AU Press Releases

Symposium to honor David Pye, Alfred University alumnus, emeritus professor and dean, as ‘visionary’ in glass science

L. David Pye

L. David Pye

A symposium at the annual meeting of the Glass and Optical Materials Division of the American Ceramics Society, planned for May 20-24, 2018, in San Antonio, TX, will honor L. David Pye, emeritus professor of glass science, emeritus dean of the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, and an alumnus of the University.

The symposium is being organized by Alfred University alumna Dr. Kathleen Richardson, ’82 BS, ’88 MS, ’92 Ph.D, who is now a professor of optics and materials science and engineering at the University of Central Florida; Dr. Arun Varshneya, emeritus professor of glass science at  Alfred University and a long-time colleague of Pye’s; and Edgar Zanotto, a materials engineer and professor at the Federal University of Sao Carlos (UFSCar) in Brazil, and also a long-time friend of Pye’s.

“For more than five decades, Professor L. David Pye has been a visionary leader whose passion to link the global activities of academia and industry in glass science, technology, and research has been an inspiration to many,” organizers said in their proposal. “These activities have led to an elevation of glass within the field of materials science and engineering and have resulted in long-standing initiatives that remain in place today.”

By bringing together those affected by Pye’s vision – students, faculty,  researchers and industry partners – the organizers say they will “celebrate the long-standing vision, creativity, leadership and mentorship” generated by Pye’s leadership.

The symposium will include invited and contributed talks on topics including nuclear waste storage in vitreous materials; rare earth doped materials; optical glass; fundamentals of glass science and engineering; industry-university initiatives and art glass.

The deadline for submitting abstracts in Nov. 24. Submissions may be made online at

A 1959 graduate of the School of Engineering at Alfred University, Pye began his career as a glass researcher at Bausch and Lomb in Rochester. He returned to Alfred University to earn a Ph.D. in ceramic science in 1968, and joined the faculty the same year.

He was the founder of the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Industry-University Center for Glass Research at Alfred University, the first industry-university partnership center established by the NSF. He served as dean of the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University for a five-year term, 1995-2000, and led the College’s centennial celebration.

As member of the Alfred University faculty for 34 years,  he advised and mentored many graduate and undergraduate students. He is a recipient of the New York State Chancellor’s Award for Scholarship and Creativity, the U.S. Phoenix Award for Glassman of the Year, and the ASEE Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Pye, a former president of the American Ceramics Society (ACerS), 2007-08, is a distinguished life member of ACerS; an honorary member of the German Society of Glass Technology; an honorary fellow of the British Society of Glass Technology; and a recipient of the International Congress on Glass President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

He is a founding member of the board of trustees of the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation, and founding editor of the International Journal of Applied Glass Science.

In retirement, Pye has become a glass artist.