Edgar Lara-Curzio questions John Tracy after his lenary talk Monday. Credit: Bobby Harl, ACerS.

Welcome to the second installment of this student’s perspective on the ICC4 conference. Today was the first full day of the conference full of exciting material. The inspiration for today’s talks was driven by the all-star lineup provided by the ACerS organization team, to whom everyone at ICC4 owes a large thank you. Notably, the talks this morning by Gary Calabrese, Byeong Cheon Koh and John Tracy really set to tone of what we, as researchers, can and should strive to accomplish to affect the lives of the common person through technological advancement. The products produced by Corning, Samsung and Boeing, respectively, all make a huge impact on the lives of everyone at this conference, and likely all of you readers. As a young technologist, I thank all of you gentlemen for the insight and inspiration you provided today.

Apart from the conference, both Lee Leonard and I were invited to a dinner young professionals and future leaders, and I’d like to comment on it due to the success of the event. Kudos to Megan Bricker, as she spearheaded this effort and her commitment truly shined through. The dinner was intended to provide a platform to interact and create camaraderie among the young business leaders in the ceramics technology sector. While I’m still a graduate student, the opportunity to discuss the challenges facing young leaders in the world of ceramics in this context was unique and challenging, both technically and organizationally.

The dinner was held at Gino’s East, one of the Chicago pizza establishments. Whether or not Gino’s is the best is highly debated, and if you want to delve deeper into the banter about the issue be my guest to Google the best pizza in Chicago. While no expert, I have to say from where I’m sitting it was a great place to have a slice of pie. If you make your way there, be sure to leave your mark on the walls as a few of us did. Don’t worry; it is encouraged, as long as you keep your unique markings constrained to the walls.

Over the course of the meal I was able to talk with individuals from the US, China and Colombia, all with their unique perspectives about what was important to them and what companies they saw as major players in the ceramics world. The disagreement was more interesting than the agreement, depending on which side of the looking glass you peer from. I was impressed with the constructive nature of the discussions at the table, never turning hostile. I don’t attribute it specifically to the beer, but I’m sure it helped to lubricate the process overall. Of course, the larger than life Spiderman jumping around on pogo sticks could have broken the ice in the group, but now it seems a moot point.

Tomorrow is another day filled with exciting talk of the frontiers of the ceramics world including the Ceramic Leadership Summitt, a particularly exciting event held by the ACerS. Tune in again!

Young professionals and leaders dinner. Credit: Bobby Harl, ACerS.