Alfred University News

Alfred University engineering faculty, PhD students attend conference in Panama

Three faculty in the Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University accompanied a pair of PhD engineering students to Panama City, Panama, in April for the Pan American Ceramics Congress and Ferroelectrics Meeting of Americas (PACC-FMAs 2024).

Steven Tidrow, Inamori Professor of materials science and engineering, Doris Möncke, associate professor of glass science, and Myungkoo Kang, assistant professor of ceramic engineering, along with PhD students Grace Dunham (ceramic engineering) and Annika Blake Howland (glass engineering science) attended the conference, held April 6-13. The program consisted of twelve symposia, including “Advanced Ceramics and Composites,” “Science and Technology of Glass, Glass-Ceramics, and Optical Materials,” and ‘Ceramics and Materials Education and Careers in the Americas.”

On April 9, Dunham and Blake-Howland presented their cross-disciplinary research at the “Materials Approach to Art, Archaeology, and Architecture in the Americas” symposium.

The conference was exceedingly welcoming to undergraduate and graduate students, with students making up approximately a quarter of attendees. All 60 of these students in attendance were fully supported, including travel and accommodation expenses. Furthermore, there was a student-specific networking event and a series of career talks by established professionals with the opportunity for emerging professionals to ask questions and seek career guidance.

When not attending the conference, attendees had the opportunity to explore Panama City, hike in the nearby Metropolitan Natural Park, view the Panama Canal, and visit the many museums and historic sites in the area. PAAC-FMAs is a conference that occurs every other year, and we recommend students consider attending in the future. Students interested in attending the conference can email Annika Blake-Howland at or Professor Steven Tidrow at