Jim Tung, Webmaster

This page was last updated on 4/8/18



Welcome to the homepage of the Virginia Blue Ridge Section of the American Chemical Society. The Section serves Alleghany, Amherst, Bedford, Botetourt, Campbell, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Henry, Montgomery, Pittsylvania, Pulaski, Roanoke, and Rockbridge Counties in Virginia, as well as Mercer County in West Virginia. Section Meetings are held monthly during the academic year, September through May, with no meeting in December.


Congratulations to Mr. Titouan Dustin of EC Glass High School (Lynchburg, VA). He was one of nearly 16,000 U.S. students that participate in Local Chemistry Olympiad competitions. His next step is the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO) exam to compete to be one of four students are chosen to represent the USA in the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO). The USNCO program is a multi-tiered competition designed to stimulate and promote achievement in high school chemistry. The purpose of the competition is to stimulate young people to achieve excellence in chemistry. The American Chemical Society has sponsored the program since 1984.

Congratulations to Nicholas Harvey. He was the named the recipient of 2018 VBRS-ACS Award at the Blue Ridge Highlands Regional Science Fair held on March 2-3 at Radford University. His project was entitled "Self-Assembled TiO2/Polyelectrolyte Composite Films for Catalytic Photodegradation of Pollutants". Harvey is a student at Southwest Virginia Governor's School for Science, Mathematics, and Science where his work was sponsored by chemistry instructor Jared Brown.

Next Meeting

Annual Undergraduate/High School Poster Session & James Lewis Howe Awards - Friday, April 20, 2018, Hosted by Radford University
5:30-6:45 Social Hour & Poster Session, Center for the Sciences
7:00-7:15 Awards Ceremony, McGuffey 203
7:15-8:15 Keynote Presentation, McGuffey 203

The meeting will begin with a Social Hour and Poster Session in the Radford University Center for the Sciences. Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served during the poster session in place of dinner. The Awards Ceremony and the Keynote Presentation will be held in McGuffey Hall Room 203. McGuffey Hall is about 5 minutes walk from the Center for the Sciences. There is no charge for hors d'oeuvres, but an RSVP is requested by Friday, April 13, seven days before the meeting, by phoning Laura Angell at (540) 831-5515 (during business hours) or by email to, so that we can plan quantities.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Donna J. Nelson
Professor of Chemistry, University of Oklahoma
President of the American Chemical Society for 2016
The Science of Breaking Bad: A Look Behind the Hollywood Screen

As science advisor of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, Dr. Nelson will speak about her experiences in Hollywood and how the world of science and film connect. She will reveal how science related information behind the show was crafted in order to support the actors and engage the public. Dr. Nelson also will discuss her interactions with script writers and her insights into the roles of science advisors in television and film production.

The Blue Ridge Chemist is our monthly newsletter. Information on joining the subscription list can be found at Blue Ridge Chemist. It may be of particular interest to those wishing to attend or looking for more details about our monthly Meetings.

Student Affiliate Chapters in the VBRS

Chemistry Departments Within the VBRS


  • I'm new to the area? How do I get information about the Blue Ridge Section?
    The easiest way to get a feel for our activities is to glance through back issues of our newsletter, the Blue Ridge Chemist. For a Newsletter subscription, send your request to Paul Deck, Dept. of Chemistry, Davidson Hall Room 480, Virginia Tech, 900 West Campus Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24061 or send an e-mail message to . Additionally, we use an email list to help us keep in better contact with you (we will not sell or otherwise distribute names from this list to any other parties). If you wish to be part of this list and have not yet been contacted via email regarding this list, please send an email message to Paul Deck with your name and email address.

  • Do I need to be an active member of the ACS to participate?
    No. Almost all our speaker presentations at our meetings are open to the public and free of charge. They are intended as an opportunity to gather together those with a mutual interest in chemistry in particular and issues in science, technology, and engineering in general. Our meetings attract a wide gamut of attendees from academia, industry, and passionate citizen-scientists. The cost of the optional social hour and dinners preceding the speaker's presentation are reduced for students and retired ACS members. Part of the national ACS membership dues are funnelled back to the local sections to support local activities, so we would ask that you consider a professional or affiliate membership if appropriate.

  • What is an affiliate membership?
    An affiliate membership to the VBRS is available for technicians, high school chemistry teachers, and others who deal with chemistry in some way, but do not wish to become regular members of the ACS. The dues are only $5 a year (January - December) and should be sent to Steve Smith,, Roanoke Valley Governor’s School, 2104 Grandin Rd SW, Roanoke, VA 24015.