Heritage and Evolution

Discover the key milestones for CME and its evolution through time


On March 11, 1954, CME was established as an topical discussion group of the American Chemical Society’s New York Local Section to cover all phases of industry. The inaugural speaker was Dr. Joseph G. Davidson, president of Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Company (Union Carbide later acquired by Dow Chemical). The founding committee included leaders from the Vick Chemical Company (acquired by P&G), Allied Chemical and Dye (acquired by Honeywell), Celanese Corporation, The Oil, Paint and Drug Reporter (acquired by ICIS), and American Cyanamid (parts of the company were acquired separately by BASF, Pfizer and Cytec).


CME became the first ACS topical group to broadcast webinars marking CME's inflection point with frontiers well beyond the New York area with the support of the NY Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce. CME governance embraced constant renewal focused on programs and venues of the highest quality with diverse STEM talent and sustainability as key its pillars.


On December 6 CME held the inaugural STEM Leadership Awards to celebrate the leaders of today and enable those of tomorrow. Honorees included Arsenal Capital Partner John Televantos and Airgas Chairman Peter McCausland. Mexichem Chairman Juan Pablo del Valle was the honoree for Global Growth. This warm and festive event won a ChemLuminary Award for Global Engagement and was the first of many awards. CME original and impactful STEM programming accelerated growth that led years later to rank as the largest in revenue among all topical groups or local sections.


The first NASA Symposium, a two-day event packed with science and industry developments, was co-organized by CME in 2017 with the Polymer Chemistry Technical Division (POLY) and set a new record in its class with 800 attendees. CME STEM Leadership Awards were presented to Craig Venter (Human Genome), Janet Kavandi (NASA Glenn) and Harry Gray (Caltech) at the IMAX Theater of the Smithsonian National Museum of Air and Space in Washington, DC. The event received the ChemLuminary Award for Divisional Collaboration.


On April 1-2 CME held the 3rd CME NASA Symposium in collaboration with NASA and MPPG at the 254th ACS National Meeting in Orlando with over 1,000 in attendance. CME STEM Leadership Awards were presented to Nobel Laureates in Chemistry Frances Arnold (2018) and Eric Betzig (2014). CME conceived and sponsored the first ACS Global Outstanding Student & Mentor Awards in concert with the Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering (PMSE) Division. The symposium was endorsed for the first time in the National Meeting history by all 31 ACS technical divisions. The reception was held at the spectacular Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

2020, the year of unprecedented change in the history of humanity, marks the start of a new era for CME as it became an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit as mutually agreed by ACS and its New York Local Section. We invite you to join our upcoming webinars and sponsor our STEM and Environmental Stewardship initiatives.