The NESAS and SAS Lester W. Strock Award Symposium Honoring Maria Montes-Bayón

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The NESAS and SAS Lester W. Strock Award Symposium was held on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, from 1:30 PM - 3:10 PM in Room Cascade 1, to celebrate the contributions of Prof. Maria Montes-Bayón to the field of analytical atomic spectrochemistry. The Lester W. Strock Award, presented by the New England Section of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy, honors substantive research and applications in analytical atomic spectrochemistry in the areas of earth science, life sciences, or stellar and cosmic sciences. Prof. Montes-Bayón, a distinguished scientist, received this award in recognition of her outstanding work. The award consisted of a special medal and honorarium.

The first presentation, from 1:30 PM - 1:50 PM, Jörg Bettmer of the University Of Oviedo presented, "A Personal Retrospective on the Analysis of Small Objects: Nanoparticles and Individual Cells." He shared work describing the evolution of research in his laboratory regarding the analysis of small objects, particularly nanoparticles and individual cells, using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). He highlighted the journey that began in 2006, demonstrating the detection of nanoparticles smaller than 10 nm and its applications in various particle systems and biogenic nanoparticles. The presentation honored María Montes Bayón.

In the second presentation, from 1:50 PM - 2:10 PM, Detlef Günther of the Department Of Chemistry And Applied Biosciences at ETH Zurich presented, "Exploration Of A Nitrogen Plasma For The Analysis Of Laser-Generated Aerosols." In his talk, Günther presented the exploration of a nitrogen plasma as a carrier gas for laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), providing insights into different carrier gas combinations and particle size distributions. The presentation evaluated the benefits and drawbacks of using nitrogen plasma in this context.

The third presentation, from 2:10 PM - 2:30 PM, will be by Steven Ray from SUNY Buffalo who presented, "Microwave-Enabled Ionization and Chemistries for Mass Spectrometry Analysis." Ray dove into the significance of ionization sources in mass spectrometry, particularly the role of microwave energy in modulating ionization conditions for atomic and molecular ionization sources. The presentation showcased examples of microwave-modulated chemistry and its potential applications in mass spectrometry, comparing these techniques with conventional ionization strategies.

The next paper presented at 2:30 PM - 2:50 PM by Raquel Gonzalez De Vega of the University Of Graz, was titled, "Analysis of unconventional elements via ICP-MS: Targeting Carbon and Fluorine." She presented innovative methodologies for the analysis of traditionally challenging elements, such as carbon and fluorine, using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The presentation demonstrated adapted and new techniques for determining these elements in various matrices.


The final presentation of this session was from 2:50 PM - 3:10 PM. It was presented by Juris Meija, from the National Research Council and was titled, "The Role of Data Analysis in Analytical Chemistry." Meija emphasized the significance of data analysis in analytical chemistry, highlighting its evolution from the early days of experimental chemistry. The presentation illustrated how data analysis practices contribute to more reliable measurements in modern analytical chemistry and provided examples of their applications.

The NESAS Lester W. Strock Award Symposium offered a comprehensive exploration of analytical atomic spectrochemistry, featuring presentations from notable researchers in the atomic spectroscopy field and pays tribute to the contributions of Maria Montes-Bayón. This symposium served as a platform for sharing research and fostering collaboration among scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians in the pursuit of precision and innovation in atomic spectroscopy.

More information on this award may be found here:,or%20stellar%20and%20cosmic%20sciences.