May 20th, 2019 Dinner Meeting

CCDG welcomes Dr. Merlin Bicking as our May Dinner Lecture Guest Speaker.

Dr. Bicking has been CCDG’s Liquid Chromatography School instructor for a few years now. His knowledge and experience have been invaluable in assisting students from a variety of chromatography backgrounds.

Merging Business, Chromatography, and Culture in East Africa

Science has the power to positively influence the quality of life for people living in developing countries. However, transferring scientific technology and expertise for the benefit of a society requires more than just donating used equipment. Infrastructure such as utilities, facilities, staff, and budgets must be in place to fully generate any meaningful results from the technology. We often take these factors for granted, but in a third world environment many of these items are missing or of poor quality. In addition, their goals, priorities, and perspectives are significantly different from ours, and sometimes our good intentions can make things worse.

This presentation will focus on our experiences with ChromAfrica LLC, a consulting and training services company based in Nairobi that we founded in 2009 to provide technical training to local scientists. While the initial training events covered chromatographic topics, numerous other sessions have addressed a much wider range of issues, even going beyond laboratory technical training. The many challenges that we encountered revealed some fundamental differences in business practices and culture that require a unique approach to both training and business development. There are significant issues facing the region as they try to integrate their economies into the international community and we will discuss how we, as analytical chemists, are helping.

Finally, we want to answer two other common questions: 1) what is it like to visit Africa, and 2) did you see any wild animals? We will provide some details about life in East Africa, and, yes, there will be some safari pictures!

Dr. Merlin Bicking is the founder of ACCTA, Inc., an analytical chemistry training & consulting firm. With more than 30 years of post-graduate experience in academia, contract research, contract laboratory, and independent consulting, he provides basic through advanced level training on laboratory skills and use of analytical equipment.

His expertise includes analytical separations, method development, and problem- solving, using a wide range of techniques including HPLC, GC, GC/MS, SFE, SFC, FTIR,

NMR, and absorbance spectrophotometry.

Dr. Bicking received a BS. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and a Ph.D. in Organic-Analytical Chemistry from Iowa State University.


MAY 20, 2019

Get your tickets here!

Mickey Finn’s Brewery
345 North Milwaukee Avenue
Libertyville, IL 60048

Open Board Meeting

2019’s CCDG open board meeting is here. If you would like to become a board member or simply find out what being a board member is about, this event is for you!

Nominations and elections for new board members will take place. This event is open to everyone.

When reserving your free seat, please ensure the ticket option selected is for the dinner option of your choice. Get your tickets here!

Wednesday May 15, 2019                         6:00 PM – 9:00 PM


Westwood Tavern
1385 North Meacham Road
chaumburg, IL 60173

2019 Liquid Chromatography School

2019 Liquid Chromatography School 
May 21-May 23, 2019
Merlin Bicking, Ph.D.
Roosevelt University
1400 N Roosevelt Blvd
Schaumburg, IL  60173
20 hours of  AACC ACCENT® Credit will be awarded to the learner after completion of a short survey at the end of the course.
Registration Fee is $995 which includes textbook, supplies and lunches.

Special Student Registration Fee is $500.
Check out the Registration Link on Eventbrite for more details and be sure to follow CCDG on Facebook and LinkedIn for updates!

Next Dinner Meeting, February 26th in Lisle, IL

February Dinner Meeting

Location: Benedictine University– Goodwin Hall Room 411
Date: February 26th, 2019
Guest Speaker: Dr. John R. Stuff    Bio
Title: Thermal Desorption Techniques for Gas Chromatography


Thermal desorption is an injection technique for gas chromatography wherein the sample is heated to release analytes into the GC carrier gas stream. Different thermal desorption modes and devices can be utilized with a thermal desorber, in order to handle gas, liquid and solid samples.

Direct thermal extraction (DTE) is a thermal desorption technique in which a small amount of sample, typically 10-50 mg, is placed in an empty thermal desorption tube. The sample is heated in the thermal desorption unit under a flow of inert gas, in order to release volatile and semi-volatile compounds from the sample. The analytes are trapped and then analyzed by GC/MS.

The Gerstel Twister is a PDMS coated stir bar which can be used in headspace or immersion mode to extract analytes from either solid or liquid samples. Thin Film SPME (TF-SPME) devices are a 20 mm x 4.8 mm sheet of carbon mesh coated with DVB/PDMS or CAR/PDMS. They also can be used in headspace or immersion mode. Both Twisters and TF-SPME are analyzed by thermal desorption.

Air samples are handled by using thermal desorption tubes packed with a solid sorbent material. Air can be actively pumped through the tube or the sorbent tubes can be used for passive diffusive sampling. The sorbent tubes are analyzed by thermal desorption.

This talk will focus on these techniques and show examples of each.

Get your Tickets HERE!

Don’t forget, you may renew your membership at the same time as buying your ticket.


Happy Holidays!

We would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday season and we look forward to all of our events that are upcoming in the new year!

February – Dinner Lecture and Annual Membership Drive

May – LC School and Dinner Lecture

Congratulations to our Young Chromatographer!

Congratulation to Sarah Lum, Notre Dame graduate student and CCDG 2018 Young Chromatographer Award Winner for presenting “Battling the Backlog: Novel CZE Systems for Rape Kit Analysis”

We would also like to thank our other two speakers who also did an outstanding job;

Kayla Watanabe, Stevenson High School and Loyola Summer Intern
“The Correlation of Physicochemical Properties with Chromatographic Separation of Dichlorophenols in the Gas Phase”

Gosia Medrecki, Loyola undergraduate student and Agilent intern
“A Novel Sample Preparation for quantifying Vitamin D from Dog Food”

Thank you all for another wonderful Young Chromatographer dinner meeting!

Young Chromatographer Meeting, November 7, 2018

CCDG is proud to host it’s second Young Chromatographer meeting.   Established in 2017, the CCDG Young Chromatographer Award is designed to be awarded to a young person who presents their original research at our student dinner meeting.  CCDG is committed to promoting an interest in and providing a forum for, the exchange of information in all areas of chromatography.  As part of our philanthropy strategy, the group has established this award to encourage young scientists to do research and  provide a forum for their presentation.

We will be featuring the following speakers:

Kayla Watanabe, Stevenson High School and Loyola Summer Intern
“The Correlation of Physicochemical Properties with Chromatographic Separation of Dichlorophenols in the Gas Phase”

Gosia Medrecki, Loyola undergraduate student and Agilent intern
“A Novel Sample Preparation for quantifying Vitamin D from Dog Food”

Sarah Lum, Notre Dame graduate student and CCDG 2018 Travel Award Winner!
“Battling the Backlog: Novel CZE Systems for Rape Kit Analysis”


The dinner meeting and presentation is scheduled for November 7th, 6:30-9pm, Loyola University (Chicago), 1000 W. Sheridan Rd, Cuneo Hall, Room 210, Chicago, IL 60626



To see past winners and get more information click here

Congratulations, Amy Alexander!

Congratulations – Amy Alexander

UCT’s 2018 Excellence in SPE Award winner


A huge round of applause to our President Amy Alexander for being selected as a 2018 Excellence in SPE Award winner.  This award is sponsored by United Chemical Technologies (UCT) and was awarded at the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT) meeting in Minneapolis, MN.  The award reflects recent outstanding contributions to the scientific literature in the field of Solid Phase Extractions in Forensic Science.  Specifically, UCT is recognizing the article “Discordant Umbilical Cord Drug Testing Results in Monozygotic Twins” where Amy served as the principle author.

Dinner Lecture, September 11, 2018

Title: GC Tips and Trick for Method Optimization

Abstract: This looks at what options are available when attempting to make the best GC method possible.  We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages we may see when making changes to our method and why these changes happen.  This includes the differences between carrier gasses, inlet liners, and what kind of influence changes to our column dimensions will have.  From this discussion, we will be able to make educated decisions on how best to achieve our desired goals and where to find resources should we have questions.

Location: Westwood Tavern and Tap 1385 N. Meacham Road Schaumburg, IL (Chicago Room)

Lecture Sponsor:

Who: Eric Pavlich


Bio:  Eric is a graduate from the University of Arkansas.  He started his career as a microbiologist for a pharmaceutical manufacturer and eventually migrated to more analytical chemistry techniques in dealing with polymer research and cosmetics.  In 2003, Eric joined Varian Analytical conducting sales for consumable supplies.  When Agilent acquired Varian in 2010, Eric took on the role of Application Scientist where he assists those in need of GC Application help.  Along with helping analysts optimize their methods, Eric also helps educate those that are trying to expand their knowledge in Gas Chromatography. (In-depth bio)

Click here to register!


CCDG GC SCHOOL, Oct. 23 – Oct. 25, 2018

CCDG is excited to announce the 2018 Gas Chromatography school. Co-sponsored by Roosevelt University and held on their campus, this course offers a well-designed combination of lecture and hands-on laboratory training. Students gain sufficient theoretical and practical background to perform independent work in gas chromatography.


Awarded with 20 credit hours of AACC Continuing Education!

This three day course, taught by Dr. Lee Polite from Axion, will provide instruction on a wide range of topics, including but not limited to:

  • Introduction to Gas Chromatography
  • GC Inlet systems
  • GC capillary columns and resolution
  • GC split ratio
  • Temperature programming and electronic pressure control
  • GC/MS, Headspace GC, Liquid GC
  • Method development and quantitative analysis
  • GC Troubleshooting and more!

Course Schedule

Registration fee: $995 (includes text, supplies and lunches) | $500 for students

Printed course material is provided, at no extra cost to the student, by the Chicago Chromatography Discussion Group.

Roosevelt University

1400 N Roosevelt Blvd,

Schaumburg IL, 60173


Register Here for your seat!