The PACRIM 10 and GOMD annual meeting offer an unparalleled opportunity to network with like-minded researchers from around the globe. Here, PACRIM 8 attendee, John Mauro, from the United States, confers with Yuanzheng Yue, from Denmark.

It is almost April 24th.

Why, you ask, is that important?

April 24th is the “Early Bird” deadline for the 10th Pacific Rim Conference on Ceramic and Glass Technology and the Glass and Optical Materials Division annual meeting that will take place June 2-7, 2013, in San Diego, Calif.

Why, you may well ask again, is that important? Good question.

For an answer, I called PACRIM 10 organizer, H.T. Lin, leader of the ceramic science and technology group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

“Energy and environment are the biggest challenges to society—to every society, not just the United States, but across the globe,” Lin says. “For this PACRIM, we asked, ‘In what ways can we as ceramic scientists—as materials scientists—help society improve the environment? What technology can we develop to meet the energy needs and help create a clean and zero-emission environment?'”

According to Lin, the PACRIM 10 conference will be a forum to exchange ideas and progress on ceramics R&D to meet current and future challenges in energy, environment, and human health. It also facilitates establishing new contacts with peers from different continents.

Building on 2009’s PACRIM 8 in Vancouver with the same theme, Lin says the meeting topics for the June conference combine fundamental science with theoretical modeling for applications, focusing on ways functional ceramics help solve energy and environmental challenges, and will have sessions including functional ceramics, structural ceramics, methods, and characterization.

With 24 symposia and more than 1,000 abstracts submitted, the technical program offers comprehensive coverage of energy, environmental, and related health technologies.

Many of the symposia focus on specific energy or environment topics, such as ceramics and glass for solid oxide fuel cells, thermoelectrics, photovoltaics, nuclear energy, photocatalysis, and energy storage. There are also symposia on “environmental impact” as it relates to the manufacture of ceramics, with sessions on novel and “green” approaches to manufacturing, ceramics for pollution control, and low-temperature biomimetic synthesis.

Tying in to the ideas promoted by the Materials Genome Initiative and modeling and simulation to drive materials development, Lin turned to Wai-Yim Ching at the University of Missouri-Kansas City to organize a symposium titled, “Ceramics by Genome.”

Lin had his organizers focus on applications, even in the context of modeling and simulation. He says, “In the beginning stage of materials design, you know your application environment criteria from the beginning. You have a target there so you know what parameters you are designing to, and you will not waste lots of time to repeat the process to optimize the properties to achieve the application target.”

The meeting opens with a plenary session, and the four speakers’ talks on energy will provide a framework for the rest of the meeting. The speakers are Jeffrey Wadsworth, Battelle Memorial Institute; Hong-Kyu Park, LG Chem Battery R&D, Korea; Tomoyoshi Motohiro, Toyota Central R&D, Japan; and M.K. Badrinarayan, Corning Inc.

A quick review of the plenary topics and technical program shows that this PACRIM is designed to focus on functional ceramics for specific applications. Combined with the large international participation that is expected, Lin says, “Right now there is a lot of globalization in terms of research and development. This is the best place for [researchers on all] continents to come together, to get to know each other, to begin to work together”

The “Let’s focus on applications” approach appealed to corporate sponsors of the conference. United States sponsors include Corning Inc. and Battelle Memorial Institute. Reflecting the strong Asian participation and global reach of the conference, sponsors also include the Three Circle Group, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, and Northwestern Polytechnical University from China; UBE Industries (Japan); and Geniatech and Duckseong Green Tech (Korea). Sponsor support also is being provided by ACerS International Journal of Applied Glass Science and the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids.

In addition to the PACRIM conference, the ACerS Glass and Optical Materials Division will be holding its annual meeting at the same time. There is not a separate registration fee—one registration effectively gains admission to two world-class meetings.

The GOMD’s traditional line-up of award lectures promises to be as stimulating as ever, and this year includes a new award lecture, the Darshana and Arun Varshneya Frontiers of Glass Science Lecture. Walter Kob from the University of Montpellier, France, has the honor of delivering the inaugural lecture.

I’ll have more on the GOMD annual meeting and its events in a separate post.

The PACRIM/GOMD meeting will be held at the Hotel Del Coronado. The cutoff date for the conference rate is May 3, 2013.

Finally, Lin offers one more reason to be in San Diego this June—”Come to see me!” he says with a laugh.