49th Southern Ontario Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference @ McMaster


McMaster's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology is looking forward to hosting the 49th Southern Ontario Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference (SOUSCC49) in a virtual setting. We are excited to hear about the great undergraduate research happening in our community!

This year, registration will be FREE! We encourage undergraduate students to submit an abstract for presentation. Equity, diversity, and inclusion are central to the SOUSCC and McMaster University. Abstract submissions from all members of the community are highly encouraged to represent the diversity of research excellence in Southern Ontario. Presenters will have an opportunity to share their research with their peers, graduate students, faculty members, and government and industrial researchers. Prizes will be awarded for the top ranked oral presentations!

SOUSCC has a history of presenting great undergraduate research that focuses on chemistry and the interface of chemistry with other disciplines such as medicine, engineering, physics and the environment. This year's event will be an interactive virtual conference where we will continue to expand the chemistry community of southern Ontario. We hope to see you all in March!

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SOUSCC 2021 was a great success because of all the amazing student presentations. Congratulations to all the participants and prize winners. 


Where and When

Where: Virtual conference hosted by McMaster on Microsoft Teams (opening soon)


When: Saturday March 20th 2021

The full program and schedule is  here! 



Full Program


Plenary Speaker


Prof. Michael Brook

Distinguished University Professor and Faculty of Science Chair in Sustainable Silicones

Dept. Chemistry and Chemical Biology

McMaster University


Using Sulfur to Make Silicones More Sustainable

Michael A. Brook,* Mengchen Liao, Sijia Zheng, Griffin Lachapelle, Saleh Ibrahim, Miguel Melendez-Zamudio, Kevina Chavda, Jianfeng Zhang and Yang Chen.

Abstract: Chemists have an obligation to render their craft sustainably. Silicones readily degrade in the environment but require a high energy input for their preparation. We report some strategies to improve the sustainability profile of silicones both by exploiting them in new sustainable ways, and by improving their intrinsic sustainability by incorporating natural materials. H-Si groups are good reducing agents. We demonstrate that disulfides are readily reduced by hydrosilanes. This reaction permits the creation of completely recyclable silicone elastomers through mild oxidation/reduction cycles. The same mild process allows used automobile tires to be converted back to functional polymeric oils that can be crosslinked into new rubbers. Thiol-ene chemistry allows functional oils to be used for photoinduced, rapidly curing 3D printer inks, and as a way to create novel chelating polymers using natural cysteamine. It also allows one to replace synthetic fillers in silicone elastomers with wool, a natural renewable reinforcing agent (Figure 1).


Acknowledgements: We acknowledge with gratitude the financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada


Figure 1. Strategies to exploit sulfur chemistry using silicon chemistry.

Biography: Mike Brook is a Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Brook is an expert in silicon, silica and silicone chemistry. He wrote the solely authored book Silicon in Organic, Organometallic and Polymer Chemistry (Wiley) in 2000 and was Americas editor of Silicon Chemistry. He won the Macromolecular Science & Engineering Award, from the Chemical Institute Canada in 2017, the Frederic Stanley Kipping Award for Silicon Chemistry (administered by the American Chemical Society) in 2016 and, with Mark McDermott (McMaster University), he won the Synergy Prize for Industrial Collaboration (Partner: Aventis, then Pasteur Mérieux Connaught) from the Conference Board of Canada. He has published over 275 papers, and has 6 patents granted. His main interests currently revolve developing more sustainable silicones, by exploiting natural materials. In the area of biomaterials, his research involves manipulation of surface properties of silicone elastomers for improved biocompatibility.


Registration is now closed


Abstract template and guidelines

Please use the following template and guidance document when writing your abstract.

Abstract template

Abstract guidance document

Presentation guidelines

The conference and presentations will be conducted on Microsoft Teams, links and invites will be distributed during the week of March 15th. All abstracts were accepted as oral presentations

Students should prepare their oral presentation to be 10-12 minutes in length followed by 3-5 minutes of questions. 


Organizing Committee

Dr. Ryan Wylie

Associate Professor, Dept of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Polymeric biomaterials for drug delivery and biosensors

Dr. Katherine Bujold

Assistant Professor, Dept of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Nucleic acid-based nanostructures for drug delivery and precision medicine

Dr. Sarah Styler

Assistant Professor, Dept of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Dr. Yurij Mozharivskyj

Professor, Dept of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Thermoelectric materials for waste heat recovery

Contact information


For all inquiries, please email souscc49@mcmaster.ca

Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
McMaster University
AN Bourns Science Building, Room 156
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
L8S 4M1

Land Acknowledgement

McMaster University recognizes and acknowledges that it is located on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations, and within the lands protected by the “Dish with One Spoon” wampum agreement.


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