Downloadable Presentations

  •  Graphene Nanoplatelet Modification of Polymers: Opportunities for Multifunctional Materials

Lawrence T. Drzal, PhD ,University Distinguished Professor ,Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science , Composite Materials and Structures Center

Graphene is the stiffest material found in nature having a modulus of over a TPa, with excellent in‐plane electrical and thermal conductivity, excellent oxidation resistance and a highly anisotropic platelet morphology. Graphene based nanoparticles have a number of desirable intrinsic properties that make them particularly attractive for a variety of applications. This nanomaterial is capable of not only increasing the mechanical properties of polymers and composites but also non‐structural properties such as electrical, thermal and barrier properties of nanocomposites

While single layer graphene is difficult and expensive to produce, nano‐particles consisting of a few layers of graphene (GnP) can be inexpensively and efficiently produced in nanoplatelet morphology by a ‘top‐down’ approach using common chemicals starting with mineralogical graphite. With the appropriate surface treatment, GnP can be dispersed in thermoset and thermoplastic polymers resulting in nanocomposites with superior mechanical, electrical, thermal and barrier properties. GnP can also be applied as a thin film or in coatings or fluids, for applications where electromagnetic shielding, high electrical and thermal conductivity or barrier performance are requirements as well.

This presentation will discuss the potential and challenges of few layer‐graphene nanoparticles to add multi‐ functionality to polymers and composites. The use of graphene requires not only a high level of dispersion but also novel processing methods to generate 2D and 3D microstructures with thermoset and thermoplastic matri-ces. Challenges to dispersion and control of orientation in thermoset and thermoplastic polymers and examples of the multifunctional properties that can be obtained will be presented.

To get access to the presentation please contact Mr. Lawrence T. Drzal at


           P. Vincent Hegarty, Institute for Food Laws and Regulations, MSU

Global production of food contact materials (FCMs)/packaging is increasing. Least cost formulation is sending food manufacturers in developed countries to source their FCMs in developing countries. Most of these countries have no regulations on the manufacture, use and safety of food contact substances (FCSs) in the FCMs. Many countries are updating their FCM/FCS regulations --- India, Japan, Turkey and the 2004 European Union (EU) regulations. FDA regards FCSs as food additives. The EU’s regulations are based on 17 FCMs (plastic, aper, glass, printing inks, etc.). Most of the world, including Codex Alimentarius and the World Health Organization (WHO) regard FCSs as food contaminants; FDA regards them as food additives. There are more than 6,000 FCM substances on regulatory and non-regulatory lists. 175 of these are Chemicals of Concern (COC). The SIN list (Substitute It Now), SVHC list (Substances of Very High Concern) have disturbingly high numbers of FCSs in FCMs. Plastic packaging has 908 chemicals of which 64 were considered most hazardous for human health. Documented health concerns related to FCSs/FCMs include endocrine disruption, cancer and autism.  New developments in FCSs and FCMs will require regulations --- Food packages that are edible, biodegradable, FCMs with recycled plastic, nanoparticles, etc.

Conclusion: Good food laws are based on good science. MSU is the only university in the world that has programs in both the good science of FCSs/FCMs/packaging and the online education on good global laws/regulations of FCSs/FCMs/packaging. Opportunities exist for synergistic relationships between MSU programs in the School of Packaging, IFLR and the College of Law Global Food Law program in filling a huge global vacuum in the regulation of FCSs/FCMs/Packaging  

This Lecture was broadcast via ZOOM: please click the following link to view

  • SPRING 2016 Aaron Brody Distinguished Lecture in Food Packaging
    Featuring Jo Anne Shatkin, Ph. D. President, Vireo Advisors, LLC, Boston, MA

    This endowment was created by family and friends of Aaron L. Brody, Ph.D. and Carolyn Brody in recognition of Aaron’s lifelong achievements in Food Packaging.  The expendable portion of the funds will be used to establish and fund the “Aaron Brody Distinguished Lecture in Food Packaging”, which will be an annual event hosted by the School of Packaging.  Aaron Brody has been a pioneer in the development of new technologies in food packaging, disseminator of information to both technical and non-technical audiences and a teacher as well.  While Aaron is not an alumnus of MSU, he is a friend of the program and a colleague to many of the School’s faculty. Notifications on this seminar will be posted on the School’s Facebook and Linked In groups.  As long as the presenter agrees, the seminar will be broadcast via ZOOM to a global audience (registration will be required.)   

    This Lecture was broadcast via ZOOM: please click the following link to view the                                

    Information regarding the lecture topic: Safety of Nanomaterials in the Life Cycle of Food Packaging

    Nanoscale materials offer many potential benefits in food packaging applications, including enhanced barrier properties, sensing, lightweighting, labeling and improved environmental performance. However, as novel materials, there is a high bar to acceptability, requiring safety demonstrations more challenging than for conventional packaging materials. Challenges are varied and include the current uncertainties about the risks from exposure to nanoscale materials as well as simple measurement issues. Further complexities relate to the lack of established methods for demonstrating nanomaterial safety in composites and unstudied nanomaterial transformations that could occur under environmental conditions associated with food handling. This talk will explore some of the driving toxicology and exposure concerns from a risk and regulatory perspective, and offer ideas about how to advance the demonstration of safety and gain market access for this exciting class of new technologies. Examples such as cellulose nanomaterials and nanosilver will be discussed as case studies.

     Information about Jo Anne Shatkin:

    Jo Anne Shatkin, Ph.D. is President of Vireo Advisors, LLC, a woman-owned business based in Boston, Massachusetts focused on sustainability strategies for new and nano-technology development and innovation. She has extensive experience in working with entrepreneurs to guide responsible product development and commercialization.  As CEO of CLF Ventures, she worked with early stage and large organizations on new technology introduction strategies, including business planning, environmental impact assessment, and networking for financing.  She develops state of the art analyses on behalf of public and private organizations to inform safe and sustainable product new development. Dr. Shatkin is an environmental health scientist and recognized expert in environmental science and policy, human health risk assessment, emerging contaminants policy and environmental aspects of nanotechnology.

    Since 2005, Jo Anne has provided leadership on the responsible development of nanotechnology, and on approaches for decision making under uncertainty. She served as an expert to several international committees on nanotechnology safety, including the joint WHO_FAO Expert Panel on Nanotechnology in Food, the Canadian Council of Academies, and the US/Russia Bilateral Commission for Science and Technology Nanotechnology Environmental Health and Safety Panel.  She serves as EHS Advisor to P3Nano, the US public private partnership to advance commercialization of nanocellulose. She pioneered the use of life cycle thinking in risk analysis for nanomaterials, collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop several case studies that informed EPA’s risk analysis, research agenda and policies for nanomaterials.  Jo Anne developed and uses NANO Life Cycle Risk Analysis to inform safe development strategies for nanomaterials, described in her book, Nanotechnology Health and Environmental Risks Second Edition (CRC Press 2012). She founded the Emerging Nanoscale Materials Specialty Group of the international Society for Risk Analysis, where she is a Fellow and served as councilor, and in 2015 received the Outstanding Practitioner Award. She serves on the board of the Center for Environmental Policy at American University and the University of Maine Forest Bioproducts Research Institute and was a Switzer Environmental Fellow. She is leading efforts to develop methods and standards for environmental health and safety for TAPPI and participates in the US Technical Advisory Group to ANSI on EHS Standards Development for nanocellulose. Jo Anne received an Individually Designed Ph.D. in Environmental Health Science and Policy and her MA in Risk Management and Technology Assessment from Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts and possesses a Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic University in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

  • Title:  Presentation: Life Cycle Assessment and Other Approaches in Evaluating System-Wide Environmental impacts of Products, Processes and Packaging

Presenter Dr. Mary Ann Curran

Date: October 15, 2015 at 3:00pm

Dr. Mary Ann Curran is an internationally-recognized expert in the field of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). After 32 years of federal service as a research chemical engineer with the US Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Curran works independently as an LCA and sustainability consultant (BAMAC, Ltd., Cincinnati, Ohio). Upon receiving a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1980, Dr. Curran began working for the EPA’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio. After working in waste management research for several years, her research turned to industrial pollution prevention. In 1989, this work introduced her to a new environmental management approach called LCA. Through 20+ years of LCA research, networking, and publishing, she developed an in-depth knowledge of the field and created an extensive network of LCA researchers and practitioners world-wide. Dr. Curran is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. She has authored and co-authored numerous papers and book chapters which address the LCA concept and its applications, and created the LCA Handbook: A Guide to Environmentally Sustainable Products as editor and co-author (published by Scrivener-Wiley in October 2012). She has presented EPA’s activities in LCA-related research at technical meetings across the US and in Europe, South America, South Africa, Asia, and Australia. Dr. Curran studied Environmental Management and Policy at Lund University, Lund, Sweden (MSc 1996); and earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Erasmus University’s International PhD program on “Cleaner Products, Cleaner Production, Industrial Ecology and Sustainability” for her thesis entitled “Development of Life Cycle Methodology: A Focus on Co-Product Allocation” (2008). Dr. Curran is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). 
Specialties: Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental Sustainability, Pollution Prevention

Please click the following link to view the video and presentation, 

  • Workshop: "Prediction of the migration: beyond conventional estimates"

Presenter: Dr. Olivier Vitrac

Date: July 1, 2015

Abstract: Regulations in the EU and the US authorize the use of migration modeling to demonstrate the compliance of food contact materials or substances. The legal basis assumes that there is enough scientific evidences to support compliance but not for non-compliance. This presentation will give an overview of the different recognized methods to overestimate the migration in food and consumer exposure. In simple cases, the overestimation can originate from conservative assumptions or from probabilistic estimates. For more sophisticated cases involving complex designs or industrial practices along the supply chain, more robust approaches are required. A recent methodology based on Failure Mode and Effects and Criticality Analysis will be illustrated as well as the concepts of food packaging “safe-by-design”.  Please click the following link to know more about Safe Food Pack Design

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  • Title: An atomistic Flory-Huggins formulation for the tailored prediction of activity and partition coefficients.

Presenter: Dr. Olivier Vitrac

Date: June 30, 2015

Abstract: Claiming that activity coefficients are the easiest properties to calculate was a utopia until few years ago. Conventional techniques sample configurational space by particle insertion/deletion methods or by thermodynamic integration ones. They are particularly time-consuming and almost intractable for large solutes in entangled polymer matrices. Conversely, we developed new tailored methods to estimate chemical potentials or activity coefficients in situations met in food packaging applications: aqueous dominant mixtures, homopolymers and copolymers. They rely on a compressible Flory-Huggins formulation at atomistic scale with additional entropy and enthalpy corrections inferred by molecular dynamics simulation. Corrections are particularly important to reproduce radial distributions, cooperative hydrogen bonding and the residual elastic energy in glassy polymers. The whole approach has been validated to estimate partition coefficients of various substances (e.g., aroma, plastic additives, homologous series of alkanes and alcohols) between a broad range of polymers and food simulants.

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  • Title: Diffusion coefficients of organic solutes in polymers: new perspectives of prediction

Presenter: Dr. Olivier Vitrac     

Date: June 30, 2015
Abstract: Diffusion coefficients in and through polymers are of general interest in many technological applications from material science, membranes to packaging applications. It is had been thought for decades that they could not be predicted from first principles for bulky and flexible solutes. This presentation bridges two theories, the free-volume and the Rouse theory, to reproduce the scaling of diffusion coefficients of solutes with linearly repeated patterns in arbitrary polymers at any temperature. The resulting approach is demonstrated for both aliphatic and aromatic solutes based on molecular simulations and experimental data. Extensions to other branched solutes are sketched.

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  • Title: “Debriefing from the Strategic Planning Committee of the School of Packaging to the External Stakeholders”

Presenter: Dr. Laura Bix

Date: January 30, 2015

Please follow the link to view the video http://youtube/0XibHFRGd30