Wolfram Höland is retired and currently works as a consultant for Ivoclar Vivadent Ltd. He studied chemistry at the University of Jena, Germany and continued his studies there to obtain the following degrees: Diploma in Chemistry, 1974, Dissertation (Dr. rer. nat.), 1978 and Habilitation (Dr. rer. nat. habil.), 1986.
His diploma and dissertation theses were focused on kinetics in the area of solid-state chemical reactions and he wrote computer programs in machine language. The content of the habilitation thesis was the development of different types of glass-ceramics from technical to medical application. He submitted several patent applications through 1986. He was appointed as professor in the field of glass chemistry by the University of Jena, gave lectures, and continued his research in this field through 1991.
His main research activity in the industry at Ivoclar Ltd. and later at Ivoclar Vivadent Ltd, Schaan, Liechtenstein, was fundamental and applied research to develop dental biomaterials from 1991 through 2016. The majority of publications and patent applications were issued during this time. His main interest was, is and will be the research to discover new unexpected findings in chemistry and material science and to apply them to useful products, especially for the benefit of humanity. He worked in the R&D team as head of department of glass chemistry and ceramics (1993-2003) and head of department of inorganic chemistry, technical fundamentals (2003-2016).
In parallel to his industrial research, he had the opportunity to lecture at Universities in Switzerland. He was giving lectures at “Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule”, ETH, Zürich, Switzerland, in Material Science from 1995 through 2001 and in Inorganic Chemistry from 2003 through 2018. Further, he lectured Material Science at the University of Applied Science, Buchs, SG, Switzerland from 1998 through 2012. This time of lecturing was a very creative and inspiring time, with close contacts to the young generation and to well recognized scientists.
With the beginning of kinetic studies, his main research activities were focused on the development of glass-ceramics for technical and medical applications as biomaterials. The combination of different properties within one specific material was the greatest challenge. Therefore, it was necessary to design the chemistry of the base glasses and to study fundamentals of nucleation and crystallization in these glasses. The outcome was a large portfolio of various products with different combinations of properties.
Dr. Höland focused his research activities also on ceramic, glass and composite developments and processing technologies for both ceramics and glass-ceramics. A close international collaboration was developed to work successfully in all these areas.
167 scientific publications were submitted with members of his teams (and collaborators worldwide). The three editions of the textbook “Glass-ceramic technology” (2002, 2012 and 2019), published by ACerS and Wiley and Sons, USA, have the most important impact of all these publications. These books are a result of close collaboration with George H. Beall, USA. They started this work in 1995 end exchanged during this time up to 2019 more than 10,000 electronic mails, documents and letters.
Based on his work as co-organizer of symposia, e.g. on nucleation and crystallization in 2000, he was co-author of conference books. From 2010 through 2016 he also worked as co-author of E-books.
During his research work in teams at universities and in the industry, he filed 83 families of patents. Each family of a patent contains applications in different countries, including the USA.
His most important non-ACerS awards are the Friedrich-Wöhler Prize of the German Chemical Society in 1985, and the W.E.S. Turner Award of the International Commission on Glass (ICG) in 2009. In addition to these awards, he received Certificates of Appreciation during international conferences in the USA and Japan.
Non-ACerS awards and certificates of appreciation are based on the success of research results and the work in the international society. The International commission on glass, ICG, deserves special mention. He is a council member in the ICG and he has represented (together with another scientist) the Principality of Liechtenstein since 1994. Within ICG, he worked as chairman of TC 07 (glass-ceramics) from 1996 through 2004, and as vice-chairman of TC 04 (biomaterials) from 2009 through 2017. In 2008, he was co-chairman of the Efonga conference of the ICG and invited leading scientists from different counties, including the USA, to take part at this conference in Brig, Switzerland. All these ICG activities gave him the opportunity to build close relationships with the personalities of ACerS.
He is currently a member of the Glass and Optical Materials Division (GOMD), and the Bioceramics Division of ACerS. His highest office in the Society is his ongoing engagement as Associate Editor of the International Journal of Applied Glass Science (IJAGS) of ACerS. This is a demanding but also a dignified job for the Society. The same holds true for his work as member and chairman of the Jeppson award committee of ACerS from 2013 through 2015. In 2018, he received the Stookey Lecture of Discovery Award of GOMD. He also received a certificate in recognition of having served as symposium organizer at the 104th Annual Meeting in 2002.
A lot of creativity and organizational work was also necessary to prepare and hold conferences. He worked as co-organizer of the Norbert Kreidl Symposium in 1994 and co-organizer of a symposium at the 104th Annual ACerS conference in 2002. He is also active as a reviewer of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society.
Contributing to Festschrifts (e.g. to D. Day and to A. Varshneya), by giving lectures to honor the personalities of the ACerS, has always been a great honor and a pleasure for him. It was with great enthusiasm that he accepted invitations to ACerS conferences and gave numerous lectures, especially the 1st ceramic conference in Toronto, CA, and a tutorial lecture during the 2010 GOMD meeting.
In 2016, he started his retirement as co-author of the third edition of the textbook: “Glass-ceramic technology”, Wiley and ACerS, USA. The main focus of this edition was a fundamental and detailed explanation of multifold nucleation and crystallization reactions in glass-ceramics. This important finding could be applied to biomaterials for dental restoration and technical products.
The continuation of his lecture activity at ETH Zürich during his retirement from 2018 to the beginning of 2019 was important to him. He likes to communicate with young students to encourage them on their way to scientists with the knowledge of fundamental chemistry and applied research.
Since 2016, he works mainly as a consultant for Ivoclar Vivadent Ltd., Liechtenstein and also for Inficon Ltd. Balzers, Liechtenstein. He helps teams and board members in the area of ceramics and support them in the successful transfer of current and historical experience and knowledge. Additionally, he is a current member of the advisory board of the medical-science faculty of the Private University, UFL, Liechtenstein. In addition to lectures for students, this university also provides public information on the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the moment it is particularly important to him to enjoy life with his family, wife and two daughters, especially in nature.