February 22, 2018  

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Upcoming Economic Development Forum to Focus on Advanced Materials

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Experts from The University of Southern Mississippi and the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) will address the latest developments in the areas of advanced materials, polymers and composites, plus related opportunities for economic development during an April 14 forum on the Hattiesburg campus.

The event – “IMPACT Southern Miss: Turning Knowledge into Innovation with Advanced Materials” – begins at 7:30 a.m. and will conclude at 10 a.m. at the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship. It is sponsored by Mississippi Power.

"Southern Miss has built a significant reputation for our research capabilities in Polymers, Composites and Advanced Materials, and this research impacts a wide range of companies and industries important to the state of Mississippi,” said Rick Duke, director of the Trent Lott National Center. “Because of the dynamic nature of these fields, it is important to regularly engage economic development leaders to ensure they are educated in all that Southern Miss has to help them."

The lineup of speakers and their topics include the following:

Stacy Lester, project manager, Mississippi Development Authority

·         Lester holds a bachelor’s degree in polymer science and a master’s degree in economic development from Southern Miss. Her focus at MDA is recruiting jobs and investment to the State of Mississippi, specifically focusing on science and technology-based industries.

Dr. Bryan Brister,director, Mississippi Polymer Institute

·         Composites Manufacturing in Mississippi: Dr. Brister will review the most relevant manufacturing and fabrication technologies utilized by Mississippi’s composites producers.

Dr. Robert Lochhead, director, School of Polymers and High Performance Materials

·         Potential for Partnerships for Economic Development:  Dr. Lochhead will cover several areas of research by faculty members in the nationally ranked School of Polymers and High Performance Materials that have economic development potential for Mississippi, including sustainable materials, sustainable energy, health and security.

Dr. Paige Buchanan, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry

·         Nano to Macro: Dr. Buchanan will discuss real-world applications for the Navy, wound care and combat care and prevention that stem from her research efforts in nano-materials, organic chemistry, and polymer science.

Dr. Jeff Wiggins, assistant professor of polymer science and engineering

·         Polymer Matrix Composites: A 21st Century Material Transformation: Dr. Wiggins will provide a review of polymer matrix composite materials, their advantages, some applications for these materials and their anticipated market growth. Polymer matrix composites are lightweight, high-strength materials, which offer substantial weight savings and lifecycle economics over traditional construction materials. 


Cost for the April 14 forum is $25 in advance or $35 the day of the event. To register, go to: http://www.usm.edu/profdev_edoutreach/IMPACT Southern Miss post card.pdf. When using the link to sign up, fill out the registration form, save it and email to Andreas Palmer at mailto:andreas.palmer@usm.edu. For more information, call Rick Duke at 601.266.5090.

Future IMPACT Southern Miss forums are set for Sept. 1 (Life Sciences) and Nov. 29 (Marine Science). IMPACT Southern Miss: Turning Knowledge into Innovation Series’ events are held in conjunction with the Office of the Vice President for Research, the College of Science and Technology and the College of Health at Southern Miss. For more information, see http://www.usm.edu/trentlottcenter/impact.php or call 601.266.5090.