfeldts
research group at Uppsala University, Sweden;
a description of new colloidal copying of organic
structures by Prof. R. D. Sanderson and Charl Faul of Stellenbosch
University in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Markus Antonietti of
Max-Planck-Institut in Golm, Germany;
a discussion by Dr. Ioan Tincul of Sasol Technology,
Modderfontein, South Africa, of the newer polyolefins, synthesized
by Ziegler Natta, and the new propene pentene copolymer with low
haze currently being commercialized by the Sasol subsidiary Polifin;
a fine overview of the newest findings on "living-
free" radical polymerizations presented by the group of Dr.
Bert Klumperman (Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands),
Axel Müller (University of Bayreuth, Germany), Stefan Bon
(University of Warwick, England, UK), and San Thang (CSIRO, Australia);
and an exciting discussion of new techniques for materials
processing with supercritical fluids, with emphasis on applications
to polymers, presented by Prof. Gerda van Rosmalen of Delft University,
Netherlands. Concluding remarks given by top technical people
from industry included summaries of the following topics:
South African coatings technology priorities (Dr.
Boyd Cooray, Plascon Paints, Johannesburg, South Africa);
quietly improving the quality of life (Bryan Webster,
Rohm & Haas, South Africa);
acrylic emulsion polymers for future paints (R.
Baumstark, BASF AG, Germany);
Revertexs development needs (Technical Director,
Revertex, South Africa); and
Polifins technology goals (Mrs. Karol Camerol,
Polifin, Modderfontein, South Africa).
of Stellenbosch campus, Matieland, South Africa
In concluding, the group stressed the importance of training in
polymer science and chemistry in South Africa at the postgraduate
level to the South African economy and the associated need to establish
technical competencies. The overseas plenary speakers were very
agreeable to assist thereby in augmenting the goals of UNESCO and
IUPAC. The conference banquet at the famous Boschendal wine estate,
close to Franschhoek, was greatly enjoyed by all who attended it.
A virtual encyclopedic CD-ROM that incorporates the abstracts and
overheads given by all the plenary speakers at both the School and
Conference has been created. This CD-ROM provides an excellent tool
for teaching and expanding course notes and was made available to
all delegates. It is also available at USD 50 a copy through the
Institute for Polymer Science Conference web site, http://www.sun.ac.za/polymer/polymer.html.
It will be placed in an abridged form on the web site after approval
by each of the contributors.
Announcements of the 2001 (4th,
Johannesburg) and 2002 (5th,
Stellenbosch) conferences appear in this issue.
Prof. P. S. Steyn
IUPAC Vice President Prof. R. D. Sanderson
University of Stellenbosch
Matieland, South Africa
> Published in Chem.
Int. 22(5), 2000
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