The 4th International Conference on Ceramics (ICC4) began on Sunday at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers in Chicago, Illinois. The two main events for the first day were the opening ceremony and the welcome reception.
The opening ceremony featured many of the people that helped organize this event. Notable speakers included Katherine Faber, ICC4 president, Gary Messing, president of the ICF, and George Wicks, president of the American Ceramic Society.
Faber gave an overview of the conference events including presentations by scientists and engineers representing over forty countries, an interactive technology forum, and a dinner at the Art Institute of Chicago. She also thanked the sponsors of the event and also the technical programming committee.
Gary Messing gave insight to the audience about the beginnings of the conference. He explained that it began over eight years ago and was intended to focus on invited speakers that would assess the current state of ceramics, as well predict the future of this field of study. He also relayed that the host city for the conference was decided by competition and that Beijing China would host the fifth international conference in 2014. Messing would also speak in remembrance of Gian Nicola Babini, the second ICC president and the ICF president from 2006 until 2008.
George Wicks, president of the hosting ACerS, spoke briefly about his hopes for the conference. He wanted the conference to be not only intellectually stimulating, but to also be a time where scientists and engineers could interact with each other socially.
A preview of ICC5 was given. As stated previously, the conference will be held in Beijing, China. Beijing was host to the Olympics in 2008 and has many tourist attractions such as the Bird’s nest and the Water Cube.
Being at the end of their presidential terms, Faber and Messing passed their respective presidential medallions on to their successors. Faber presented the ICC medallion to a representative of incoming president, Longtu Li, who could not attend in person; Messing presented the ICF medallion to president-elect Ce-Wen Nan.
The ICC4 keynote address was given by Maxine Savitz. Savitz has had a distinguished career and is currently the vice-president of the National Academy of Engineering and serves on advisory boards for the Sandia National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She is also a member of the board of directors of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.
Savitz’s talk was titled “Material: An Enabler”. In the talk she spoke about the history of ceramics as an engineering material. She also detailed how the United States is currently fairing against other countries in terms of investment in research and patent applications. She also spoke about developments in nanotechnology. Savitz also responded to questions from the audience.
The welcome reception concluded the evening’s events. Attendees were treated to refreshments and live music from local blue guitarists Donna Herula and Tony Nardiello. The reception was a great way for guests to meet and interact with each other.