Report from the Chicago Local Section. Activity for the year 1999/2000

Presented at the Council of Local Sections in Toronto, May 14, 2000 by Petr Vanýsek, section councilor.

May 1999

The Chicago section held a dinner meeting on Wednesday, May 26, 1999, at The Grazie! Italian Restaurant, Des Plaines IL. Dr. David Goad from Boundary Technologies presented an interesting talk on "Electrochemical Etching for Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors". Nineteen people attended the meeting. Dr. Goad described unique interior geometry of the Aluminum etched foil, which is critical for maximizing the capacitance per unit volume. Control of this geometry requires us to confront some fundamental aspects of electrochemistry. His interesting presentation inspired many questions and discussions from the audience. The section is planning one more talk for the season

Sept. 1999

The Chicago section held a dinner meeting on Thursday, Sept. 23 at University of Illinois at Chicago. Thirteen people attended the meeting. Dr. Chad A. Mirkin, Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry Northwestern University, presented two separated but related talks on "Nanoparticle-Based Methods for Detecting DNA" and "'Dip-Pen' Nanolithography", respectively. Professor Mirkin described nanoparticle-based methods for detecting DNA. These methods, which are based upon metallic and semiconductor quantum dot materials, offer significant advantages over conventional methods with regard to speed, selectivity, sensitivity, and ease of use. In addition, "Dip-Pen" is a new nano-scale technique based on AFM, which has enormous potentials for practical applications. Professor Mirkin’s fascinating presentation inspired many questions from the audience.

Oct. 1999

On October 24th, the evening meeting of the Chicago Local Section was held in the Engineering Research Facility at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prof. Tejal Desai presented a most interesting talk on "Microfabricated Tissue Engineering Constructs: Biocapsules and Beyond". She discussed the challenges in cell encapsulation for bioimplants and methods of encapsulation which provide a semipermeable barrier for immunoisolation of cells. She then went on to describe theropeutic applications of BioMEMS, in particular the implantation of islet cell for the treatment of diabeties. Microfabricated membranes built with IC processing technology with 18nm pores at a density of approx. 1010/cm2 were able to provide immunoisolation for 3 days. Cells were able to thrive in capsules and able to demonstrate regulation by changing insulin levels. She also reported work on pins arrays acting as scafolds for cellular growth with applications in tissue engineering. There were thirteen people in attendance.

Jan. 2000

On Thursday, January 27, 2000, the Chicago section met at Grand Mandarin Restaurant. Dr. Venkata S. Donepudi of Illinois Institute of Technology, Chemical Engineering Department gave a talk titled "Energy Storage and Conversion Options for Photovoltaic Systems". He gave an overview on the energy storage options and fuel cell choices, together with their chemistries and electrochemistries. A total of 11 people attended the meeting.


Feb. 2000

This meeting, taking place at IIT on February 23, 2000, featured our national speaker, Karl Spear, Vice President of ECS. He began by bringing us up-to-date on ECS activities, especially the staged movement of ECS publications to on-line and CD-ROM format. Following that, he spoke on his research on modeling glass systems, and applications to sequestration of radioactive wastes and problem-solving for the float-glass industry. This was the first meeting held at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and had a larger attendance than we have had in many years. 23 people (12 students, which was large student participation) attended the dinner as well as the talk. Four more people came for the talk.