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  BISO Home > USNC/IUPAC Homepage > IUPAC Young Observer Program

IUPAC Young Observer Program    
Established by the U.S. National Committee (USNC) for the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 1977 to foster interactions with internationally acclaimed scientists in various fields, the IUPAC Young Observer Program strives to introduce the work of IUPAC to a new generation of distinguished researchers and to provide them with an opportunity to address international scientific policy issues.

The USNC sends U.S. Observers (citizens or permanent residents) under the age of 45 from industry, academia, and national laboratories to the IUPAC World Chemistry Congress and General Assembly, held every two years. To date, the program has supported over 200 scientists, many of whom have continued to serve on IUPAC activities and contribute at the international level.  View a complete list of upcoming IUPAC conferences.

2015 Young Observer Program
Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Young Observer program for the 48th General Assembly and 45th Congress of IUPAC to be held August 6-14, 2015, in Busan, South Korea.  More information and the online application can be found here.

2013 Young Observer Program
IstanbulThe U.S. National Committee for IUPAC sent 11 Young Observers to the 44th IUPAC World Chemistry Congress and 47th IUPAC General Assembly in Istanbul, Turkey. An introduction to the experiences of the 2013 Young Observers can be found on Youtube.

The 2013 Young Observers were:

  • Deborah Aruguette, National Science Foundation
  • Ronald Castellano, University of Florida
  • Markus Etzkorn, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Ilia Guzei, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Malika Jeffries-El, Iowa State University
  • Wibe Albe de Jong, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Brian Korgel, University of Texas at Austin
  • Robin Macaluso, University of Northern Colorado
  • Christine Straut, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Izabela Tworowska, RadioMedix Inc.
  • Lewis Whitehead, Novartis Institutes for Medical Research
2011 Young Observer Program
PR2011The 2011 U.S. Young Observer program was held during the 46th IUPAC General Assembly and 43rd Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 28-August 5. The U.S. National Committee sent ten outstanding U.S. chemists to participate in the program this year. 

The 2011 Young Observers were:
  • Leif Abrell, University of Arizona
  • Catherine Faler, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering
  • Mick Hurrey, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
  • Anatoly Kolomeisky, Rice University
  • LaShanda Korley, Case Western University
  • Mahesh Mahanthappa, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Bradley Miller, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Michele Ostraat, RTI International
  • W. Justin Youngblood, University of North Texas
  • Ilya Zharov, University of Utah

2009 Young Observer Program
Glasgow, UK welcomes 2009 IUPAC Young ObserversGlasgow, Scotland hosted the 45th IUPAC General Assembly and 42nd Congress from July 31-August 7. The U.S. Young Observers attended an orientation and welcome session with international Young Observers from countries including Bangladesh, Canada, China, India, Israel, Italy, Pakistan, Poland, and Thailand. They actively participated in the scientific sessions of the Congress. In addition, they had the opportunity to attend business meetings of the IUPAC Divisions and Standing Committees in their areas of interest, to familiarize themselves with IUPAC activities and projects. U.S. Young Observers, members of the U.S. delegation, and special guests also enjoyed an informal dinner to share and reflect on their individual experiences.

The 2009 Young Observers were:

  • Christopher W. Bielawski, University of Texas at Austin
  • Stefanie B. Bumpus, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Heather A. Colburn, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • William B. Connick, University of Cincinnati
  • Ram Mohan, Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Sherine O. Obare, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • Daniel Rabinovich, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • Michelle Rogers, The Lubrizol Corporation
  • Jon M. Schwantes, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • E. Charles H. Sykes, Tufts University
  • Ilya Zharov, University of Utah

2007 Young Observers Program
The Mole Antonelliana, Turin, ItalySelected by IUPAC and the National Adhering Organizations of Canada, the United States, and United Kingdom, the Young Observers attending the IUPAC General Assembly and Congress in Torino, Italy in August 2007 included 17 chemists, representing various disciplines in both academia and industry. The U.S. Young Observers joined participants from six other countries: Canada, Poland, Romania, Mauritius, Russia and the United Kingdom.

The Young Observers who attended an orientation and welcome reception prior to the General Assembly gained insight into IUPAC’s structure and various divisions. Several presented posters or gave presentations during the Congress. As in the past, the Young Observers were encouraged to participate in both the General Assembly and Congress sessions related to their professional interests. Prior to the General Assembly’s closing ceremony, the Young Observers were encouraged to attend a final feedback session, which was an opportunity for them to share and reflect on their individual experiences.

2007 Young Observers attend feedback session
2007 Young Observers attend feedback session in Torino, Italy 

Young Observer History
For a historical perspective of the Young Observer program, see the article Young Observer Programs: Getting New Experts Involved in IUPAC, by Ed Przybylowicz, a former USNC/IUPAC Chair.
Download the 2002 Chemistry International article (28 KB PDF) .

For more information on the U.S. Young Observer program, contact

Young Observer Brochure

Download the Young Observer Brochure
(355 KB PDF)

Past U.S. Young Observers of Note

  • Ahmed H. Zewail (1981), NAS member, California Institute of Technology, 1999 Nobel Prize of Chemistry
  • Marye Anne Fox (1981), NAS member, Chancellor, University of California, San Diego
  • Geraldine Richmond (1987 & 1989), University of Oregon, past USNC member
  • Mark Cesa (1997), INEOS, IUPAC President, past USNC chair, Member of IUPAC Subcommittee on Structural and Mechanistic Chemistry 
  • Angela Wilson (2003 & 2005), University of North Texas, USNC Chair, Vice President of the IUPAC Physical and Biophysical Chemistry Division Committee, Member of the IUPAC Interdivisional Subcommittee on Materials Chemistry 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number CHE-1321388. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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