Alfred University News

Professors LaCourse, Sundaram to give plenary talk at Conference on Glass Problems

Alfred University engineering faculty William LaCourse, retired professor of glass science, and S.K. Sundaram, Inamori Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, will present a joint plenary lecture at the upcoming 84th annual Conference on Glass Problems in Columbus, OH.

The Conference is being held Nov. 6-8 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. LaCourse and Sundaram will present their plenary talk—titled “Multi-Forehearth Rapid Homogenization Production”—on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 9 a.m.

The lecture proposes a novel multi-forehearth approach that will enable production of multiple glass compositions instead of single composition in the plant, thus increasing productivity and reducing the carbon footprint of the glass manufacturing, as outlined in a paper co-authored by Manoj Choudhary, Dan Swiler, and Alastair Cormack. Swiler is an associate researcher in Alfred University’s Inamori School of Engineering; Cormack is emeritus professor of ceramic engineering at Alfred University. Manoj Choudhary is a renowned glass scientist and an adjunct professor of materials science and engineering at The Ohio State University.

LaCourse served as Kruson Distinguished Professor of Glass Science in Alfred University’s Inamori School of Engineering before retiring in 2021. He currently serves as glass research professor, advising graduate and undergraduate thesis research, and as director of the Paul Vickers Gardner Glass Center in the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.

He received a B.S. in Engineering Science (1966) and a M.S. in Materials Engineering (1967) from SUNY, Stony Brook, and his Ph.D. in Materials Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1970). He has received several awards, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Teaching and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Research. He has been a member the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) Glass and Optical Materials Division (GOMD) since 1970 and is an ACerS Fellow.

In addition to serving as Inamori Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Sundaram also serves as professor of engineering innovation in Alfred University’s College of Business at Alfred University, working on teaching, research, and undergraduate/graduate education supporting glass science and engineering education since 2011.

Sundaram received his doctoral degree from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994 and Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007. He has won numerous awards and recognitions, including R&D 100 awards in 2001, 2006, 2008, and 2010; a Federal Consortium for Technology Transfer award in 2011; Teaching Excellence Awards from Alfred University in 2019-20; and the D. T. Rankin Award in 2015.

He is a fellow of ACerS, as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Society for Glass Technology (SGT), and the American Society of Metals (ASM). He is the Program Director for the Glass Problems Conference, for which he has served as a member of the Advisory Board since 2011.