The 239th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting and Exposition

12 Jan 2011 

A J Banks Bursar Roussa Tsikritzi sends her report from ACS 2010, California, USA.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is an organisation that shows considerable activity and attracts scientists from many fields of chemistry from all over the world. ACS committee organises two national meeting events every year, one in spring and one in autumn. The spring meeting for 2010 took place in San Francisco, California, USA, from 21-25 March 2010 and consisted of several divisions and symposia. One of them focused on Agricultural and Food Chemistry and many graduates were encouraged to take place. This event aimed equally at young graduates working in university departments and organisations as well as well-experienced researchers worldwide.

After the encouragement of a fellow researcher, I decided to attend this conference too. Many students and similar-stage researchers as well as very well-known experts in many areas of chemistry attended this meeting from a broad range of disciplines in Food Science including chemistry, nutrition, quality and safety. The four-day event was comprised of oral and poster presentations. At this conference, in the division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (AGFD), I presented a poster entitled: Measurement of some physical and chemical properties of reconstituted skim milk powder at high temperatures using dialysis membranes. My poster participated at two different sessions. The first one was called Sci-Mix where posters belonging to many different divisions of chemistry were displayed. The second session was the poster session of AGFD and included only this division’s participants.

Being in the final year of my PhD and approaching the submission of my thesis soon, I enjoyed attending this meeting. My presentation was given during an important period concerning my research. In March 2010, I had the largest part of my thesis completed. Going to that conference, enabled me to put my research in context and to evaluate my achievements. This meeting gave me the opportunity to show, explain and support my work among other researchers. I also had the chance to meet a new place and new people in my own and related disciplines, to interact with them, listening to their ideas and finding possible career options as well.

I believe that many sessions, either poster or oral, were useful to me and I had the chance to become informed on other aspects of agricultural and food chemistry, apart from dairy chemistry which I specialise in. I attended talks on flavour chemistry, organic food, nanotechnology in food, probiotics, green chemistry and many more.

In addition I considered my research progress in relation to my future in food research generally. I had the chance to assess the presentation skills of the attendants, finding new ideas and tips about how to give a talk or to present a poster to an audience. Furthermore, I tried to put my work in a wider context, feeling more confident and certain about the steps I followed through my three years of research. I was as well glad that this meeting provided me the opportunity to discover many original research findings from different scientific areas and at the same time their industrial applications.

I would like to express deep gratitude to the selection committee of SCI for awarding me the AJ Banks Travel Bursary award. Without this the presentation of my work at this international conference would not be possible. I was able to become a member of the ACS and I established strong links with several scientists in my field of work which may reveal very important for scientific collaborations in the future.

Roussa Tsikritzi
University of Reading

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