2019 Gas Chromatography School

CCDG is excited to announce the 2019 Gas Chromatography school.
September 24-26, 2019

About this Event

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.

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!

This course is AACC accredited for 20 credit hours.

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.

Location: Roosevelt University
1400 N Roosevelt Blvd
Schaumburg, IL 60173


2018-2019 President’s Report

Hello to all members and friends of CCDG. We have just wrapped up our 2018-2019 season, and throughout the year I have had the privilege of working with a talented and hard-working board to accomplish some amazing things.

This year, we changed our membership term and our sponsorship term to reflect the calendar year. This was done to help our members, as well as our board, to help keep track of renewals. We are also in the process of transitioning to a new program for membership renewal that will streamline the process of renewing membership

In the fall, we launched a brand-new website. We found this new website to be more user friendly, and enables us to keep our website updated in a timelier fashion. Our new website also allows us to share more pictures from our dinner lectures and our schools.

This year we were very excited to bring back our GC school, which was held at Roosevelt University in Schaumburg. It was a huge success with 13 students, and the instructor, Dr. Lee Polite went above and beyond for our students ensuring they left the class well informed.

Our GC school was such a success at Roosevelt University that we decided to move our LC school to the same location. Dr. Merlin Bicking once again led an outstanding course in which the students learned a great deal about liquid chromatography.

At our Young Scientist Dinner lecture, we awarded graduate student Sarah Lum with the Young Scientist Award. Her presentation on a novel way to quickly and efficiently analyze rape kits was both captivating and informative. We look forward to seeing what else Sarah will accomplish in her career.

We attended two conferences this year, the Midwest Association of Toxicology and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring in Cleveland, and the ACS Great Lakes Regional Meeting in Lisle. Attending conferences helps us to grow our organization and accomplish our motto of Sharing in Knowledge.

Lastly, we hosted four dinner lectures this year, ranging in topics from tips and tricks in gas chromatography to the challenges of teaching chromatography in a third world country. A huge thank you to all of our speakers this year, Eric Pavlich of Agilent, Gosia Medrecki, Kayla Watanabe, Sarah Lum, Dr. John Stuff of Gerstel, and Dr. Merlin Bicking of ACCTA.

Thank you all for supporting CCDG through membership, dinner lectures, or our schools, and I am looking forward to another wonderful year!


Amy Alexander
CCDG President

Election Results

On 5/15/19 CCDG held its open board meeting and the following are the results of the election;

The elections are for a three year term July 2019-June 2022

Sponsor Chair
Joe Jones

LC School Chair
Rich DeMuro

Membership Chair
Stephanie Collins

Programs Chair
Kristin Sulaiman

Awards Chair
Charles Marshall

Robin Sutka

Secretary Elect -One Year Term
Sara Plowman

President Elect -One Year Term
James DeFrancesco

Congratulations to all!

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

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.