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Achieving Global Sustainability: Huge Challenges and Opportunities

March 28, 2018 @ 17:30 - 19:00


Rita K. Upmacis, PhD, FRSC,  Associate Professor

Department of Chemistry & Physical Sciences

Pace University,  One Pace Plaza, New York, NY 10038

 Future generations of chemists and innovators are charged with the responsibility of developing new chemical processes and products that not only meet the needs of energy, clean water and food to sustain our growing population, but also protect human health and the environment. While some of the early industrial developments contributed to a downfall in the overall perception of chemistry, there is an ever-increasing need, and also, opportunity for chemists to solve these issues. Solutions to some of these challenges can be achieved by using Green Chemistry, which is the “utilization of a set of principles that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture, and application of chemical products” (P.T. Anastas and J.C. Warner, “Green Chemistry Theory and Practice,” Oxford University Press, 1998). In this presentation, I will examine some of the challenges that we face today, as well as some examples of innovative solutions that have been introduced.

Dr. Rita Upmacis obtained her B.Sc. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Nottingham, U.K. Her Ph.D. research involved the spectroscopic characterization of catalytic intermediates in liquid xenon, including early examples of metal-dihydrogen compounds. She moved to the U.S. as a postdoctoral fellow (California Institute of Technology), where she learned how to modify proteins and measure electron-transfer processes using laser spectroscopy. She was recruited by Rohm & Haas Company (now the Dow Chemical Company, PA) as a Senior Chemist, and worked on the acrylic acid process, developing polymerization inhibitors and improving the quality of acrylic acid, which resulted in 9 patents being awarded. After 6 years in industry, she returned to academia and became an Associate Research Professor (Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, NY), studying how specific fatty acids and certain forms of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species are involved in inflammatory and disease processes, such as atherosclerosis. Since 2010, she has been at Pace University, where she introduced Green Chemistry as an undergraduate course. Teaching this course has sparked her interest in monitoring the global challenges and opportunities that face mankind in achieving sustainability.

For additional information seeFlyer: WCS Lecture March 28 2018

Westchester Community College

75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, NY 10595

Gateway Building Room 110

For more information, contact Paul Dillon:
E-Mail PaulWDillon2@hotmail.com

Phone 1-914-393-6940


March 28, 2018
17:30 - 19:00
Event Category:


Westchester Community College
75 Grasslands Road
Valhalla, NY 10595 United States
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