Central PA Local Section

Welcome to Central Pennsylvania!


You are invited to the next meeting of the Central Pennsylvania local section!

Please join the CPA local section of the ACS on April 24 for a dinner and seminar at the Happy Valley Winery! Each $40 ticket includes a catered meal, wine tasting, a glass of Happy Valley wine, and entry into a raffle for a tour and tasting certificate to Happy Valley Winery.  A $5 discount will be applied for a nonalcoholic ticket. The fee is payable by cash or check at the event.  Seating is limited and RSVPs are required!

A seminar on the Chemistry of Wine will be presented by Dr. Peter Baran. Dr. Baran is a professor of chemistry at Juniata College where he teaches Inorganic Chemistry. He graduated from the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava (Slovakia) majoring in Technical Physical and Analytical Chemistry in 1986. Six years later, he defended his PhD Thesis in Inorganic Chemistry at the same university where he also started his academic teaching career as an assistant professor in the Department of Inorganic Chemistry. Then he moved
to food industry as an analytical chemist for a short period. In 2000, he returned to academia working in different research positions at the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras. After accepting a tenure-track position at Juniata College in 2004, he began offering Wine Chemistry classes to undergraduates at Juniata as a special topic. The following year, he and his students planted a small Juniata vineyard, which they use to learn about the challenges of wine growing in our region. Since then, Baran has taught a wine-chemistry related class almost every year. He also takes Juniata students on short-term summer abroad study to Slovakia and Moravia to learn about viticulture and enology in Central Europe. Although Baran’s research is related to the study of coordination compounds for catalysis and medicine and new magnetic materials, he and his Juniata students also pursue a project on the interactions of phenolics with transition metals as found in wine. Results of Baran’s research appear in over 75 scientific papers. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and the Slovak Chemical Society and a two-time chair of the Central
Pennsylvania ACS local section.

Dr. Peter Baran


Please RSVP to Chair Joe Houck at centralpaacs@gmail.com or by phone at 814-865-0106 by Tuesday, April 17.

For more information and directions, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/200961217168737/

For a printable pdf poster and abstract, click here!

We honor local section members Dr. Roy A. Olofson and Dr. Semih Eser, who have been named as 2014 ACS Fellows!  A list of all ACS Fellows in our section can be found on the About Us page.

The new fellows were feted at the society’s national meeting in San Francisco in August of 2014 at a ceremony hosted by ACS Immediate Past-President Marinda Li Wu. The fellows program began in 2009 as a way to recognize and honor ACS members for outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and ACS. Learn more about the ACS fellows program and the current fellows here.


Dr. Roy A. Olofson is an emeritus faculty member at Penn State University, and an energetic, inspiring member of our Central Pennsylvania local section. He has served as a consultant to the Joseph Priestley House since 1973, organizing several ACS-related special events, including celebrations, symposia, exhibitions, monument dedications, and lectures.

His achievements include the invention of new, better synthetic reagents (BOC-F, LTMP) and methods, including the reactant first attached to penicillins and cephalosporins to make them orally active (patented in 30+ countries).


Dr. Semih Eser is a Professor of Energy and Geo-Environmental Engineering at Penn State University. 

Dr. Eser received his B.S. (1976) and M.S. (1978) degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and his Ph.D. (1986) in Fuel Science from Penn State University. From 1987 to 1988, he worked as a research associate in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Auburn University. He returned to Penn State in 1988 and was appointed as an assistant professor of Fuel Science in 1989. He served the Department of Energy and Geo-Environmental Engineering as Associate Head (2001-2006) and Acting Head (2004). At the EMS Energy Institute, Eser served as the associate director and director of the Laboratory for Hydrocarbon Process Chemistry (1995-2000). Currently, he teaches at the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering and coordinates research on carbon materials at the EMS Energy Institute. His professional activities include serving as Program Chair (2004) and Chair (2006) of the Fuel Chemistry Division of American Chemical Society, and currently serving on the editorial boards of the Journal of ASTM International, Journal of Oil, Gas, and Coal Technology, and as section editor of Energy and Fuels in the Chemistry Central Journal. Eser's research interests include the reactivity and microscopic characterization of cokes and carbons, coke/carbon formation and deposition mechanisms, inhibition of undesired carbon deposition, and molecular analysis and processing of petroleum feedstocks.



  • Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Service Award, 1996
  • ACS, Fuel Chemistry Division, Outstanding Service Award, 1997, 2000, 2004
  • ACS 1999 ChemLuminary award on behalf of the Fuel Chemistry Division in the ACS Division Membership Contest, 218th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, 1999
  • College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Wilson Award for Outstanding Teaching, 2001
  • ACS Innovative Projects Fund for Divisional Enhancement Award for "Attracting Graduate and Undergraduate Students to Divisional Activities at ACS National Meetings," 2005.
  • ACS Innovative Projects Fund for Divisional Enhancement Award for "Public Education and Outreach for Basic Literacy on Energy and Fuel Issues," 2006.
  • ACS 2007 ChemLuminary Award on behalf of the Fuel Chemistry Division for "Recognition of Innovation and Outstanding Service to Members of a Division," 2007.


Please join us for Local Section Activities!  Check the Activities and Seminars links at the left for current events

Students and mentors can apply for a Joseph A. Dixon Travel Grant to attend meetings and present their work;  check the Awards link at the left.

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