The Washington DC/Maryland/Virgina Section of The American Ceramic Society encompasses the following areas:

Washington DC: All eight wards

Maryland Counties: Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Queen Annes, Saint Marys, Somerset, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester

Virginia Counties: Accomack, Albemarle, Alleghany, Amelia, Amherst, Appomattox, Arlington, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Bland, Botetourt, Brunswick, Buchanan, Buckingham, Campbell, Caroline, Carroll, Charles City, Charlotte, Chesterfield, Clarke, Craig, Culpeper, Cumberland, Dickenson, Dinwiddie, Essex, Fairfax, Fauquier, Floyd, Fluvanna, Franklin, Frederick, Giles, Gloucester, Goochland, Grayson, Greene, Greensville, Halifax, Hanover, Henrico, Henry, Highland, Isle Of Wight, James City, King And Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Lee, Loudoun, Louisa, Lunenburg, Madison, Mathews, Mecklenburg, Middlesex, Montgomery, Nelson, New Kent, Northampton, Northumberland, Nottoway, Orange, Page, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Prince George, Prince William, Pulaski, Rappahannock, Richmond, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Russell, Scott, Shenandoah, Smyth, Southampton, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Surry, Sussex, Tazewell, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland, Wise, Wythe, York


Section Officers:

Chair: Sepideh Akhbarifar, Catholic University of America

Secretary: Evan Schwind, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division

DEI Officer: Keith Bowman, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

If you would like to contact any of the Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia 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.

All ACerS Meetings

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Washington DC/Northern Virginia/Maryland Section Presents: Student Spotlight: Investigation of Perovskite Refractories for Preventing Metal-Mold Reactions in Titanium Metallurgy

NEW DATE: March 30, 2023

10:00 a.m.

Presented by Sharon Uwanyuze

Register for free at this link.

Refractory ceramics for metallurgical applications have to withstand severe corrosion and thermomechanical stresses. During investment casting of titanium alloys, metal-mold reactions occur with most conventional refractories. Unfortunately, such reactions impair the knock-out removal process of the cast part, cause detrimental changes in the alloy microstructure, and limit near-net-shape casting. I will discuss different approaches that are taken to mitigate these reactions, and focus specifically on improving ceramic mold materials. For example, I will show results from my research work how an advanced perovskite refractory, strontium zirconate, is a very promising mold material for preventing metal-mold reactions with Ti6Al4V compared to conventional alumina-based molds. I will also present how we developed a robust and relatively uncomplicated procedure to predict and examine the liquid-solid and solid-solid interactions between the titanium alloys and refractory ceramics of interest. Mitigating metal-mold reactions is important for saving time and costs associated with the mechanical or chemical removal of the reaction layers.

Sharon Uwanyuze

Sharon Uwanyuze

Sharon Uwanyuze is currently finishing up her PhD in Materials Engineering, where her research has been on understanding the role of material composition in high-temperature reactions between ceramic oxide molds and titanium alloys during melting and casting.

She is fascinated by the interconnectedness of the structure-processing-properties-performance paradigm of materials, and she seeks to learn and apply her findings to various fields. Sharon worked as an R&D Intern at Reno Refractories Inc., and a Corrosion Intern at Oak Ridge National Lab. She is now searching for full time jobs that require ceramics and non-ferrous metallurgy expertise.

Outside the lab, Sharon serves as the President of the UConn Grad Black STEM, a peer-learning community of graduate students that seeks to increase the number of culturally responsible Black scientists who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.

Washington DC/Northern Virginia/Maryland Section volunteers judge for national Future City competition 

Future City is a STEM competition for middle school students to create a sustainable city of the future. ACerS and the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation sponsor two awards at the national level, best use of ceramics and best use of glass. Winners are announced below.

Best Use of Ceramics in Technology and for Sustainability
City Name: Flambe Bay
Team Members: Isabel Bitonio, Vivaan Daxini, Rishika Gautham, Siyona Kher, Grace Lin, Alina Liu, Nithin, Mahesh Chakravarthy, and Yuan Xing, all from Stratford Middle School, Northern Califorrnia (pictured at left below)

Best Use of Glass in Technology and for Sustainability
City Name: Keal Grünestadt
Team Members: Kyle Tedrick, Larkin Baker, Ash Hill and Elliott Showers, all from St. Clair Jr High School, Missouri (pictured at right below)

Congratulations to these innovative young students!

Best Use of Glass in Technology and for Sustainability WashDC Section crop
Best Use of Ceramics in Technology and for Sustainability Wash DC section crop

Washington DC/Northern Virginia/Maryland All Section Meeting minutes and notes from August 19, 2022

The Washington DC/Northern Virginia/Maryland All Section Meeting was August 19, 2022. The Executive Committee reviewed the proposed By Laws changes. The new ByLaws can be reviewed at this link.

The Executive Committee has asked the section membership to review these changes and respond by September 6, 2022. No responses were received and the By-Laws have been accepted. Questions and comments should be directed to Victoria Blair at or to ACerS staff liaison, Karen McCurdy at

Click this link for the complete meeting minutes. Please note these discussion topics from the all section meeting:

  • The officer nomination process will now be a rolling nomination process until all positions through the end of the year.
  • The D & I Representative has been added to the leadership roster.
  • A Meet and Greet Social Networking Event at the National Mall is being planned.
  • Thesis Thursdays has been rebranded Student Spotlight. Presentations will be ad hoc. This is a good opportunity for section students to practice their presentations. A Google form will soon be posted on the webpage for presentation submissions. Student Spotlight presenters can receive a free GGRN membership!
  • The section is looking for champions within specific organizations that can help with outreach on a local level. for the section within the geographic area. For example, a POC at specific organizations that can help advertise to the local level. We welcome feedback from these champions about how best to serve their organization.

Section awards MS&T conference registraitons

Congratulations to University of Virginia PhD students Clark Luckhardt and Mackenzie Ridley for being awarded MS &T conference registrations by the Washington DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia Section.


Washington DC/Northern Virginia/Maryland Section hosted meet and greet

The section gathered virtually on June 16, 2021. The Meet and Greet was an opportunity to network and share ideas until in person meetings can begin again.

Washington DC/Northern Virginia/Maryland Section hosts networking event in conjunction with Material Advantage Congressional Visits Day

The Washington DC/Northern Virginia/Maryland section hosted a virtual networking event on Thursday, April 22 as part of the Congressional Visits Day. CVD is an opportunity for MA students to educate Congress about the importance of research in material sciences, engineering, and manufacturing. 
The networking event was followed by a presentation by Dr. Eric Van Gieson, DARPA, Advances in Personal Protection (PPE) Strategies and Technologies, sponsored by ASM International.