Alchemist Club receives honorable mention from American Chemical Society

April 30, 2013
UW-Platteville Alchemist Club receives honorable mention from American Chemical Society

PLATTEVILLE, Wis.­­­ — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Alchemist club was recognized by the American Chemical Society with an honorable mention at the ACS national conference in New Orleans, La., April 7-11.  It was the only chemistry club in the UW school system to be recognized at the conference.

Zachary Bushman, a senior chemistry major from Chilton, Wis., accepted the award. “I didn’t know we were receiving the award until they called our name,” he said. “It was a lot of fun.”

“We’re recognized every year, because we’re very active,” said Timothy Zauche, former advisor of the club.  “When I came to UW-Platteville in 2000, there were five students in the Chemistry Club. Now there are 30 members, and they have traditions and expectations of their members. It’s grown a lot.”

The Alchemist Club’s activities include Boy Scout and Girl Scout weekends, during which members teach Scouts about chemistry. They also prepare exhibits for the UW-Platteville Engineering Expo.

Bushman has been involved in the Alchemist Club throughout his career at UW-Platteville. He connected with the club over PioneerLink during his freshman orientation. “It’s a good way to network with other students,” he said. “If you’re new and you walk into a club meeting, people will come and talk to you. And the Alchemist Club has a bunch of cool people who like to talk chemistry.”

The conference attracted 15,000 chemists, including 1,000 undergraduate chemistry students. The theme was Energy in Foods. “My favorite presentation was about egg the fragile proteins in egg whites,” said Bushman.

Bushman also presented his own research while attending the conference. At the University of Kansas, he studied the use of gold nanoparticles in solar panels. “We replaced the glass in solar panels with graphene, which is a layer of graphite one atom thick, and much more energy efficient than glass,” he said. “We used gold nanoparticles to repair the defects in the graphine and saw greatly increased conductivity.”

Bushman’s poster presentation was put on display in a convention hall for fellow chemists and chemistry students to see. “Lots of material scientists and physical chemists stopped by and asked questions,” he said. “Anyone who was interested in nanoparticles as well.”

Contact: Timothy Zauche, (608) 342-1678,; Zach Bushman,

Written by: Jacob Reecher, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194,


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