[Image above] Corning’s 2018 Glass Summit drew hundreds of attendees from around the world to discuss glass science and innovation. Credit: Corning Incorporated

Editor’s note: This report comes to us from Brandon Saylor, marketing communications supervisor at Corning Incorporated. This is the third summit, held biennially. See CTT posts from 2014 and 2016 to learn about previous Summits.

by Brandon Saylor

Hundreds of scientists, researchers, technologists, and students gathered at Corning’s Headquarters building for the 2018 Glass Summit last month. Hosted by Corning, the Summit helps to build and strengthen Corning’s relationships with the academic glass community by stimulating a broader discussion among researchers in academia, funding agencies, and other stakeholders around fundamental glass science.

This year’s Summit aimed to leverage research in adjacent fields that can be applied to glass research, such as plasmonics, mechanical deformation, polymer science, geochemistry, and surface characterization.

“Collaboration fosters knowledge sharing and the utilization of new tools to help us identify areas of opportunity that will enable the next generation of ‘glass-centric’ innovations,” said Mike Pambianchi, research director, glass research, and Glass Summit program director. “Fifty universities, government agencies, and professional organizations were present for this year’s event.”

This year’s Summit focused on five research topics relevant to accelerating glass innovation: Optical Materials, Mechanics of Brittle Materials, Glass Transition & Relaxation, Glass Surfaces & Organic-Glass Interactions, and Structured/Complex Glasses.

“The Glass Summit highlights Corning’s dedication to research and development and supports a commitment to leadership in materials science,” said David Morse, executive vice president and chief technology officer. Morse encouraged participants to collaborate, communicate, and connect with one another. “We hope your conversations inspire new approaches to inorganic glass problems.

“This year’s theme – ‘Glass across Boundaries’ – emanated from a desire to expand the current thought process of what constitutes glass research into new fields of study,” said Pambianchi. “Many of the most successful Corning researchers, such as Donald Stookey and George Beall, joined the company after studying in adjacent fields to glass science.”

Looking back at her time at the conference, Irene Peterson, senior research associate, glass melting, said; “This conference gave me a more interdisciplinary perspective on my work. It was fascinating to learn how new experimental and modeling tools developed in adjacent fields can be used to study glass. The excellent combination of lectures and networking time led to many interesting and useful technical conversations.”

ACerS Fellow John Mauro, professor of materials science and engineering at Penn State (center), chats with attendees at Corning’s 2018 Glass Summit. Credit: Corning Incorporated

A new addition to this year’s Summit was a poster session focusing on academic research. Postdoctoral researchers, undergraduate, and graduate students presented on a variety of topics related to glass and materials science. This event created a unique opportunity for Corning employees to interact with promising researchers from leading universities across the country.

Closing the event was Dr. Chris Heckle, research director, inorganic materials research. Her discussion echoed the sentiments of the Glass Summit.

“We are dedicated to creating new businesses based upon materials science research. We focus on developing a fundamental understanding to drive technology forward by collaborating with selected external partners.” She continued by saying, “While forming collaborations we hope to provide industrial context for academic problems, support regional economic development, foster pipelines in core disciplines, and encourage revitalization of academic glass research.”

Credit: Corning Incorporated

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