Bobby Harl and Lee Leonard are ICC4-CLS student bloggers sponsored by scholarships from Wiley. Credit: ACerS.

You may have noticed that there are new posts by unfamiliar names—Bobby Harl and Lee Leonard. These two young men are attending the 4th International Congress on Ceramics including the 3rd Ceramic Leadership Summit in Chicago as student bloggers, thanks to scholarship support from ACerS’ publishing partner, Wiley.

Both are PhD candidates working on ceramic materials. Harl is at Vanderbilt working with Bridget Rogers working on combustion synthesis of nanosized oxides for radiation detection devices. Leonard is at the University of Tennessee Space Institute and working with Jacqueline Johnson on fluorozirconate glass-ceramics for medical imaging applications. (Being from Tennessee was not a scholarship requirement!)

Harl is working on an MBA degree concurrently and aspires to a career in industry. “I’m interested in working on technical projects and pushing technology to market,” he said in his interview. He also will be reporting on Tuesday’s Ceramic Leadership Summit, which focuses on entrepreneurship and issues related to converting research innovations into successful businesses.

Leonard brings 12 years of manufacturing experience to the meeting. Before entering graduate school, he worked as a project and tooling engineer at Walker Die Casting in Lewisburg, Tenn., where he led teams to keep the company one step ahead of the competition. He explained during his interview that there is a lot of foreign competition in the die casting industry and, to stay competitive, “You need to stay ahead of the technology and quality is very important.”

If you are here in Chicago with us, be sure to say hello to Lee and Bobby. If you are not here, we hope you enjoy reading their posts and experiencing the meeting through their eyes and ears.