More than ever, researchers in academia, government, and industry settings are quickly evolving to respond to global challenges, while supporting and enhancing productivity of all in non-traditional work situations. Diversity in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) community has been well understood to enhance and further technological breakthroughs by a variety of measures, including improving creativity and productivity of teams, as well as individual performance, resulting in significant impacts across all sectors.

The purpose of this special topic symposium is to bring together researchers at all stages of their careers from different backgrounds, including women and underrepresented minorities (i.e. based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, and geographic location) to discuss issues at the forefront of ceramic science and engineering research related to retaining, supporting, and recognizing diversity in the ever-evolving workplace.

The special topic symposium will facilitate both technical and professional discussions to promote exchange of ideas essential to identifying emerging worldwide challenges in ceramic research and potential solutions, particularly related to enhancing diversity and participation in our technical community. Sessions will consist of a combination of individual presentations, panel, and roundtable discussions to maximize information exchange and dialogue among participants.

Proposed sessions

  • Fostering international partnerships to address global challenges facing the ceramics research community
  • Tech innovation at the vanguard of ceramic science and engineering
  • Methods and tools for fostering and retaining broad diversity in STEM
  • Case studies related to diversity, inclusion, and leadership
  • Supporting nontraditional students during education and in entering the workforce
  • Generational perspectives on employment and career paths in STEM
  • The power of mentorship
  • Strategies for work-life integration
  • Career mobility and networks
  • Flexible working practices in different sectors
  • Promoting creativity and out-of-the-box thinking across teams


  • Katalin Balázsi, Institute for Technical Physics and Materials Science, Centre for Energy Research, Hungary,
  • Valerie Wiesner, NASA Langley Research Center, USA,
  • Hui-suk Yun, Korea Institute of Materials Science (KIMS), Korea,
  • Jie Zhang, Institute of Metal Research, China,
  • Rosalia Poyato, Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Sevilla (CSIC-US), Spain
  • Kristin Breder, Saint-Gobain Research North America, USA
  • Theresa Davey, Tohoku University, Japan
  • Victoria Blair, CCDC Army Research Laboratory, USA
  • Miki Inada, Kyushu University, Japan
  • Lavina Backman, University of Virginia, USA
  • Giorgia Franchin, University of Padova, Italy
  • Jessica Krogstad, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA
  • Scott McCormack, University of California Davis, USA
  • Lisa Rueschhoff, Air Force Research Laboratory, USA