Oglethorpe Science Students Present Research at Global Conference

Dr. Humayun Kabir, assistant professor of chemistry, recently took 10 Oglethorpe science students to the Pittcon Conference & Exposition, an annual international laboratory science convention hosted this year at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, March 6-10. Pittcon offers thousands of technical presentations, skill-building short courses, and a unique opportunity to explore solutions for laboratory challenges and to get hands-on with the latest innovations in science.

4.DSC00261At Pittcon, the students had the opportunity to present their research projects, focused primarily on: quantum dot nano-materials driven solar cell development for harvesting solar energy; improved and more efficient extraction of biodiesel fuels from micro-algae, acorn nuts, and gourmet oils, and their characterization to use them as a potential renewable energy sources for auto fuel; surface water quality monitoring and its effects on public health; and the toxicity of nanoparticles on marine organisms. Additionally, students were able to observe other presentations focused on analytical sciences, scientific developments in lab equipment, and learn about improved research methods and instrumentation.

Dr. Kabir, who mentored the student researchers giving supervision and guidance, also saw the conference as an opportunity for the students to learn more effective ways of conducting research, improve their communication and presentation skills, and discover other areas of science that may interest them.

Victoria Zangari ’18 was surprised that the Oglethorpe students were among the youngest presenters at conference. “I’m glad that Oglethorpe and Dr. Kabir gave me the opportunity to be a part of something so big,” she said. “I didn’t expect that there would be so many people and so many different projects.”

“It was an incredible experience,” agreed Maya Babbs ’19. “I would really enjoy having the opportunity to do it again…and I really appreciate what I have learned through my own research and also that of my classmates.”

The students will be presenting their research again at Oglethorpe’s upcoming annual Liberal Arts and Sciences Symposium on April 28.

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