Refractories Institute video, plus scholarships for undergrads, grads | The American Ceramic Society

Refractories Institute video, plus scholarships for undergrads, grads


Did you know that the word “refractory” means “durable, stubborn?” I learned that from the outstanding video “Taming the Flame” produced by The Refractories Institute. The eight-minute video provides a great overview of the sweeping role of refractories in critical manufacturing sectors, such as the metals processing industry, the glass and ceramic processing industry, the cement industry, the petrochemical industry, etc. As the video points out, these massive industries need a lot of heat and they’ve got to “control the fire” or “tame the flame,” hence, refractories. It goes on to show how refractories are made, the wide range of types of refractories and the engineering that goes into them.

The message is clear—when it comes to manufacturing, refractories are the behind-the-scenes enablers. And, if that’s true, then the unsung heroes of manufacturing are the refractory engineers—the men and women who can take heat and know how to handle it.

One mission of TRI is to attract materials engineering students to careers as refractory engineers. To this end, the member companies of TRI have an excellent academic scholarship program for the 2013-2014 academic year to support qualified students enrolled in degree programs who have shown an interest in the field of refractories through their course work or other activities, such as internships, research projects, class projects, etc., and who might be considering a career in the refractory industry.

TRI says it will award a limited number of $5,000 scholarship grants based on academic merit, demonstrated experience and applicants’ interest in the field of refractories. Institute officials say the final decision on awards will be made by the TRI Scholarship Committee and Board of Directors. (Previous TRI Scholarship recipients are not eligible for further consideration.)

Applications are sought from college undergraduate or graduate students who are enrolled full time for the 2013-2014 academic year in pursuit of an undergraduate or advanced degree in ceramic engineering, materials science or similar discipline. Interested individuals should submit a letter of application by March 8, 2013 with the following information:

  • A resume that includes at a minimum the applicant’s mailing address, daytime, phone, e-mail, school, major, grade point average, anticipated date of graduation, part-time or summer employment, awards and recognitions, and extra curricular activities.
  • A letter describing the applicant’s interest in the field of refractories, including courses taken, papers written, research projects, summer or part-time employment, co-ops or work study programs, and any other information that might inform the Scholarship Committee’s deliberations.
  • A letter of recommendation from one of the following: department chairman, faculty advisor, or a professor familiar with the candidate’s academic experience and achievements, and confirming the applicant’s interest in refractories.
  • A certified copy of the applicant’s academic transcript.

After March 8 deadline, the TRI Scholarship Committee will review the applications and may require telephone or personal interviews with applicants. Successful applicants will be notified, and scholarships awarded, in June 2013.

Completed applications must be submitted by mail or overnight delivery service to one of the following addresses:

The Refractories Institute (via mail):
P.O Box 8439, Pittsburgh, PA 15218


The Refractories Institute (via courier delivery)
325 Maple Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15218

For addition information, (412) 244-1880 or send an e-mail to