I&EC Graduate Student Symposium Organizer: Mike Matthews

Prof. Michael Matthews founded and has been the primary organizer of the annual Industrial & Engineering Chemistry (I&EC) Graduate Student Award Symposium since the Denver National ACS Meeting in 2011. This symposium was designed to involve and recognize our youngest division members and give them a chance to show off their research projects. Mike recruited Prof. George Stanley (LSU, retired) to help with the symposium, but has been the driving force for advertising and organizing the symposium.

Mike is getting ready to step down from being the main organizer of this symposium and the I&EC division is looking for someone willing to work with Mike and George for a year and then take over the job for Fall, 2023. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact any of the I&EC officers. The division is extremely appreciative of Mike’s efforts over the years, which extend well past the Graduate Student Symposium.

Mike received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1986. He was on the faculty of the University of Wyoming from 1987 to 1993 and was recruited to the University of South Carolina in January 1994, where he still works. He has served the Department of Chemical Engineering as Associate Chair, Interim Chair, Department Chair, as well as chair of the Tenure and Promotion Committee. He became an Associate Dean in 2011, and currently is the Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs, as well as Vice Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing. As if that wasn’t enough, he also serves as Associate Vice President for Research at the University of South Carolina. He is currently codirector and co-PI of the university’s Bridge to the Doctorate program, an NSF initiative that provides fellowship support to under-represented minority doctoral students in the STEM fields. He is also the university’s representative to the National GEM Consortium. Mike also serves South Carolina as chair of the EPSCoR State Committee.

Mike began his service to ACS in 1994 and was the founding chair of the Green Chemistry & Engineering (GC&E) Subdivision of I&EC (1999-2004). He served as I&EC Division Chair in 2007, and in the Chair-elect and Past Chair positions. The Division was subsequently recognized with an ACS ChemLuminary Award based on accomplishments in 2007. He was one of three Centennial Committee Organizers (with Bill Flank and Martin Abraham) who planned the Division’s 100 th Anniversary celebrations at the 2008 New Orleans and Philadelphia meetings. He also co-edited (with Flank and Abraham) ACS Symposium Series 1000, “Innovations in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry.”  This volume was developed as part of the centennial activities. Mike participated in the I&EC Division Planning Retreat in October 2008 and thus
helped craft the division’s Strategic Plan at the time. He has also been active in the Green Chemistry activities of ACS, having presented papers and organized sessions at the annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference. He served on the Editorial Advisory Board of I&EC Research from 2008 to 2010.

This photo is from the I&EC Graduate Student Awards Symposium at the San Diego National ACS meeting in August, 2019. A virtual awards symposium was organized and held in August, 2020 despite the COVID-19 outbreak. Mike and George Stanley recruit judges from academics and industry to assist them in choosing the top three talks from the symposium, which receive monetary awards and a plaque. A symposium luncheon, sponsored and paid for by I&EC, is usually held when we have in-person meetings.

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