Greater Houston Section

  • 16 Aug 2020 12:12 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    An Agile and Iterative Approach to R&D with Brian “Ponch” Rivera

    On August 13, the ACS-GHS hosted Brian “Ponch” Rivera from Hyperdrive for a Virtual Tech Talk focused on agile iterative approaches to R&D. Brian is an author, TEDx speaker, organizational performance coach, and co-creator of The Flow System. In this talk, Brian highlights the importance of team work in driving successful projects, and how critical clear communication is to make sure every member of your team is working towards the same goal.

    More Resources:

    The Flow Guide

    Scrum Guide

    Agile Manifesto

    Cynefin Framework

  • 09 Aug 2020 6:32 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    I have an earthy odor, can attract mosquitoes, and beet peels are rich in me. What compound am I?

    Answer: It's geosmin!


  • 31 Jul 2020 8:35 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Greater Houston Section members Carolyn Burnley and Kerry Spilker for being named 2020 ACS Fellows for their outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and the Society!

    Carolyn McDonald Burnley (Shell Oil, Retired)

    Carolyn led a distinguished career in the surfactant industry, and demonstrated a longstanding commitment to mentoring chemical technicians and future chemists, especially women and individuals from underrepresented populations. In addition to significant service to the ACS Greater Houston Section, she is also recognized for her outstanding service to Project SEED as a committee member and, notably, an influential coordinator for the Greater Houston Project SEED site.

    Kerry K. Spilker (Chevron Energy Technology Company)

    Kerry has served in R&D management and technical positions, and is being recognized for innovative contributions to energy conversion technologies resulting in inventions and the development of biofuels, distributed hydrogen and chemical enhanced oil recovery. She has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to the ACS, leading the GHS as Chair, Councilor, Treasurer, and Community Affairs Chair excelling at communications, fiscal responsibility and outreach through chemistry demonstrations and student mentoring

  • 26 Jul 2020 12:14 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    Thanks to everyone who came out to our first virtual trivia night hosted via Zoom. Our Quizmaster for the evening was Dr. Aaron Sanders who treated us to a Flying Saucer Pub-style trivia night with themed question rounds and escalating difficulty. The final question involved matching 10 Chemistry Nobel Prize winners with the years of their awards, and stumped most of the participants…but at least the names were familiar. More to brush up on for next time!

    Bonus Archive Content:

    The question that stumped us all...

  • 16 Jul 2020 12:07 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    We’re still experimenting with online events for our members, and on July 15th we ran a small social networking event via Google Meet. Seven people participated (host not shown), and the conversation ranged from bioluminescent squid, experiences being a volunteer docent at the Museum of Natural Science, and shifting careers from accounting to chemistry, to good online courses for statistics as applied to chemical problems. It was wonderful to meet everyone who participated!

    Sound interesting? Keep an eye on our event calendar or subscribe to our e-newsletter to get the scoop on our next virtual networking event.

    Bonus Archive Content:

    The squid discussed: Hawaiian Bobtail Squid (and Vibrio fischeri)

    The free statistics course discussed: Statistical Thinking for Industrial Problem Solving (SAS/JMP)

  • 06 Jul 2020 12:32 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    I am an ionizing solvent, used as an RNA stabilizer in gel electrophoresis, and in tissue preservation. What compound am I?

    Answer: It's formamide!

    Structural formula of the formamide molecule

  • 26 Jun 2020 12:19 AM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    The ACS Greater Houston local section held our first virtual networking event via Zoom on Wednesday, June 24th and it was a hit! The evening kicked off with introductions and an invitation for everyone to share their favorite element – carbon and oxygen definitely had the most fans in the group. After a few brief remarks from the event host, GHS Past Chair Snigdha Chennamaneni, attendees were split between two breakout rooms to discuss a range of suggested topics including the current pandemic and personal development. It was great to meet and chat with everyone who attended and we’re looking forward to our next virtual meet-up!

  • 11 Jun 2020 6:21 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    Guess the Molecule - May

    I am a solvent in beverages, a feedstock for producing other chemicals, and—more recently—as a transportation fuel. What compound am I?

    Answer:  It's ethanol!

    Skeletal formula of ethanol

  • 27 May 2020 5:59 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    I am an electrophile that is often used in Diels-Alder reactions and is also an effective topical treatment for psoriasis. What compound am I?

    Answer: It's dimethyl fumarate! 

    Dimethyl fumarate

  • 27 May 2020 2:25 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    We're pleased to announce the launch of a new video series hosted on the ACS Greater Houston Section YouTube Channel! "Meet Your ACS-GHS Leaders" is a series of short interviews with members of the Greater Houston local section leadership. The GHS executive board is made up of members from all areas of chemistry and we hope to provide some insight into the different career paths available to chemists in the Houston area, as well as the impact that the ACS can have on its members, both personally and professionally.

    The first video in the series is an interview with Dr. Crystal A. Young, Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, and the 2020 ACS-GHS Chair. Watch now or check out our YouTube channel for more video content, including Curtis Swisher's seminar on "Career Management During Uncertain Times".

    Did you know that ACS members have access to career planning resources like ChemIDP and Personal Career Consultants? It's one of the many benefits your membership has to offer!

    Let us know what you think about this video series - we'd love to hear your feedback at or in the video comments.

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