Chemical engineering professor named 'Young Observer' by international union


By Tessa M. Pick

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Christian Pester, Thomas K. Hepler Early Career Professor of Chemical Engineering at Penn State, has been selected for the 2021 Young Observer Program by the U.S. National Committee (USNC) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).

The Young Observer Program aims to build collaborations among internationally acclaimed scientists and engineers in various disciplines. Twelve individuals from across the world were chosen to participate in this year’s program. As part of this program, these participants will build relationships with other scientists and engineers, learn about global research and participate in IUPAC activities, such as the IUPAC Division and Standing Committee meetings, according to the program website.

“It is an honor for me to be selected as an IUPAC Young Observer,” Pester said. “I look forward to working with peer chemists.”

Pester said he will use this program to build his international network and promote interactions among young faculty, students and scientists from across the world.

“This program will improve my outreach and leadership capabilities while also solidifying the political and social skills required to bridge gaps between different cultures,” Pester said. “I am excited about the opportunity to meet like- and different-minded scientists because we all can learn from each other.”

Pester plans to be heavily involved with the committees within IUPAC, specifically the Committee on Chemistry and Industry, the Committee on Chemistry Education and the Chemistry International Editorial Board.

“I am particularly excited about my future work on committees to improve the connection between chemists in academia and industry, as well as to advance chemistry education to benefit the next generation of chemists,” he said.

As Pester continues his involvement with IUPAC, he hopes to work within the Polymer Chemistry Division to further his research in the topic. Pester’s research focuses on the development of smart and functional polymer surfaces using light-mediated chemistries and lithography. He also hopes to be a part of IUPAC projects that promote gender equity.

“IUPAC projects related to improving education, bridging the gender gap or closing the academia and industry divide all address important societal challenges that I am already addressing within my own work and outreach,” Pester said. “Doing this in collaboration with a large entity such as IUPAC would help me improve my impact in these areas and allow me to make a broader and more significant impact.”

As part of the Young Observer program, Pester will also have the opportunity to attend the IUPAC General Assembly and Congress on Aug. 13-20 in Montreal.


Share this story:

facebook linked in twitter email


College of Engineering Media Relations

headshot of a professor in suit and red necktie smiling

Christian Pester, Thomas K. Hepler Early Career Professor of Chemical Engineering at Penn State. IMAGE: PENN STATE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING