I am honored to begin my term as the President of the Society for Industrial Microbiology (SIM) for 2010-2011. SIM has been in existence for more than 60 years now, and plays the role of a leading society for industrial microbiology and biotechnology globally. I have always made SIM a priority in my professional career. I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with the Society over the years, especially being able to interact with wonderful members, both individual and corporate, and outstanding staff. It is my sincere hope to contribute to the further development of our Society with the participation and support of all our members and directors.
On behalf of the Society, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Susan Bagley (Michigan Technological Univ.) for her contribution as President of SIM 2009-2010 and for her continuing efforts as Past President for this year. I would like to thank the outgoing board members, Director Thomas Jeffries (USDA Forest Products Lab), Director Janet Westpheling (Univ. of Georgia), and committee chairs Carol Litchfield (George Mason Univ., Education), Susan Jensen (Univ. of Alberta, Publications), and Janet Westpheling (Publicity), for their service to the Society. Thanks to 2010 SIM Annual Meeting Program Committee members for developing the program for a well-attended meeing. New board members this year are President-Elect Neal Connors (Phoenix BioConsulting, LLC), Director Scott Baker (Pacific Northwest National Lab), and Director E. Timothy Davies (Univ. of Georgia). New committee chairs are Janet Westpheling (Education), George Pierce (Georgia State Univ., Publications), and Thomas Jeffries (Publicity). Please contact any committee chair if you would like to serve as a committee member.
I have a couple major goals for my term:
(i) first and foremost to increase the membership. To remain viable, SIM must attract young professionals, especially new scientists entering the workforce and graduate students. We are becoming more international in membership and we want to continue the trend. SIM also needs to increase corporate membership. Additional goals include:
(ii) to increase member participation in SIM activities;
(iii) to help to assure that we put together the best program with the most current symposium topics for our annual meeting so that attendance increases;
(iv) to improve the financial situation of SIM; and
(v) to encourage SIM members to publish in the SIM journal JIMB and SIM News. These goals can only be met with the help and support of YOU – the SIM members. Please contact me if you have ideas and comments to contribute to the Society.
We have three upcoming meetings for this year: 33rd Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals (May 2-5, 2011, Sheraton Seattle, Seattle, WA); 2011 Annual Meeting (July 24-28, 2011, Sheraton New Orleans, New Orleans, LA); and RAFT IX (November 6-9, 2011, Marriott Marco Island, Marco Island, FL). We look forward to your participation in all these meetings. All SIM meetings offer social programs that provide attendees informal settings to discuss science and exchange information, to nurture old friendships, and to make new contacts and friendships. The program chair for the 2011 Annual Meeting is Ramon Gonzalez (Rice Univ.). I am confident that he and his program co-chairs will come up with a very strong program. Please contact him or any of the Program Committee co-chairs if you want to organize a session, give an oral presentation, or offer suggestions. In addition, the Education Committee is putting together a couple of timely workshops to be held prior to the annual meeting in New Orleans.
Each year, the Society gives a number of awards – Charles Thom Award, Charles Porter Award, Waksman Outstanding Teaching Award, Fellowship, Young Investigator Award, Best Student Oral Presentation Award, and Best Student Poster Presentation Awards. Please nominate your qualified colleagues and friends for the awards. We also encourage students to compete for the oral and poster presentation awards.
Several amendments/changes to the SIM constitution have been proposed by members and the Board of Directors of the Society such as (i) name change, (ii) allow for remote participation by directors in Board of Directors meetings, and (iii) allow electronic ballots. Details are available in SIM News (July/August 2010 issue). The voting process will occur during the fall of 2010. I urge you to give your input on these important issues.
If relevant, please take advantage of SIM’s placement service. SIM also offers science fair certificates to high school students. Please contact the Local Sections Chair if you are interested in forming a SIM local section in your area.
I welcome suggestions from our membership on how we can do things to better serve you. We need your input and support. Have a great year and we will see you in Seattle, New Orleans, and/or Marco Island.
I will endeavor to do my best as SIM President and sincerely appreciate your understanding and cooperation.
Badal Saha, PhD
SIM President, 2010-2011