MS&T14 (October 12–16 in Pittsburgh, Pa.) is not only the Super Bowl of materials science, but also the site of ACerS 116th Annual Meeting, during which the Society will honor its awards class of 2014. That class includes four lecturers who will explore innovations in and the expanded sustainability of advanced ceramics; the enigmas of borate glasses and crystals; new demands for high-performance optical fibers; and a single analytical framework for examining brittle fracture strength. In the weeks leading up to the meeting, we preview these award lectures—four not to miss at MS&T14.

robert_cook_125x148Brittle materials like ceramics fail fast—and with little warning.

Typically, scientists have studied the load-bearing reliability of ceramic components at three different length scales (macro-scale, micro-scale, and nano-scale) in three fundamentally different ways. What if there were a way to examine all three using a single framework?

Robert Cook, Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Gaithersburg, Md.) has developed such a framework and will explore how it binds the three phenomena that control strength during ACerS Robert B. Sosman Lecture, Wednesday, October 15 at 1 p.m., in Room 316 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. (Read more about the award here.)

Four reasons to come

  1. You work with brittle materials or ceramic components.
  2. You’re curious about this single analytical framework and want to know more.
  3. You’re a high performer, and so are the ceramic components with which you work.
  4. You’ve already attended the other three ACerS award lectures and have never not finished something you’ve started!


Four facts about the lecturer

  1. Cook is the former leader of NIST’s nanomechanical properties group and deputy chief of the ceramics division.
  2. His primary field of research is the mechanical properties of materials, especially fracture. He has received the Department of Commerce Silver and Bronze medals for his research on nanoparticles and scanning probe microscopy.
  3. Cook’s authored more than 160 archival publications and holds 14 patents. 
  4. Cook is the former chair of the Basic Science Division and a former Director. He’s also an ACerS Fellow and the 1999 recipient of the Richard M. Fulrath Award. 

Four things to remember

  1. Who—Robert Cook, National Institute of Standards and Technology
  2. What—ACerS Robert B. Sosman Lecture
  3. When/Where—Wednesday, October 15 at 1 p.m., Room 316 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
  4. Why—See “Four reasons to come” (and see you there!)

Registered for MS&T14? Review the technical program or use our premeeting planner to prepare for your week in the Steel City. For those who have yet to register for MS&T14, what are you waiting for? Head here to secure your spot now.

For the latest MS&T news, including updates through the week of the meeting, find us on Facebook, Twitter (use #matsci14), Google+, and LinkedIn.