Plenary Lectures

Zhenan Bao, Stanford University, USA

Zhenan BaoBio: Zhenan Bao is a K.K. Lee Professor of Chemical Engineering, and by courtesy, a Professor of Chemistry and a Professor of Material Science and Engineering and a Senior Fellow of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University. Bao founded the Stanford Wearable Electronics Initiative (eWEAR) and serves as the faculty director. Prior to joining Stanford in 2004, Bao was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies from 1995-2004. Bao has over 400 refereed publications and over 60 US patents with a Google Scholar H-Index >120. Bao pioneered a number of design concepts for organic electronic materials. Her work has enabled flexible electronic circuits and displays. In her recent work, Bao has developed skin-inspired organic electronic materials, which resulted in unprecedented performance or functions in medical devices, energy storage and environmental applications.

Abstract: Skin-Inspired Organic Electronic Materials and Devices

Skin is the body’s largest organ, and is responsible for the transduction of a vast amount of information. This conformable, stretchable and biodegradable material simultaneously collects signals from external stimuli that translate into information such as pressure, pain, and temperature. The development of electronic materials, inspired by the complexity of this organ is a tremendous, unrealized materials challenge. However, the advent of organic-based electronic materials may offer a potential solution to this longstanding problem. In this talk, I will describe the design of organic electronic materials to mimic skin functions. These new materials enabled unprecedented performance or functions in medical devices, energy storage and environmental applications.

Raychelle Burks, St. Edward's University, USA

Raychelle BurksBio: After a few years working in a crime lab, Burks returned to academia, teaching, and forensic science research. An analytical chemist, Burks enjoys the challenge of developing detection methods for a wide-variety of analytes including regulated drugs and explosives. Burks current research efforts are focused on the design, fabrication, and analysis of colorimetry sensors that are field portable. To maximize portability, Burks works on utilizing smart phones as scientitic analytical devices. A chemistry enthusiast, Burks hopes to ignite her students' appreciation of chemistry through innovative projects, multi-media education tools, and probably far too many pop culture references. Burks helped create and organize SciPop Talks!, a popular talk series blending science and pop culture. Burks is a popular science communicator, appearing on the Science Channel's Outrageous Acts of Science, ACS Reactions videos, Royal Society of Chemistry podcasts, and at genre conventions such as DragonCon and GeekGirlCon. This, and more information about Burks is available here.

Burks will giver her Plenary Lecture to start the "Making Canadian Chemistry Stronger Through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" special session, by highlighting aspects of her career as a researcher, science communicator and advocate.

Abstract: Interdisciplinary & Intersectional: A Chemist's Journey
Forensic chemist. Black feminist. Along my path to becoming a professional scientist, I was expected to choose, putting science first and then the other. This othering is a false choice and antithetical to the interdisciplinary scientist that I am as a forensic chemist, while also not aligning to my values as a black feminist with an intersectional eye. To be interdisciplinary is to integrate the totality of multiple disciplines to answer questions beyond the border of a single discipline – questions and their answers residing in a shared space. Intersectionality is framework for analyzing how oppressions associated with identity are overlapping, sometimes uniquely so, requiring consideration from shared space. My life, scholarship, teaching, and service resides in shared spaces. In this talk, I will discuss how shared spaces shaped me, my professional practice, and how putting shared spaces first makes me better at science.