Alfred University News

Alfred University well represented at ACerS Glass and Optical Materials Division annual meeting

The Glass and Optical Materials Division (GOMD) of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) held its annual meeting May 19-23 in Las Vegas, NV, and Alfred University had a strong contingent in attendance.

Six faculty—five current and one emeritus—as well as a pair of graduate students gave invited talks and presentations. One of the graduate students, Amir Ashjari, was awarded for a poster competition, and an alumnus, Brian Topper, ’20 MS, was honored as recipient of GOMD’s 2024 Norbert J. Kreidl Award for Young Scholars.

The Kreidl Award is given in recognition of the best PhD thesis for the 2023-24 academic year; the work for which Topper is recognized is titled “Evolving the lever rule: The short-range configuration model and its application to zinc borate glasses.” As winner of the Kreidl Award, Topper, who earned a master’s in materials science and engineering from Alfred University in 2020, presented a lecture on May 21 during the GOMD annual meeting.

Topper, a post-doctoral fellow at Clemson University in Clemson, SC, received his PhD in optical science and engineering from the University of New Mexico in 2023. His application for the Kreidl Award focused on the glass science work he conducted under the mentorship of his master’s degree supervisor, Doris Möncke, associate professor of glass science in Alfred University’s Inamori School of Engineering. The work—titled “Zinc borate glasses: properties, structure and modelling of the composition-dependence of borate speciation”—was done in in collaboration with researchers in Corning, NY, and Greece, and started as a side project during Topper’s time at Alfred.

Topper and Möncke continue to work together, having published 11 papers together since 2021 with an additional manuscript currently under review. Their collaboration was recognized by ACerS in 2023 when they were co-recipients of the Varshneya-Mauro-Jain Guru-Chela Award at GOMD 2023. In 2021, Topper won the prestigious Oldfield Award from the Society of Glass Technology (SGT) for best taught master’s thesis. Topper’s thesis, on highly modified borate glasses, was written while he pursued his MS degree from Alfred University.

Möncke and Collin Wilkinson, assistant professor of glass science, chaired several technical sessions, while Möncke, Wilkinson, and Benjamin Moulton, assistant professor of glass science, all delivered invited talks.

 man speaking near podium
Collin Wilkinson, assistant professor of glass science in Alfred University’s Inamori School of Engineering, gives a talk during the annual meeting of the Glass and Optical Materials Division (GOMD) of the American Ceramic Society annual meeting held recently in Las Vegas.

Faculty from the Inamori School of Engineering making presentations were Myungkoo Kang, assistant professor of ceramic engineering, and Caio Bagato, assistant professor of ceramic engineering. Arun Varshneya, emeritus professor of glass science, also presented.

Ashjari gave a talk on a paper he wrote titled “Nonlinear Optical study of ITO nanocrystals embedded within aluminoborosilicate glass using Z-scan.” On the first day of the GOMD conference, Ashjari’s paper was accepted for publication by Optics Letters. Fellow graduate student Denize Saadatpour presented a talk titled “Modeling the Flow of Waste Glass in New York State.”

woman handing man a certificate
Michelle Korwin-Edson ’99, PhD ’04 (left), chair-elect of the Glass and Optical Materials Division (GOMD) of the American Ceramic Society (left) presents Alfred University graduate student Amir Ashjari, a PhD candidate in glass engineering science, with the third-place award he won during a poster competition held at the GOMD 2024 annual meeting in Las Vegas.

Ashjari took third place in the poster competition for graduate students with his entry, “Spectroscopy Study of Mn5+ in High Basicity Glasses: A Raman Resonance Effect.”