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Scanning electron micrograph of a partially agglomerated suspension of alumina particles, which have been directionally freeze-cast resulting in large alumina agglomerates laced with a fine freeze-cast structure. Credit: Materials Science and Engineering, University of Washington.
As far as we know, William Shakespeare was not a ceramist, but ceramists can be writers!
In fact, most are, whether it is to write lab reports, progress reports, journal articles, memos, theses, PowerPoint presentations, résumés, product descriptions, proposals, performance reviews … ad infinitim.
Students are invited to submit an original work of creative writing, 250 words or less, inspired by the micrograph pictured above to email@example.com.
As with any contest, there is a prize! Here’s your chance to win an ACerS polo shirt, and the winning entry will be published in the June/July issue of the ACerS Bulletin.
Entries are due by March 29, 2013, by 5 pm PST.
At the 37th International Conference and Exposition on Applied Ceramics and Composites, Sunday was a big day for arrivals, registration plus a pleasant ocean-side atmosphere for meeting old and new friends at the big reception Sunday night.
Earlier in the day there were meetings of the Board of Directors of The American Ceramic Society and the Society’s President’s Council of Student Advisors annual meeting. Two of the outcomes of the Board’s meeting are the creation of a new ACerS division and the establishment for the creation of “technical interests groups.” (Look for more information on the new division and TIGs in future posts.)
The following photos are from the ICACC’13 reception:
Duane DeBastiani gave a presentation about Vesuvius and its technologies. Credit: Zhu; Vesuvius.
Editor’s note: The student tour to a local ceramics business has become a favorite tradition at MS&T. This year was the fifth consecutive year for the tour, and ACerS member Sumin Zhu, principal scientist at Vesuvius and a key organizer of this year’s event, reports on the day.
By Sumin Zhu
On Oct. 8, 2012, the Vesuvius Research Center hosted a tour for a group of 20 students from eight different universities and one high school. The tour was organized by The American Ceramic Society’s President’s Council of Student Advisors and hosted by Vesuvius during the Materials Science & Technology 2012 Conference & Exhibition held earlier this month in Pittsburgh, Pa.
After an introductory presentation by Duane DeBastiani, director of enabling technologies and general manager of Vesuvius Research in Pittsburgh, the students got to select one of the two tour tracks offered.
The first tour track focused on processing and testing and allowed students to see raw materials, mixing and drying equipment; forming processes (cold isostatic pressing and uniaxial hydraulic pressing); kilns and furnaces; a preheat test demonstration; high-temperature property test equipment; and a thermal shock test with a thermite reaction.
The second track dealt with analytical instruments and introduced students to various thermal, physical and chemical analysis methods, as well as SEM/EDS and rheometer demonstrations.
“This type of event helps promote Vesuvius and improves awareness within the materials community about our company and technology,” says DeBastiani, who provided strong support for the event.
The students had very positive things to say about the tour, too, and appreciated relating their classwork to real world applications. “It was great to finally look inside a ceramic processing plant and relate it to what we just read in classes,” says Diksha Sudhakar Kini, Alfred University. “I was also very excited about the lab tour which threw light on how optimization was carried out on such large scales. The staff and our guide through the tour were very welcoming and open to questions at all times. Mr. DeBastiani’s introduction to Vesuvius and its products helped us understand its presence and importance in the market, too.”
Qing Yang, Michigan State University, adds, “I really enjoyed the tour to Vesuvius. It was very generous of them to put in the effort and resources guiding the tour. I saw quite a few instruments similar to what I have in my research lab, but it’s really interesting to see how everything is applied and scaled up in an industrial R&D lab.”
The Summit, held June 21-22, 2010 in Baltimore, Md., replaced the typical research presentation sessions with content that was far more global in its perspective. Discussions focused on technologies and materials that could shape the future, from energy, to medical, to military technology. A session on global business trends gave insight into the predicted growth of a large number of aspects of the ceramics/materials industry, and even the products that were driving those areas of the market. For example, the growth of the lithium-ion battery market was surprisingly traced to a recent surge in sales of electric bikes in Asia.
Of particular interest, though, was the education session, directed by Doreen Edwards (Alfred University) and Wayne Huebner (Missouri S&T). Edwards’ talk on education curricula led to a discussion amongst the roughly 200 attendees (nearly 60% of whom were from industry) about subjects that should be included in undergraduate coursework. Some of the subjects mentioned were energy materials and technology, coatings, and even proper usage of analytical and processing equipment.
Huebner delivered a passionate call-to-arms for members of industry and academia alike, to actively support university ceramics and materials programs across the country, thereby ensuring the graduation of competent engineers able to find jobs in the ceramics industry. Talking with a number of different Summit attendees revealed similar concern for the well-being of today’s students, which is always exciting for those who are currently students to hear.
On the topic of talking with different people, arguably the networking opportunities that came from attending the Summit represented the most exciting part of the two-day event. We met all sorts of people, including alumni from our current schools, researchers and industry representatives. Learning about the different career paths available to students after graduation was a highlight of the event. We found out that graduates could go on to be Congressional fellows charged with bringing materials expertise to legislation passed on Capitol Hill; or they could become 50% of a company’s research and development staff; or they could even go on to become vice-presidents, presidents or CEOs of multimillion dollar corporations such as Ceradyne or Corning.
We were also invited into the Future Leaders Program for members of ACerS’ Young Professionals Network, which meant waking up rather early in the morning to enjoy a pre-conference breakfast, served with a side of leadership training, with young graduates of our field. Friendships were quickly developed during those mornings as we got to know some of the people that would be our coworkers and fellow leaders after we graduated from university life and moved on to our careers.
All of the different aspects of the Leadership Summit came together into a fantastic experience. Over the course of just two days, we learned about some key trends in industry and education that will shape the future that we will step into after graduation. The variety of conversations we participated in also gave us a unique perspective on the ceramics community that cannot be easily gained at a technical conference. Our experience was one that we sincerely hope other undergraduate and graduate students will choose to share through participation in future Summits.
David Shahin is the council chair of ACerS’ President’s Council of Student Advisors at Missouri S&T. Chris Dosch is the recruitment chair of PCSA at the University of Florida.
(Editor’s note: We will be posting videos from the Summit over the next few weeks.)