[Image above] Credit: madamepsychosis; Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Once again, I find myself saying how quickly this year flew by.

This past year I’ve written and published 134 Ceramic Tech Today articles, curated 33 Ceramic and glass business news columns, and 26 Other materials stories columns.

So I hope you enjoy my favorite five posts: Flying personal airplanes, driverless cars, an interview with a centenarian, a chocolate-extruding 3D printer, and bio-bricks made from urine.

Video: We could someday fly our own aircraft

Going on vacation during my childhood meant traveling to destinations in my dad’s Cessna. This airplane intrigued me because it is powered by a battery and you don’t necessarily need a pilot’s license to fly it.







Did you ever wish you could fly your own small plane without getting your pilot’s license? Watch today’s video to see how close the future really is!

Video: Driverless cars hit the roads

Our new science writer, Lisa McDonald, has been writing some really interesting articles, and I especially liked her video post about driverless cars. Although I was a little reluctant to embrace this technology, I was relieved to know there is a live person at the wheel in case of failure.









The first self-driving taxi service launched in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, on December 5. Currently only previous focus group passengers can use the app, but it will eventually open to the public.

ACerS Fellow continues to learn at age 100

Talk about an interesting life and a remarkable career! It was such a pleasure to interview ACerS Fellow Ralph Rose, who turned 100 last year. I hope that if I am lucky enough to reach his age I will still have the energy and desire to keep learning.













ACerS Fellow Ralph Rose celebrated his 100th birthday in December 2017. He reflects on his life as one of hard work, family love, striving for education and the American dream, service to his community, and professional achievement.

Video: Engineering student creates 3-D printer that extrudes chocolate

I am impressed with inventors, especially those who can make me a chocolate vase or a chocolate love message. Engineering student Evan Weinstein’s innovative Cocoa Press was the perfect topic to write about on Valentine’s Day.







Today’s video features an engineering student who designed a 3D printer that makes chocolate confections. He envisions his printer as an entertainment device for weddings and other social gatherings.

Environmentally-friendly bio-bricks: Urine for a surprise

And finally, because a lot of gross science fascinates me, I leave you with this.

urine bricks









Researchers developed a method of creating bio-bricks from human urine. The process also offers by-products of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium that could be used as components in commercial fertilizers.

This is my last column for Ceramic Tech Today, as I will move into a new position at ACerS starting January 2019. I enjoyed writing for CTT because every day was an opportunity to exercise my brain, learn something new, and report on current research. Now, I’m looking forward to new challenges in my position as marketing manager.

Thank you for reading Ceramic Tech Today, and I wish you a wonderful holiday season!