University of Minnesota
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Students propose solutions to current analytical problems

Twenty-six chemistry majors taking Chem 4101 "Modern Instrumental Methods of Chemical Analysis Lecture," which was taught by Professor Edgar Arriaga, recently proposed solutions to current analytical problems on a variety of topics, including environmental chemistry, biomedicine, agriculture, food science, polymers, and renewable energy. They evaluated the utility of analytical techniques to investigate their problems through the semester. Their work culminated in a poster session on Friday, December 9.

The unique poster experience attracted 10 graduate student judges from the Arriaga, Philippe Buhlmann, and Christy Haynes research groups, and 10 experts for outside the university, including 3M, Cargill, Ecolab, Minnesota National Guard/Department of Military Affairs/Homeland Defense, Life Innovations Technologies, Pace Analytical, and United Science Corp.

For many students this was their first poster presentation and first research proposal. It also was an opportunity to network with potential employers. For the visiting judges and graduate students, this experience provided an opportunity to contribute to the education and training of the chemistry majors. They provided the students with insightful perspectives from outside the classroom.

Top rankings were shared by three poster presenters: Triclocarban in Human Urine by Vinh Tran; Pesticides and Toxins in Fragrances and Natural Flavors by Ian Ronningen; and Butanol Production from Clostridia Fermentation by David Hanson.

Second rankings, which also were shared by three poster presenters, included: Perfluorooctanoic Acid Levels in Human Blood by Andrew Szeliga; Titanium Dioxide in Masterbatch by Revy Saerang, and PFOA and Teflon by Megan Hartmann.

Pictured on the home page is Andrew Szeliga with judge Maggie Donoghue from the Arriaga research group. Andrew's poster received a second ranking. Picture below is Vinh Tran with judges David Hobbs from Pace Analytical and Audrey Meyer from the Haynes research group. Photos by Chad Satori.