UK chapter meeting attendees listen to speaker

[Image above] Credit: Alba Maria Matas Adams; Imperial College London

It’s always exciting to hear about new initiatives at the Society.

About 40% of ACerS members claim non-U.S. addresses, but ACerS didn’t have a way for those members to meet one another, network, and learn from each other. The Society has wanted to find a way to formalize its presence abroad in regions where there are sufficient members. 

We are pleased to report that the first international chapter of The American Ceramic Society is now official! ACerS’ United Kingdom chapter held its first meeting on March 15, 2017, at the Department of Materials at Imperial College London.

Eugenio Zapata-Solvas, chapter chair, welcomed 55 attendees representing academia and industry from the U.K. Members traveled from areas as close as London and Oxford and from as far away as St. Andrews, Scotland.

Bill Lee, ACerS president, explained how the U.K. chapter serves ACerS members living in the U.K. and that the chapter will not compete with other ceramic societies.

UK chapter members networking

Researchers, industry professionals, and students network at the U.K. chapter meeting. Credit: Alba Maria Matas Adams; Imperial College London

Zapata-Solvas was impressed with the number of students who turned out for the meeting. “It was remarkable, the interest of young graduates and undergraduates, as they represented around one-third of the audience,” he recalled in his report on the meeting. “It could be considered a perfectly balanced mix of experienced researchers, industry people, early-career researchers, and students.”

A mix of top quality speakers and topics

The half-day meeting included top researchers from academia and business—speaking on subjects ranging from cements, bioactive glasses, sintering, and emerging nanomaterials to corporate collaboration with academia, the effects of Brexit on ceramic manufacturing, and the benefits ACerS offers for students seeking career opportunities. You can read more details about the speakers’ topics on the U.K. Chapter page.

“I think the most remarkable aspects of the meeting were the high quality of the speakers and the fact that nearly half of the meeting attendants were coming from different points all over the U.K.,” Zapata-Solvas wrote in a recent email. “It was really delightful seeing people from the ceramic community all over the U.K. interacting.”

What’s in store for the future of the U.K. chapter?

Although subsequent meeting dates have yet to be confirmed, Zapata-Solvas said the chapter plans future events. One idea is the possibility of a visit to an industry “to enhance the interaction between early-career researchers and industrialists” or a “workshop focused on an emerging field of ceramic materials.”

From the number of attendees who came out to the inaugural meeting to the quality of speakers, topics, and future events in the works, it looks like the U.K. chapter is poised for success.

Are you a ceramics professional living in the U.K.? An ACerS membership provides opportunities for networking, collaborating, and leadership development. Check out the membership page and join today—it will be the best investment you can make in your professional development!