Robust Technical Program Offers Multiple Educational Opportunities
Pittcon offered more than 2,000 technical sessions presented in 78 symposia, 12 awards, 93 oral sessions, 12 workshops and 62 posters. Approximately 40% of the presentations focused on life science topics.
In 2012, The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation signed an agreement under which the Conference has received an endowment to undertake educational training and development in laboratory sciences with special emphasis in resource limited countries worldwide. Therefore, we have renamed our plenary and keynote lecture in honor of Wallace H. Coulter.
Former Pittcon President Jon Peace stated, "We were very honored to be the recipients of this grant. Mr. Coulter's passions were the application of engineering principles to scientific research and embracing the diversity of world cultures which are consistent with our mission and the international impact of the Conference. He added, "We strongly believe that this [grant] will go a long way to perpetuate quality programming at Pittcon."
The Foundation's Vice President of Technology Development, Elias Caro, commented, "We chose to make this gift to Pittcon because of its excellent educational programs and worldwide leadership, two passions that Wallace Coulter embraced during his remarkable career. We hope that this funding will jump start programs that improve laboratory science in the developing world, continuing Wallace Coulter's efforts to advance the collective knowledge."
The Wallace H. Coulter Plenary Lecture, presented by Nobel Laureate Sir Harry Kroto, was attended to a capacity audience followed by a complimentary mixer. The Wallace H. Coulter Keynote speaker, R. Barnett, discussed his research and findings on the Large Hadron Collider and the experiments and nature of the Higgs boson.
The 42 Conferee Networking sessions provided a unique opportunity for conferees from around the world to meet in an informal setting to discuss topics of mutual interest. The facilitator-assisted sessions discuss techniques, solutions to challenges and innovative concepts. One of the highlights of these sessions was "The Future of Marcellus Shale" with Michael Krancer, secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.
The Short Course program offered an opportunity for skill-building training and continuing education for laboratory professionals. Participants have stated that these courses are another factor in selecting Pittcon as the one conference they attend every year. This year, 100 short courses were offered covering a wide variety of topics with a special emphasis on nanotechnology specifically nanomaterials, health/safety, and nanotechnology in life science. Lab management courses are a significant part of the program and provide critical insight into the interpretation of the requirements of regulatory aspects, global guidelines, and laboratory standards.
The diverse selections, ranging from beginning to advanced levels, were attended by more than 1,400 participants.
The 2013 Short Course Chairman Heather Juzwa remarked, "Short Courses play an important role in the Pittcon experience for our attendees. Our courses help laboratory personnel to understand current industry trends, prepare them for the challenges of changing environments, and assist with achieving educational and developmental career goals."