The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, or Pittcon, aims to “sponsor and sustain educational and charitable activities for the advancement and benefit of scientific endeavor”. With over 16,000 attendees from over 90 countries, it is the world’s largest annual premier conference and exposition on laboratory science. SelectScience are excited to be attending this show, and spoke to Program Chair Dr Chuck Gardner, to find out his thoughts.
Dr Gardner is the director of product management at ChemImage Corporation, where he is working on the “application of standoff hyperspectral imaging to the detection of chemical, biological and explosive threat materials on environmental surfaces”. He has been attending Pittcon since 1980. “I’m always looking for new products that will solve a nagging problem that I or my colleagues are facing”, he explained, “and every scientist should come to Pittcon 2016 to see and hear from other scientists on how the work they present, or the products they supply, can improve the quality of their own work”.
As Program Chair, Dr Gardner is particularly excited about “the very strong program we have developed in the analytical chemistry involved with keeping our food supply safe”. “The Pittcon Program Committee and our Symposium organizers have also done a fantastic job in developing a program that includes cutting-edge work in the fields of biotechnology, nanoscience, pharmaceutical science and homeland security.”
A ‘kid in a candy store’
However, Dr Gardner is also a long-time laboratory scientist, and admitted he is looking forward to the exhibition “like a kid in a candy store”. “I always make as much time as possible to walk up and down the aisles looking for components or products”, he revealed, “and I’m sure that I won’t be disappointed in Pittcon 2016”. “I also look forward to seeing old acquaintances”, Dr Gardner explained. “I’ve had the opportunity to get to know people who have had an impact in my work and professional life. I also look forward to meeting new people every year that will also have an impact on my life in the years to come.”
Following the state of the art
Pittcon is such a great show, Dr Gardner explained, because it “gives me a better idea of where the state of the art is heading”. As a project manager working on “the development of detection systems based on reflectance and Raman spectroscopies”, Dr Gardner uses his “chemistry background as well as my knowledge of optics, electronics, mechanical design and software development”. The main application of this work is in the area of homeland security. “I’ll try to find time to attend as many of the homeland security talks and posters as possible”, Dr Gardner said, to learn more about this “important application of analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy”.