[Image above] Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain. Credit: Rick Ligthelm; Flickr CC BY 2.0

Summer school’s not too bad… especially when it’s in Madrid, Spain.

The European Ceramic Society hosted a summer school program June 17–19 in Madrid that focused on ceramic and glass science and technology—specifically, applications to bioceramics and bioglasses.

The Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation—a global partnership among organizations devoted to science, engineering, and technology of ceramics and glasses—sponsored four U.S. students to attend both the summer school and the ECerS XIV conference, which followed in Toledo, Spain.

Kathleen Richardson, ACerS president, and Charlie Spahr, ACerS executive director, attended the opening of the summer school program in Madrid. Jay Singh, ACerS president-elect, met with ECerS officers and members in Toledo at the conference.

“We are excited about the increased collaboration between ACerS and ECerS,” says Richardson. “The value to our respective societies, especially the networking opportunities it provides to our younger members, is very significant.”


Kathleen Richardson, ACerS president (pictured third from right) poses with ECerS summer school students and Carmen Baudin (fourth from right) and Charlie Spahr, ACerS executive director (third from left). Credit: ACerS

Francis Cambier, ECerS secretary general, said ECerS first organized a summer school program in June 2013 as a lead-up to the organization’s main conference and exhibition, and it was very successful. “And that success continued this year, thanks to the collaboration with ACerS,” Cambier adds.

This year, 67 students and 13 trainers participated in the three-day event.

“The ECerS conference and summer school is a life-changing experience for researchers at any stage of their career—it truly expands your horizons in ideas, collaborations, aspirations, and professional network,” says YuHao Liu, a student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, who attended this year’s event.

Matthias Agne, a student from Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pa.) who attended the summer school program this year, says it was an excellent opportunity to learn and network.

“With professionals in materials synthesis, processing, and bio-interaction, the school on bioceramics and bioglasses provided a platform for each attendee to learn something new and to network internationally,” says Agne.

La Pedriza

Matthias Agne, one of the students who attended the ECerS summer school program, had a chance to explore La Pedriza, a geological feature on the southern slopes of the Guadarrama mountain range near Madrid, during the program. Credit: Matthias Agne

Yangzi Xu, a first-year PhD student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, Mass.), was particularly interested in the presentations about ceramics and glasses for healthcare applications.

“That is most related to my research. I was impressed by the presentation that talked about the degradation of bioceramics: corrosion of hydroxyapatite and enamel,” says Xu.

For more information about ECerS, visit their website

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