The Northern California Section serves ACerS members who reside or work in the following counties of California: Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, and Yolo.

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Section Officers

Chair:  Scott McCormack, University of California, Davis

Counselors: Sylvia Johnson and James Shackelford

If you would like to contact any of the Northern California Section officers, visit the ACerS online membership directory for contact details. You must be a member to access the directory. Or contact Vicki Evans at for assistance.

Meetings and Activities

ACerS Northern California Section and Germany Chapter co-hosted webinar, Science and Art of Glass on December 13, 2022

Members of the Northern California Section and the Germany Chapter enjoyed presentations from German glass artist Joach Ittig and Northern California glass artist Mark Abildgaard on December 13, 2022.

The presentations can be viewed at this link.

Northern California Section hosts inaugural in person event

The Northern California Section hosted its first in person event on Friday, April 29, 2022. Section members enjoyed the "A Life in Clay" exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California followed by dinner at Peony Seafood Restaurant.

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Cropped Peony
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ACerS President Beth Dickey virtually visits Northern California Section

The Northern California Section welcomed ACerS President Beth Dickey on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. The event pivoted to virtual due to illness. Dickey presented "Point Defect Migration in Metal Oxides".

Section Chair Scott McCormack participates in new Ceramic Tech Chat episode!

Hosted by ACerS Bulletin editors, Ceramic Tech Chat talks with ACerS members to learn about their unique and personal stories of how they found their way to careers in ceramics.


Finding the way that you learn best can help you to achieve goals that may once have seemed out of reach. In this episode, Scott McCormack, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the University of California, Davis, discusses how he overcame learning challenges during his elementary school years, how he helps his own students learn the sometimes scary topic of thermodynamics, and his experience setting up a university research program as a young professor.

ACerS Northern California pilots Young Professional Series

The Northern California Section of ACerS continued its weekly Young Professionals Seminar series in May. The series has been designed to showcase the work of academic and industrial young professionals to the Northern California community.

Presentations were virtual with 30 minutes of content and 15 minutes of questions and answers.

ACerS President Dr. Dana Goski virtually visited the Northern California section and UC Davis MSE Department

The Northern California Section of ACerS welcomed ACerS President Dr. Dana Goski for two virtual events on February 23.

Dr. Goski and section members participated in a meet and greet discussion and exchanged ideas and plans for the Northern California Section.

Following the Section meet and greet, Dr. Goski's presented "Beyond Special Dirt", which was a personal perspective on the world of commercial refractories development: challenges, innovation and visioneering of these industrial materials.

Glass and Ceramics Arts Webinar hosted by Northern California Section

On December 8, ACerS Northern California Section continued to offer relevant programming with an interactive online showcase featuring Therese Lahaie, David Head and Smith Levi who shared their stories of art, glass and ceramics. The webinar can be viewed at this link.  

Therese Lahaie

As an artist, Therese has used light and technology to reveal the nature of glass as a medium for expressing solace as well as danger. Her glass research spans from the micro view, making photogram studies of life inside the bubbles, to the macro view, projecting video through architectural glass. She uses glass as a reflective and refractive canvas with techniques of projecting, slumping, scouring, painting, polishing, printing, breaking, and motorizing it

Therese Lahaie

Almost 10 years ago, she returned from a trip to Dia Beacon, NY energized by the unexpected impact of scale in the minimalist sculpture installed there, and was driven to infuse her work with similar qualities. Ever since, she has been expanding her use of LED technology to construct light environments.

Therese Lahaie has sculptural work in the permanent collections of the Crocker Art Museum, California, Corning Museum of Glass Contemporary Collection, New York, the DiRosa Collection, California, and the Glassmuseet Ebeltoft, Denmark. She has been an artist in residence at the Kala Art Institute in California and had three honorary fellowships at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program in California.

Lahaie has a degree in glass sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art  and a B.A. in Fine Art from Emmanuel College in Boston, MA. She is the 2015 award winner of the LuciteLux Just Imagine award for her public art project Crossing Signal Mosaic in Emeryville, CA.

She lives and works at the 45th Artist Cooperative  in Emeryville, CA, where she is working on getting solar panels installed on the cooperatives live/work buildings.

David Head

David Head is a Certified Principal Engineer supporting optical hardware for flight and space applications at Lockheed Martin. He has over 30 years experience in a career which has spanned lasers, biomedical devices, injection molding, lenses and astronomical telescopes. Dave has over twenty patents and numerous publications.

David Head

Dave's time spent working with lasers gave him an appreciation for dielectric mirrors which he now incorporates into his sculptures. Work and training exposed him to tools and techniques for machining which he has evolved by building a small home shop. The combination of coated optics, metal working skills and a love of mobiles has fueled his artistic endeavors to create robust and beautiful kinetic works that are truly unique.

The discussion will briefly cover the optics of multilayer dielectric mirrors and how they are incorporated into kinetic sculptures. Dave will also show a novel design for a jeweled bearing used in one of his sculptures. Dave will show a number of sculptures that have been on display or presented in galleries. One of his works was on display in the skylight at the Nashville International Airport concourse.

Smith Levi

Smith Levi Is a designer and metal fabricator currently working as lead shop technician for Glassybaby in Seattle, WA. Levi was immersed in the glass community from a young age as the child of glass artist, David Levi.

In 2012, Levi started working with metal building bicycle frames under the brand name RatKing Frames. Their interest in mechanical systems and fabrication has expanded into work in the hot shop.

Smith Levi

In the past year, Levi has reimagined what glassblowing can be in the age of the Coronavirus by engineering pneumatic systems that remove the need for glassblowers to put their lips on a pipe. These pneumatic systems have been implemented as standard operating procedure for the Glassybaby factories and have afforded safe operation since their return to work in May 2020.

ACerS Webinar produced by Northern California Section 

"Bay Area Materials Science Start Ups Showcase"

On October 9, 2020, the Northern California Section of ACerS once again offered relevant programming with an interactive online showcase of start up companies actively using materials science to build innovative products. Three Bay Area (Silicon Valley) start up companies shared their stories of launching new companies and developing products. A link to the recording of the presentation can be found here.

Tandem PV
Chris Eberspacher, Co-founder and Managing Director
Solar is the future of electricity. Consumers – residential, commercial and industrial – want cheap, reliable, preferably clean electrical power; and in many cases solar photovoltaics (PV) is the lowest-cost, most easily installed option. But traditional PV technology is approaching its efficiency limits, and traditional PV manufacturing is capital intensive. A new class of materials – metal-halide perovskites – provides a pathway to higher sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiencies and lower scaling costs. Tandem PV is developing perovskite PV technology that can operate in tandem with traditional silicon PV to provide higher efficiencies, lower electricity costs and lower capacity scaling costs by leveraging rather than competing with the existing Si PV infrastructure.

Imprint Energy
Christine Ho, Co-founder and CEO
Printed, solid-state batteries are here now, making them the perfect fit for an expanding range of high-volume, ‘next-generation’ Internet of Things devices and applications. Thinness, flexibility, safety, disposability and customizability give product designers new freedom. This talk will showcase both the technology and cool applications like logistics smart tags and medical patches.

Bagaveev Corporation
Nadir Bagaveyev, CEO and Chief Designer
Bagaveev Corporation is focused on the colonization of Earth's orbit with large habitats and scientific and commercial stations. The firm is currently working on designing and building a reusable single stage to orbit rocket. Bagaveev Corporation is studying into ceramics research as a way to create an ultralight reusable heat shield for orbital re-entry and is seeking partners in industry, government and academia to expedite R&D in high temperature materials, 3D printable and sprayable ceramics, transpiration and film cooling of ceramic surfaces.

Frontiers of Ceramics for Next Generation Lithium Batteries Webinar

Sponsored by MSE Supplies, LLC

The Northern California Section of ACerS held its inaugural event on July 14. Over 100 participants listened to three of the leaders in the lithium battery field present key information about the next generation lithium batteries. Topics discussed included advances in engineered cathode, anode and solid electrolyte materials for both lithium ion batteries and solid-state lithium batteries.

The webinar has been posted at this link.

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The Northern California Section would like to thank the sponsor of this webinar, MSE Supplies LLC.