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Why attend the 4th International Congress on Ceramics and 3rd Ceramic Leadership Summit? ACerS executive director, Charlie Spahr, talks about the meeting program and special events coming up in July in Chicago.

“What’s in it for me?”

It is the timeless question asked by anyone thinking about investing in a product, experience or opportunity. In this video, ACerS executive director, Charlie Spahr, answers that question about ICC4-CLS on both the professional level and the personal level.

The Congress is a meeting at the crossroads of science, engineering, R&D and business. Spahr explains that this meeting is unique because, “it is designed to focus on the business of ceramics and glass, and speaks to the needs of the business leaders and decision makers in these fields.”

A meeting like this gives attendees a chance to gain the perspective of others who are part of the lab-to-production pipeline. It is a chance to get answers to questions, such as what products could be made if there were a material that could do “xyz,” what problems are out there that are uniquely solved by ceramics, where is the intersection between what is possible and what is practical?

The event is organized into eight themes that illustrate the breadth and depth of applications for ceramic materials. All of the presentations are invited and, because of the unique opportunity to speak to an audience comprising all sides of ceramic materials engineering, the meeting organizers are able to attract leaders like John Tracy from Boeing, Chi-Joon Choi from Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Gary Calabrese from Corning, Michael Holman from Lux Research and many more. The eight themes are:

• Aerospace;
• Biology and Medicine;
• Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Ceramics and Devices;
• Environment, Energy and Transportation;
• Infrastructure;
• Nanostructured Ceramics;
• Security and Strategic Materials; and
• Workforce Development.

The unique concerns of entrepreneurs are the topic of the 3rd Ceramic Leadership Summit, which builds on the success of the previous two CLS gatherings.

The long shadow of business and industry will be felt across the meeting not just by the speakers, but also by the exhibitors and sponsors. The ICC4 exhibit is on Monday and Tuesday evenings and will be held in conjunction with a new and innovative approach to the poster session, the Interactive Technology Forum. Spahr describes the ITF, which will use laptops, tablets, etc., as an update of the traditional poster session that will “not only improve the presentation of the posters, but the informational value as well.”

Exhibitors include manufacturers like ArcelorMittal USA; AVS Inc.; Centorr Vacuum Industries; Corning Inc.; Dynamic Dispersions LLC; Harper International, Laeis GmbH, MEL Chemicals Inc.; Powder Processing and Technology LLC; Swindell Dressler International and Zircar Ceramics. Publishers, without whom the dissemination of scientific research would be very difficult, also will be there and include Wiley and Elsevier. Alfred University and ACerS will be there to talk to visitors about education and what the Society has to offer.

A short course, “Sintering of Ceramics,” is offered on Friday and Saturday prior to the meeting for those who are new to ceramic processing, or who may want to freshen up some college basics. The instructor, Mohamed Rahaman is a professor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Chicago, "America's Third Coast," has much to offer ICC4-CLS attendees. The gala dinner will be in the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Beyond the technical sessions, the Congress organizers are taking advantage of being in the stunning city of Chicago and several of the special events showcase the unique culture of the city.

The opening reception that follows the opening keynote address by Maxine Savitz (Honeywell, retired) will feature the talents of local Chicago-style blues artist, Donna Herula. The Congress’ gala banquet will be held in the prize-winning, newly built Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. According to Spahr, the evening will include a private tour of the new wing for the ICC4 group (which includes those who register as guests).

In addition to the art museum tour, organizers have arranged for optional tours to Argonne National Laboratory and of the Illinois Institute of Technology campus. The Argonne tour will include the opportunity to see some of their very cool tools, like the Advanced Photon Source, and the lab’s Center for Nanoscale Materials. The IIT tour, in a nice complement to the art museum tour, will highlight the modern architecture styles of several campus buildings.

The city has so much to offer, and I’d recommend revisiting an earlier blog post where we plucked out a few. And, if you are wondering how to get around the city—maybe take in a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, for example—the online discounter, Groupon, is offering a 3-day CTA pass for only $9.00, a savings of five dollars. (The offer appears to be good through this Saturday.)

We will be reporting live on the event all week, and we are very pleased to have two graduate students working and blogging with us. It will be interesting get their perspectives and see how they see the future of ceramics shaping up.

Spahr extends a warm invitation to all in the engineered ceramics business, “We promise you a productive and enjoyable meeting.”

We look forward to seeing you there!