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Chemical Engineering Well Represented at World Biomaterials Congress in Montreal

World Biomaterials Congress is the largest gathering of Biomaterial Researchers charting the future of the field. Held in Montréal, Canada from May 17-22, the Department of Chemical Engineering was a leader with research, awards, and global collaborations.

Thomas Webster, Professor and Department Chair, Chemical Engineering and Art Zafiropoulo Chair in Engineering played an integral role at WBC as the President of the US Society For Biomaterials. Professor Webster gave a keynote talk "15 years of commercializing medical devices using nanotechnology", chaired the session "New Frontiers Symposium: Multifunctional biomolecular interfaces for orthopaedic applications", and was inducted as a Fellow for the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering in a special ceremony.

"The World Biomaterials Congress held last month in Montreal and hosted by the Canadian Society For Biomaterials signifies again the leadership the U.S. Society For Biomaterials has around the world as we had the highest representation of any country and our leaders were prominent across the program in chairing sessions, organizing workshops, and receiving awards,” Prof. Webster remarks.

With many faculty and students having a strong research interest in biomaterials, the department was very active in oral presentations, poster presentations, and networking with fellow researchers and professionals. “The Department of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern was also well represented by faculty and students from research groups such as Art Coury (Fellow), Tom Webster (Fellow), Adam Ekenseair (SFB web editor), Hicham Fenniri, and Nasim Annabi. Northeastern had the highest number of presentations ever at a World Biomaterials Congress. Chemical Engineering Associate Professor Rebecca Carrier will co-chair the US Society For Biomaterials conference next year in Minneapolis,” Prof. Webster says.

PhD student Arthur Gonzales III attended WBC with fellow graduate students, and plans to become involved with the Society For Biomaterials in his professional career. Gonzalez presented a poster at one of the sessions and was inspired by groundbreaking research at the conference. “One podium presentation from University College London about getting force field parameters from first principles was really interesting. It is hard work and I was surprised Thomas Collier did it himself rather than use popular force fields available,” Gonzalez notes.

PhD student Ece Alpaslan presented a poster and enjoyed the highly detailed posters at the poster session. “I really appreciated the time and effort that was put in to this conference. I think organizers were able to make each and every session valuable. I think I would become an SFB member even if I work in industry. That is a great chance to collaborate and learn what the world is doing,” Alpaslan states.

University Distinguished Professor Art Coury is a past president of the Society For Biomaterials and serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors of Acta Materialia Incorporated. He was very involved in the conference and presented the Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal Award to Prof. Klaas de Groot in a special session and reception. Prof. Coury has led ten of these ceremonies, from the instigation of the award. Additionally, Prof. Coury presided over a table for graduate students at a Lunch & Learn Session titled “A hybrid industry/academic career in biomaterials”.

“I thought the plenary talks were marvelous, particularly Prof. Chang from Shanghai University and Prof. David Mooney from Harvard. The sheer size of 13 concurrent sessions was impressive. It was well done, the hospitality was good, and the historical context of the indigenous people of Canada was highlighted at the beginning. The ceremony was very moving,” says Prof. Coury.

Related Faculty: Thomas J. Webster, Arthur J. Coury, Adam Ekenseair, Hicham Fenniri, Rebecca L. Carrier

Related Departments:Chemical Engineering