Event Report: International Conference for Young Chemists (ICYC 2015)

by Tan Khaw Lin, School of Chemical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

The 5th International Conference for Young Chemists (ICYC 2015) was organised by the School of Chemical Sciences of Universiti Sains Malaysia on the 5th to 7th of August 2015 at Hotel City Bayview, Penang. ICYC is a biennial conference featuring speakers and participants from Malaysia and abroad, aims to provide a platform for young chemists and researchers to gather, interact, understand and be inspired on the development of chemistry in our society, education and the industries.
ICYC 2015 was organised by the postgraduate students of the School of Chemical Sciences and was sponsored by RGS Corporation. Started back in 2001, this conference was formerly known as the Regional Conference for Young Chemists (RCYC), targeting postgraduate students and researchers from the Asia Pacific region. The ICYC 2015 organising committee chose the theme of “Green Chemistry – towards a Sustainable Tomorrow” to highlight the importance of green chemistry in aiding researchers and the industries to provide a better, more environmental-friendly way of doing things. ICYC 2015 attracted 143 participants, 74 oral presentations and 60 poster presentations.

The ICYC 2015 was officiated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Prof Dato’ Dr. Muhamad Jantan, followed by my short speech as the chairperson of the ICYC 2015. The conference then began with an inspiring and informative talk by Prof Wei Zhang, Director of the Center for Green Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts Boston. His talk on the “Green Chemistry Programs at University of Massachusetts Boston” (UMB) provided insight and ideas on the programmes that can be organised to promote better understanding in the area of green chemistry. ICYC 2015 then continued with break-out sessions that covered a wide spectrum of works involving green chemistry.

On the second day, Prof. Mitsuhiko Shionoya of the University of Tokyo and Prof. Mohamad Pauzi Zakaria of University Malaya presented their talks on “Molecular Designing for Serendipity In Supramolecular Chemistry” and “Tracing the Non-Point Source Persistent Organic Pollutants (Pops) In Environmental Samples Using Environmental Forensics Techniques”, respectively. On the final day, Prof. Kobayashi Takaomi of Nagaoka University, Japan, presented a talk on the “Introduction to NUY-USM Techno Par Project”. This year, the conference was fortunate to be able to gain support from the American Chemical Society (ACS) Malaysia International Chemical Sciences Chapter. Conference participants were given the opportunity to meet Mr. Steven Hill, International Projects Manager at the ACS’s Office of International Activities.

As the chairperson of ICYC 2015, it is indeed humbling and inspiring to be able to meet and interact with researchers and postgraduate students locally and abroad. The International Conference for Young Chemists is a great avenue for students, researchers and even chemistry enthusiasts to better understand the development in the field of chemistry. I am also grateful to be given the chance to be part of the organising team for this event.