Agriculturally-Derived Polymer-Fiber (Nano)Composites --January 13th--Dr. William Orts, USDA Albany


Happy Holidays -- and don't forget to make your reservations
for the Jan 2004 GGPF dinner lecture. See details below.

PLEASE follow directions to register and do not attempt
to register by "replying" to this email. Your message
may not be seen in a timely manner. Thank you.



Dinner Lecture

Tuesday, Jan 13
Michael's at Shoreline
Mountain View

"Agriculturally-Derived Polymer-Fiber (Nano)Composites"
William J. Orts, Ph.D.
Research Leader, Bioproduct Chemistry & Engineering
USDA, Albany

Prior to the industrial revolution, many products now made
from petroleum feedstocks were made using renewable feedstocks.
With increasing environmental, economic, and legislative
pressures on optimal use of all resources, comes the need
to re-establish the use of biobased products and fuels from
renewable feedstocks. The USDA's Bioproduct Chemistry &
Engineering Research Unit focuses on creating new polymer
technologies in which underutilized components of crops and
their residues are processed into value-added biobased products.
Research activity will be highlighted in the following areas:
(1) Composites and Nanocomposites from Agricultural Fibers:
Development of new methods of isolating ag-fibers so that
surface properties are optimal for use in liquid crystalline
formations, including fiber/polymer nanocomposites.
(2) Biodegradable starch polymers: Formulation of wheat starch-
based packaging material, such as biodegradable "clamshell"
burger boxes from starch and agricultural fibers, and their
(3) Advanced Enzymes for Modifying and Hydrolyzing Biomass:
Pioneering application of Directed Molecular Evolution (DME),
to improve enzymes that modify surfaces and breakdown and
cellulose from crop residues. The goal of the USDA research
is to increase utilization of ag-derived biopolymers such as
starch, straws, grasses and crop residues.

Dr. Orts Biography:
Bill Orts is the Research Leader of the Bioproduct Chemistry
& Engineering Research Unit at the USDA's Western Regional
Research Center, Albany, CA. He focuses on creating agriculturally-
derived plastics, nanocomposites, packaging, and building
materials from starches, straws and under-utilized fiber
sources. Prior to joining the Agricultural Research Service
of the USDA in 1995, Dr. Orts was the NSF, Beamline-responsible
Scientist at the NIST neutron scattering facility. Interests
there included development and characterization of self-assembled
polymers at interfaces, blend morphology, and fiber-reinforced
nanocomposites. He received his Ph.D. while working at Xerox,
Canada on biodegradable films and paper coatings. Dr. Orts
received his BSc-Chemical Engineering Honours degree from
Queen's University, Kingston, Canada and his MSc (Biochemistry)
and Ph.D. (Chemistry) from the University of Toronto.



DATE: Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004

Location: Michael's at Shoreline
(see directions below)

Timing: 6 PM social hour
7 PM dinner
8 PM lecture

Cost: $30 with advance registration
half price students, retired, unemployed
free for just the lecture at 8PM
(but please let us know for headcount)
$35 after registration deadline

PLEASE NOTE: we accept cash or checks, but are unable to
accept payment by credit card at this time.

Deadline for registration:
5 PM Friday Jan. 9

Please register on the web site

Or, contact:
April Baugher

You should receive confirmation of your registration; if not,
please contact us again.


Dinner choices (pick one when registering):
chicken Forentine

Note that we must request that you be liable for your
registration fee if you register and do not attend;
cancellation is allowed up to the registration deadline.


Restaurant's web page directions

From 101 in Mountain View, take the Shoreline Boulevard
Exit, turning toward the bay. Drive past the Shoreline
Amphitheater and go straight ahead, entering into
Shoreline Park. After a mile or so inside the park,
a sign for Michael's will direct you to turn left into
the parking lot for Michael's.
Address: 2960 N Shoreline Blvd.
Restaurant phone: 650-962-1014
(do not call restaurant for reservations)


Upcoming GGPF meetings:

Feb 11, 2004
Prof. Benny Freeman
Chemical Engineering Dept., Univ. of Texas, Austin
"Nanocomposite Gas Separation Membrane Materials"

March 16, 2004
GGPF Spring Symposium (all-day event)
"Polymers in Medicine" Symposium
Michael's at Shoreline Park, Mountain View
Our 2004 Spring Symposium features 7 outstanding speakers,
including three from academia and four from industry. A diverse
range of topics will be covered, from nanoscale work on the cell/
polymer interface and vesicle stabilization, to polymer membranes
and medical device technology, to novel custom medical polymers.
Talks tend to be technology and research oriented, and interactive
audience participation is encouraged. Each talk will allow for a
substantial question and answer period, and attendees will also
have the opportunity to meet with the speakers during four schedule
Speakers / general topic:
Prof. James Anderson, Case Western / Device Cell Adhesion
Prof. Marjorie Longo, UC Davis / Vesicles - Drug Delivery
Prof. Anthony McHugh, Lehigh University / Membranes-Drug Delivery
Syed Hossainy, Guidant / Intravascular Intervention
Jorge Heller, AP Pharma / Novel Biomaterials
David Gale, Vascular Solutions / Bioerodible Polymers
Bob Ward, Polymer Technology Group / Polyurethane Materials

Further details to be announced.


OTHER EVENTS of possible interest to the
GGPF audience:

JAN 2004

Jan. 14, Sunnyvale
"Organic LED Display Technology and Applications"
Homer Antoniadis, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors

Jan. 15, Mountain View Joint Meeting of the Northern California Spectroscopy Society
& SF Section of the Electrochemical Society -
a presentation at the interface of spectroscopy, electrochemistry and biotech by:
Professor Steven Boxer
Camille and Henry Dreyfus, Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University
"Patterning and Manipulating Supported Bilayers and Tethered Vesicles"

Jan. 22, Mountain View
NorCal SAMPE annual one day Composites Workshop

Jan 27, Mountain View
SouthBay AIChE dinner lecture
"Industrial Application of Multi-Physics
Simulations", Dr. Abhra Roy, CFD Research Corp.

Jan. 29-30, Berkeley
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab -
The Molecular Foundry User Workshop

FEB 2004

date tbd, Vacaville
NorCal AIChE-sponsored tour of Genentech facility

Feb 1-5, San Jose
"LabAutomation 2004" Conference & Exhibition

Feb. 24, location tbd
SouthBay AIChE dinner lecture on MEMS topic by
Amer ElHage from Molecular Devices

Feb. 24, Mountain View
NanoSIG all-day conference:
"nanoElectronics & Photonics"

MARCH 2004

March 1-4, Santa Clara
AVS 5th International Conference on Microelectronics & Interfaces

March 9-11, San Jose
(Semiconductor Thermal Management)

March 16, location tbd
SouthBay AIChE dinner lecture on Microfuidics topic
by Dr. Dan Sobek, Agilent Technologies


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