GOMD keeps momentum going at Madison, Wis., meeting | The American Ceramic Society

GOMD keeps momentum going at Madison, Wis., meeting


[Image above] Matthew Dejneka from Corning Incorporated delivers the Darshana and Arun Varshneya Frontiers in Glass Technology award lecture at GOMD in Madison, Wis. Credit: ACerS

More than 360 glass scientists, engineers, and students attended ACerS Glass and Optical Materials Division technical conference and annual business meeting in Madison, Wis., the week of May 22. Selected images are below and on Flickr.

“We have a lot of momentum now,” according to Division chair Randy Youngman. “We’ve benefited from working with Reinhard Conradt in Aachen,” he said, referring to the two-year joint meeting with the German Glass Society (DGG). DGG hosted the 2014 joint meeting in Aachen, Germany, and GOMD hosted it last year in Miami, Fla.

The international flavor of the meeting carried into Madison, with attendees from 24 countries. France, Germany, China, Brazil, and Japan sent the largest number of participants.

Students were a big part of the story—nearly 100 were there—about 90% graduate students to 10% undergraduates. This has to be a good sign for the glass research community!

The technical program comprised of 18 sessions distributed through five symposia. The breakout sessions stimulated many discussions that spilled out into the coffee breaks. Monday evening’s poster session gave students the opportunity to showcase their results and get advice from experts in the field.

Two of the symposia recognized extraordinary leaders in the field—a bioglass symposium dedicated to the late Larry Hench and a Festschrift in honor of Donald Uhlmann.

In his tribute to Hench, Delbert Day, Curator’s Professor Emeritus of Ceramic Engineering at Missouri S&T, said, “What an achievement—Taking science and engineering and putting it together to develop a material that has affected the lives of millions of people worldwide.” Hench, as many know, discovered the first, and still most effective, bioreactive glass. Julian Jones from Imperial College in the U.K. noted, “Nobody’s found anything that works better.” Today, more than one million people worldwide have benefited from NovaBone, which contains the bioglass Hench discovered.

The Uhlmann Festschrift was a joyous reunion that brought together former students from MIT, University of Arizona, and colleagues from industry and labs. Attendees gained a visual appreciation for the magnitude of the impact of Uhlmann’s career by seeing the large number of former students whom Uhlmann advised from both institutions.

The two special symposia intersected when Uhlmann gave a lovely tribute to Hench, recounting the friendship that developed between their respective families and decades of adventures they had had at conferences and elsewhere. He even brought a show-and-tell alligator skin briefcase from Spain that each man had purchased while at a conference. Uhlmann’s bag was in perfect condition and still in its original box, because, he said, “It turned out to be only big enough to hold a piece of paper!” (Exaggerating maybe just a little.)

Wednesday evening’s conference dinner featured awards for student poster presenters. The highlight of the evening came when the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids presented its Neville F. Mott Award to Richard Brow, Curator’s Professor of Ceramic Engineering (and former ACerS president) at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Brow was the first to receive the award in about 10 years, which recognizes a senior scientist for significant contributions to glass science.

This year’s plenary award lectures were very good and on topics highly relevant to glass science. For example, Matteo Ciccotti, in his Darshana and Arun Varshneya Frontiers in Glass Science lecture, described atomic force microscopy characterization of crack velocity and shed new light on the vexing problem of stress corrosion. Ciccotti explained the importance of the branch of science, saying “It’s very important to understand brittleness—a major limitation of a very good material.”

Lan Li from Juejun Hu’s research group at MIT showed what the future could look like during her Norbert Kreidl award lecture with her talk on flexible photonics. She, too, addressed the issue of brittleness in chalcogenide glasses that will form the basis for some very interesting futuristic devices. Her approach is to place the ChG on the neutral axis within polymeric films.

David Griscom, Hellmut Eckert, and Matthew Dejneka—also award winners—gave excellent lectures, too.

Next year GOMD will be May 21–26, 2017, held in conjunction with the Pacific Rim meeting in Waikoloa, Hawaii. Time to start thinking about the abstract that needs to go to Hawaii!


Richard Brow (center) receives the Neville F. Mott award from the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids. From left: Edgar Zanotto, Joseph Zwanziger, Brow, B.G. Potter, and Karine van Wetering. Credit: ACerS


Students from Steve Martin’s group at Iowa State University celebrated “the amorphous life” at the GOMD banquet. Martin is second from left in the front row. Credit: ACerS.


Carlo Pantano, B.G. Potter, Marcia Stout, Julian Jones, and Mark Mecklenborg after the banquet. Stout and Mecklenborg are ACerS staff members. Credit: ACerS


GOMD chair Randy Youngman served as banquet master of ceremonies. Credit: ACerS


The Division organized a career round robin for students to learn about careers in academia, industry, and national labs. Credit: ACerS


Mario Affitigato, editor of the International Journal of Applied Glass Science, conducted a “lunch and learn” for students on scientific publishing. Credit: ACerS