Conference Report

 To celebrate 80 years of the Nadkarny-Sacasa Research Laboratory, the Chemistry Department and the NSRL organized an international conference “Chemistry Cutting Edge: Nano, Green and Beyond.” The conference held at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai on 6th and 7th January 2014, attracted 150 delegates from across India as well as from US, Canada, UK and Germany. The total faculty and students involved in the conference was around 300.

The conference focused on themes such as green chemistry, bioinorganics, organometallics, nanomedicine and functional materials. Under the overall theme of ‘chemistry cutting edge, ’ we investigated  cutting edge research  for a brighter, better and more inclusive world in which science and technology  enables everyone to improve and enrich themselves.

The Inaugural function was graced by the presence of Mr. Nadir Godrej, Managing Director of Godrej and Chairman of Godrej Agrivet.  His speech was in the form of a well composed poem which left us amazed at his lyrical ability. The excellent Keynote address “Polymerisation Passivation Strategies For The Stabilisation Of Energetic Aluminium Nanomaterials” given by Dr. Paul Jelliss from USA set the tone for the sessions to follow. Dr. Wolfgang Kaim from Germany enlightened us on the non innocence of some bioinorganic species while Dr. Narayan Hosmane from USA held the audience spell bound by showing the role of Nanostructured Carbon and Boron compounds in cancer therapy. Dr. Ansari from the UK delivered a talk on functional materials. Dr. Janardan Kesari highlighted the need for use of solar energy in transforming India into a green nation.

A wide range of experts, specialists, researchers and educators chaired and spoke in parallel plenary sessions where they discussed and presented their research. Chaired by Dr. Srivastava, Dr. Prabhu , Dr. Karnik and Dr.Lele the  four  plenary sessions had talks from experts from  renowned institutions like TIFR,IIT,  BARC etc. Dr Vivek Polshettiwar, Dr Z. R. Turel, Dr Tyagi,  Dr. D. V. Prabhu, Dr. Rajdip Bandhopadhyaya were some of the eminent speakers in these sessions.

The technical sessions were interactive and many of the topics discussed were related to finding solutions to issues. The conference covered an ambitious range of topics, which included Toxicity study, dyeing industrial discharge scenario of some regions, fluoride selective PVC based electrochemical sensors, synthesis of Carbon Nanomaterial Used In Super Capacitor, alkaline Direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFCs), biodegradable plastics and sensitized solar cells. The evening had a felicitation program for the PhD guides of the Nadkarny – Sacasa Research Laboratory which was a very nostalgic moment for all those who have been associated with the NSRL.  

The Valedictory Address was delivered by the famous neuroscientist Dr. V. S. Ramachandran from the University of California, San Diego, USA to a packed Hall. The enthusiasm of the audience extended the discussion session late into the evening.

All of us involved in organizing the first International Conference were amazed by the response and enthusiasm of delegates. We are left with a sense of satisfaction that the core aim of the conference was achieved. To recall the words of our Vice Principal and convener Dr. Roy Pereira, S.J. “The aim of the conference is to bring together professionals from academia and industry to promote collaborations and provide a forum for professionals, students and academia to discuss and interact on new and emerging trends. These innovations could be in the areas of nano biotechnology, nano medicine, bio inorganic and green chemistry.”

We are particularly grateful to our sponsors who supported the conference and to our advisory board for their constant guidance and encouragement.

Department of Chemistry