Alfred University News

Alfred University well represented at SGT Annual Conference in Cambridge, UK

A group of Alfred University faculty and students attended the annual meeting of the Society of Glass Technology, held September 4 to 6 in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

The SGT annual meeting included several sessions, covering topics such as fundamentals in glass science, architectural glass, sustainability, and art and history.

Collin Wilkinson, assistant professor for glass engineering sciences in Alfred University’s Inamori School of Engineering, was program co-chair for the session on sustainability, during which Gabrielle Gaustad ’04, dean of the Inamori School of Engineering, presented an invited talk titled “Glass sustainability: Challenges and opportunities at end of life.”

Gaustad’s talk focused on with a current project on glass recycling at Alfred University funded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Lucas Greiner, an Alfred University graduate student in glass science engineering, supervised by Doris Möncke, associate professor of glass science, presented his research on glass sinks from fertilizer to foam glass, a study that is also part of the DEC recycling project. This paper was co-authored by two undergraduate students—Po Shen, Juan Cerdan-Diaz—who participated in the 2023 Summer Research Institute. The students conducted research with William LaCourse, professor of glass science emeritus.

Alastair Cormack, emeritus professor of ceramic engineering, former dean of the Inamori School of Engineering, and editor-in-chief of Physics and Chemistry of Glass, the SGT journal, also presented an invited talk, titled MD Simulations of Crystalline Silica and Soda-Lime-Silica Glass and Melt Interfaces.”

Möncke contributed to the Adrian Wright Memorial session, dedicated to Professor Adrian Wright (Reading University), who had close ties to Alfred University. Wright presented the 2006 Scholes Lecture hosted by Alfred University, and visited the campus several times, including during a sabbatical in 1991-92. Wright was the Ph. D. supervisor of Alfred University’s current chair of Glass Engineering Science, Alix Clare.

Wilkinson and Cormack presented during the fundamental glass sessions and chaired various sessions. Wyatt Kiff, a senior glass science engineering major who participated in the undergraduate research program during the summer of 2023, presented his model on ion diffusion in metaphosphate glasses, a project supervised by Wilkinson.

Jennifer Hunt ’22 M.S. attended the conference on the invitation of the Society of Glass Technology for winning first place in the 2022 Oldfield Award competition for the best taught master’s thesis. Hunt earned her master’s degree in materials science and engineering at Alfred University in 2022 while working full-time at Corning Incorporated, where she is an optics scientist.

The SGT-sponsored Oldfield Award honors excellence in students’ undergraduate project theses and taught master’s theses. It is open to students in the United Kingdom—where the Society of Glass Technology is based—and international students from around the globe.

Hunt’s master’s thesis—On the structure of lithium and strontium borate glasses modified with yttrium and rare-earth cations investigated by vibrational spectroscopy—compared the structure (using IR and Raman spectroscopy) and properties for a series magnesium- and barium-alumosilicate glasses. Corning supported her degree at Alfred University, for which she studied aluminosilicate glasses under the supervision of Möncke.

A second presentation given by Greiner, this time in the art and history session, won him the David Martlew Memorial Prize. The prize was presented during the annual meeting banquet, which was overseen by current SGT president Dr. Arun Varshneya, Alfred University emeritus professor of glass science.

Greiner, who hopes to graduate with a master’s degree in glass science by the end of this year, presented his research on lead-free Aventurine glass. The project—co-authored with Charles Bellows ’16 (a glass science engineering Ph. D. student of Dr. Clare) and Darren Stohr ’92 (ceramic engineering), Ph. D. ’06 (ceramic engineering), scanning electron microscopist in the Inamori School of Engineering—is reflective of the high intersectionality of Alfred’s art and engineering programs, combining techniques from the glass art Hot Shop and modern sciences such as scanning electron microscopy.