St. Louis Section of The American Ceramic Society was founded in 1965.

56th Annual St. Louis Section / Refractory Ceramics Division Symposium on Refractories postponed until September

As we indicated in our communication sent last week at this time, we have been monitoring daily guidance from WHO and CDC, as well as monitoring what’s going on with other meetings and large gatherings around the country. With a high emphasis in the near term for “social distancing,” as well as considering the fact some U.S. states are now restricting social gatherings to under 100 people, we are postponing the St. Louis Section and Refractory Ceramics Division Symposium on Refractories meeting until September 8-10, 2020. This is the week that our contracted hotel, the Hilton St. Louis Airport had available and was willing to switch to at no penalty to us. This date is tentative; we will provide additional information once available.

If you have submitted an abstract for this conference please know that the technical committee will contact authors separately to address submitted manuscripts and potential participation in the rescheduled symposium. If you want to reach out directly to let them know your availability, you can inform the co-chairs, Kelley Wilkerson ( and Jeff Smith (, if you will be unable to attend the new proposed date.

The hotel has agreed to cancel all reservations under the group code SAC. If you are able to attend the conference in September (once the date is confirmed), you will be able to rebook your room at the negotiated rate. Questions about your registration should be directed to Patty Smith (

We know this is a trying time for everyone and please know that we have made this decision to keep in mind the health and welfare of our staff and attendees.


Chair:  Chris Perry, Christy Refractories  314-773-7500

Vice Chair: Zach Hall, AluChem of Little Rock, 501-486-9106

Treasurer: Patty Smith, Missouri S & T, 573-341-6265

Secretary: Ed Reeves, 314-369-1833

Counselor: Kent Weisenstein, 636-479-7770

Meetings and Events
St. Louis Section/RCD 56th Annual Symposium: March 25-26, 2020

The St. Louis Section and the Refractory Ceramics Division (RCD) of The American Ceramic Society will sponsor the 56th Annual Symposium on Refractories on the theme “Properties and Performance of Refractory Ceramics – A Tribute to Richard C. Bradt on March 25-26, 2020 and a kickoff event (TBD) will held the evening of March 24, 2020. The meeting will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Hilton St. Louis Airport Hotel. Co-program chairs are Kelley Wilkerson and Jeff Smith of Missouri University of Science and Technology.  A partial list of presenters is below.

The Tabletop Expo format is the same as previous years, with each vendor having a 6-foot table to display products and literature. The charge is $300, which will be used to cover the cost of the Expo Hall and provide an open two hour bar during the “Meet and Greet” for the attendees prior to the dinner buffet on Wednesday evening. If you are interested in participating in the Tabletop Expo, contact Patty Smith at (573) 341-6265 or

Please note that a meeting of the ASTM International C-8 Committee on Refractories will be held on March 24th, before this joint St. Louis Section/RCD conference. Contact Melissa Marcinowski at for more information on this meeting.

The pre-registration fee of $225.00 or on-site registration fee of $275.00 ($125.00 for Emeritus/Seniors and $50.00 for students) includes the cost of your bound copy of the Symposium Technical Papers, Continental Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Coffee Breaks.

A block of rooms has been set aside for the evenings of March 23-27, 2020 at the Hilton (314) 426-5500. The rate is $115 a single or double. To receive the $115 rate mention the Group Name: St. Louis Section of The American Ceramic Society or Group Code: SAC when making your reservation. The web address to make online reservations is: :,WW,HILTONLINK,EN,DirectLink&fromId=HILTONLINKDIRECT

All hotel reservations must be received on or before February 22, 2020.

For further information please contact Patty Smith at tel: (573) 341-6265, Fax: (573) 341-2071 or email:

A partial list of presenters includes: “Increased Usage of Scientific Methodology for the Advancement of Refractory Technology”
Charles E. Semler
Refractories Consultant “Thermal Shock of Refractories: A Comprehensive Review”
Joseph Homeny
The Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation “Reflections on the Thermal Shock Fundamentals and Their Parameters”
Vânia R. Salvini (1), Richard C. Bradt (2)* and Victor C. Pandolfelli (1)
1 Federal University of São Carlos – Materials Engineering Department – GEMM – Via Washington Luiz, Km 235 – São Carlos, SP, Brazil; 2* In Memoriam – University of Alabama, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA “Derivation of Thermal Stress Parameters through Dimensional Analysis”
Jay J. Tu
HTMS, LLC “Sample Preparation, Thermal Expansion, and Hasselman’s Thermal Shock Parameters of Self-Flow Refractory Castables”
William L. Headrick, Jr.
Missouri Refractories Company “Let’s Make a Castable with Almost No Water – and No Cement. Use of Particle Packing Principles to Minimize Water Addition to Castables”
Bjørn Myhre
Elkem Silicon Materials “Corrosion Interaction between Copper Melt, Slags and Sic-Based Refractories”
Sarra Boubtane(1), Almuth Sax(2), Dieter Heumannskämper(3),Peter Quirmbach(4)
1 University of Applied Sciences, WesterWaldCampus, Höhr-Grenzhausen; 2 University of Koblenz-Landau,Chair of Technical Chemistry and Corrosion Science, Koblenz; 3 Morgan Molten Metal Systems GmbH,Berkatal-Frankenhain; 4 Deutsches Institutfuer Feuerfest und Keramik, Germany “Applications of Fiber Optic Sensors in Ceramic Industry”
Muhammad Roman and Jie Huang
Missouri University of Science and Technology “Machine Learning to Predict Refractory Corrosion during Nuclear Waste Vitrification”
Natalie Smith-Gray
Washington University in St. Louis “Stronger Is Not Always Better” and Other Lessons from Dick Bradt as Applied to Monolithic Refractories Development and Characterization”
Len Krietz “Investigation of the Solidification Behavior of an Industrial Mold Flux Film Using the Single Hot Thermocouple Technique”
Cassandra Hurley, Ronald J. O’Malley and Laura Bartlett
Missouri University of Science and Technology “Electrochemical Suppression for Steel-Flux Reduction-Oxidation Reactions between Silica and Aluminum”
Tiffany N. Wysong, Ronald J. O’Malley, Michael M. Moats and Jeffrey D. Smith
Missouri University of Science and Technology “Interactions between Molten Materials and Periclase/Periclase-Olivine Tundish Linings”
Tyler Richards, Jeffrey D. Smith, Ronald J. O’Malley and Todd Sander “Imerys’ Aluminosilicate Calcines- A Data-Based Comparison of Our Expanded Higher Alumina Range”
Scot Graddick, Cyrille Deteuf and Phil Edwards
Imerys RAC “Guyanese Bauxite Source Fills the Gap in the Alumina Raw Materials Line”
John Karson
First Bauxite, LLC

St. Louis Section/Refractory Ceramics Division 55th Annual Symposium of Refractories

The St. Louis Section and the Refractory Ceramics Division of The American Ceramic Society held its 55th Annual Symposium on Refractories on the theme “Shaped Refractories” on March 27-28, 2019 (click here)  to view the event program.   

St. Louis Section Holds Fall Meeting

The St. Louis Section of The American Ceramic Society held its fall meeting on Friday, November 2, 2018, at Matt’s Steakhouse in Rolla, MO.

The meeting began with a tour of Mo-Sci Corporation, a world leader in high-quality precision glass technology. Following networking and dinner, the featured speaker was Dr. Kathy Flores, Director of the Institute of Materials Science and Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.

St. Louis Section/RCD 54th Annual Symposium of Refractories:  March 20 – 22, 2018

The St. Louis Section and the Refractory Ceramics Division of The American Ceramic Society sponsored the 54th Annual Symposium on Refractories on the theme “Refractories for the Cement, Glass, and Minerals Manufacturing Industry” on March 21-22, 2018. View full program here. The meeting took place in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Hilton St. Louis Airport Hotel. Co-program chairs were Andrew Domann of Bucher Emhart Glass and Steven Ashlock of Kyanite Mining Corporation.

All ACerS Meetings


The Theodore J. Planje – St. Louis Refractories Award Winners

2019 Winner: Dr. Dana Goski, Ph.D., Allied Mineral Products, Inc.

2018 Winner: Nancy Bunt, Kerneos Aluminate Technologies

2017 Winner: Andreas Buhr, Almatis GmbH

2016 Winner: Bjørn Myhre, Elkem Silicon Materials

2015 Winner: Victor C. Pandolfelli, Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil

2014 Winner: Jeffrey D. Smith, Missouri University of Science and Technology

2013 Winner: J.P. Willi, Sunset Refractory Services, LLC

2012 Winner:  Rick Volk, UNI-REF, Inc.

2011 Winner: Rob Crolius – The Refractories Institute

2010 Winner: James L. Hill, Retired – ANH Refractories

2009 Winner: James W. Stendera, Vesuvius USA

Nomination deadline for 2020 Award: December 1, 2019

In December 1967, the St. Louis Section of The American Ceramic Society announced the establishment of  “The St. Louis Refractories Award.” This has been provided in Article XII of the by-laws of the St. Louis Section “for the purpose of recognizing and honoring distinguished achievement in the refractories field.”

In March 1982, the St. Louis Section voted to amend Article XII of the by-laws. The award was renamed “The Theodore J. Planje — St. Louis Refractories Award” in honor of his many contributions.

Nominations received after December 1, 2019 will be held for the following year. To request a nomination form, please contact Patty Smith at P: (573) 341-6265, F: (573) 341-6151.

ACerS Career Center

ACerS Meetings

Back to Sections