The highly acclaimed polymer program at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) will celebrate a special milestone next month by hosting the 50th Annual International Waterborne, High-Solids and Powder Coating Symposium. The event will take place Feb. 12-17 at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in New Orleans.
The Waterborne Symposium is a technical forum for environmentally friendly coatings technologies. Proceeds from the symposium are used by USM for various elements of academic program development including junior faculty development, graduate student stipends, equipment acquisition and maintenance, and especially scholarships for undergraduate students majoring in polymer science
Dr. Robson Storey, Professor Emeritus in USM’s School of Polymer Science and Engineering, notes that the symposium was conceived in 1973 by faculty members of the University’s polymer program to address an urgent need by the coatings industry to develop technical solutions to rapidly evolving federal and state environmental regulations.
“As a consequence, the symposium has always delivered value to persons involved in the practical development of high-performance, environmentally friendly, and economically viable coatings technologies,” said Storey. “Throughout the years, the vast majority of both speakers and attendees of the symposium have been industrial scientists.”
The symposium is expected draw approximately 325-350 attendees, with about 40 oral presentations, a student poster session, and a trade-show-style Technology Showcase consisting of 20 booths manned by 40-50 exhibitors.
Storey points out that Day 1 of the symposium always begins with a review of the polymer program, which includes assessment of faculty and students, recent student achievements, enrollment numbers, plans for program improvement, etc.
“Many of our undergraduate majors accept jobs in the coatings industry, and we hold an annual employment clearinghouse at the symposium to help match our students to job opportunities within the industry,” said Storey.
More than $241,000 in undergraduate scholarships have been awarded from Waterborne proceeds over the last eight academic years. As recently as 2017, the Coatings Industry Education Foundation donated approximately $800,000 through the USM Foundation to fund a perpetual undergraduate scholarship program in polymer science and engineering at USM.
“This donation was a direct result of the broad recognition of our polymer program within the coatings industry, due in large part to the Waterborne Symposium,” said Storey.
Juliane P. Santos,Research and Development Specialist at Oxiteno, will be deliver the keynote address: “Sustainability Guiding New Developments in the Coating Industry.”
Santos received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry at UNESP in Sao Paulo.
She completed her masters and Ph.D. studies on Langmuir Blodgett-Films at University of Sao Paulo. She did her postdoctoral on synthesis, structure, and properties of latexes at University of Campinas and she has been working in latex field for 20 years.
In her current position at Oxiteno, Santos responsible for developing surfactants for emulsion polymerization. She has published more than 10 papers in international journals and has 10 granted patents.
Oxiteno is a Brazilian multinational manufacturer of surfactants and chemicals. The company develops and supplies raw materials to industries in over 30 sectors including cosmetics, personal care, household cleaning and industrial, agrochemicals, paints, and varnishes.
To learn more about the Waterborne Symposium, visit: https://www.waterbornesymposium.com/