Community Forum in Chemistry, Fall 2015


Header for Community Forum in Chemistry
Windward Community College
45-720 Kea'ahala Road
Kane'ohe, Hawai‘i 96744

This project is coordinated by Leticia U. Colmenares Ph.D. Associate Professor in Chemistry - 236-9120. The forum is co-sponsored by Windward Community College and the American Chemical Society-Hawaii Section.

Picture of Veronica BindiThe AMS-02: Unlocking the Secrets of the Universe 

by Veronica Bindi

11:30-12:30 pm, Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Imiloa 133 (view map of campus)

View the flier (pdf)

What is the universe made of? Which is the most abundant element in our universe? Could forms of matter different from the ones on earth exist in space? Those and many other questions can be answered by the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) on the International Space Station studying cosmic rays. Cosmic rays are particles accelerated in space at almost the speed of light to collect information about regions of the universe that would be impossible to reach with the current technology. AMS-02 is measuring 50 million particles everyday. The information about each particle is sent in real time from the Space Station to the AMS control room located at theEuropean Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) where physicists from all around the world analyze the data. So far many interesting results have been collected and a lot is still expected to come.

Veronica Bindi received her PhD from the University of Bologna in Italy. Since 2002, she has been part of the team at CERN that led to the construction, integration and test of the AMS-02 detector installed on the International Space Station on May 2011. An Assistant Professor at the Physics and Astronomy Department of the University of Hawaii at Manoa since 2012, she teaches General Physics 1 (calculus based) and heads a research group composed of postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students focused on AMS. She is a Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) educator and is involved in many outreach activities to involve more students, particularly minorities and women, in STEM fields.

This forum is co-sponsored by Windward Community College and the American Chemical Society-Hawaii Section.

Picture of Stuart ScottClimate Change: The Elephant in the Room

by Stuart Scott

12:00-1:00 pm, Thursday, October 29, 2015
Paliku Theater (view map of campus)

View the flier (pdf)

This presentation is about the under-reported but crucial aspects regarding climate change. In this talk, he will identify and discuss the deepest roots of the problem and offer strategies both for mitigation and adaptation, in the hopes of avoiding the worst of what is coming.

Stuart Scott was the first environmentalist stockbroker on Wall Street in the 1970s, ran an IT consultancy for major NYC banks in the 1980s, then a software engineer for IBM in the 1990s. More recently he has been a university instructor of mathematics, statistics, and critical thinking in Honolulu, but left academia in 2008 to engage in full-time international climate and ecological advocacy, participating at the UN climate negotiations and presenting hundreds of climate briefings both in the US and internationally. Currently he is Deputy Director General of the International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organization (IESCO), and is the Founder and Director of Strategic Planning of the United Planet Faith & Science Initiative (

This forum is co-sponsored by Windward Community College and the American Chemical Society-Hawaii Section.

Picture of Godwin Severa, Ph.D., MBAChemical Approaches to Air Pollution Mitigation

by Godwin Severa, Ph.D., MBA

1:00-2:00 pm, Thursday, November 19, 2015
Hale ‘Imiloa 111 (view map of campus)

View the flier (pdf)

Air pollutants (sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons) are detrimental to human health and hinder the direct use of air in sustainable renewable energy technology, hydrogen PEM fuel cell systems. This presentation will discuss the different chemical approaches used to filter gas pollutants from atmospheric air and from the tailpipes of industrial plants, as well as, ways to mitigate environmental impact of air filtration materials waste.

Godwin Severa, Ph.D., MBA, has over 10 years of experience in renewable energy. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2010. His dissertation was focused on synthesis and characterization of novel alkali and transition metal solid state gaseous hydrogen storage materials for integration with hydrogen PEM fuel cells. His postdoctoral research at Hawaii Natural Energy Institute was on utilization of ionic liquids in multi component separation of biomass for renewable energy use. He obtained an MBA from Shidler College of business at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2014. Dr. Severa is an Assistant Researcher at Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

This forum is co-sponsored by Windward Community College and the American Chemical Society-Hawaii Section.


What is the Community Forum in Chemistry?  

• Its goal is to increase learning in chemistry for all students (and community members).

• A practicing professional discusses a chemistry related topic that is relevant to everyday lives.

• During the forum audience participate by asking questions, sharing views and comments.

• Serves as a bridge between classroom and real-world applications.

Picture of people doing chemistry

ACS Logo

Co-sponsored by the American Chemical Society
- Hawaii Section


February 5, 2015