Chair Notes – September 2022

Dear esteemed members,

With the start of the fall season, the Local Section has several big events and opportunities right around the corner. Did you know that running air conditioning in buildings accounts for about 4% of worldwide CO2 emissions? That assessment is according to the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). For perspective, 4% is comparable to the yearly CO2 emissions from Germany and Canada combined. That means that making buildings more efficient at regulating their temperature presents an opportunity for substantial greenhouse gas reductions. This month, we are privileged to feature Nick Davy, Ph.D., CEO/CTO of Andluca Technologies for our September lecture. On Thursday, September 22, at 7:00 PM Dr. Davy will deliver a fascinating presentation titled, “Transparent Solar Cells, Smarter Windows, and Reducing the Carbon Footprint.” Dr. Davy will discuss the game-changing potential of smart dynamic windows as architectural and energy-saving features. This presentation will be broadcast over Zoom; I hope to see you there!

One of my goals as your Chair is to encourage more young people to help shape our chemically-minded community. Did you know that students in high school can become involved in the ACS? An easy way to do so is by joining or starting an ACS Chemistry Club. The ACS Chemistry Club Program provides students with unique social and hands-on opportunities to experience chemistry beyond the classroom. All that is needed to start an ACS Chemistry Club is a handful of students and a Club Advisor. 

You likely don’t know, but I got my start in the ACS as a founding member of the Student Affiliate Chapter at Southwestern College over 20 years ago. Southwestern College’s Student Affiliate has since been going strong. I am proud to be the Chapter advisor helping the next generation find their path to a fruitful career in STEM. If your college or university has had a dormant chapter (or never had one), now is the best time to jump-start it! The San Diego Local Section has allocated money to pay for student ACS memberships to (re)establish a Student Affiliate Chapter on your campus. Reach out to me ( for details.

If you are a college student, it may surprise you that you can make a meaningful difference in the Local Section. Student Affiliate members are eligible to run for member-at-large and officer positions. An elected position grants you a vote at the table for how we run the Local Section, and who it serves. If you seek a great way to make your mark in the San Diego chemistry community, consider running for a position! To declare your candidacy, send Carolina Ibarra ( a brief but compelling bio about yourself; indicate the position you would like to be a candidate for and your ACS ID number. If you have questions about the available positions on the Executive Committee, reach out to me ( Please note that the deadline to declare your candidacy is September 25, 2022.

      Although October is still over a month away, I am pleased to announce that for the first time since the pandemic started, we will be honoring one of the most accomplished chemists in our Local Section at the 2022 Distinguished Scientist Award. I will send a formal announcement in the next few weeks about our honoree and how to get tickets for the event. Also happening in October is National Chemistry Week. The ACS website has many wonderful activities you can do with your young chemist at home! I encourage you to take a look. 

      This year will also mark the first time since the pandemic that Chem Expo will return to Miramar College. This year’s theme is “Fabulous Fibers.” Chem Expo is a wonderful event for Student Affiliate Chapters to spread the good word of chemistry to the community. It is also a great event to bring kids of all ages to experience fun chemistry-themed hands-on activities. If you would like to become involved with Chem Expo as a volunteer, presenter, or sponsor, email our Chem Expo Coordinator, Linda Woods ( Chem Expo is planned for Saturday, October 22.

Lastly, I’d like to send a big thank-you to General Atomics for granting us a tour of their DIII-D facility. I had a great time chatting with some of you and learning about the impressive engineering that will one day help transition the world into a fusion energy future. I will plan to organize another tour for those of you who couldn’t make it to this one.

With gratitude,

Juan Gonzalez

2022 Chair, San Diego Section of the American Chemical Society



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