CORNING, N.Y. – Hundreds of scientists, researchers, technologists, and students gathered at Corning’s Headquarters building for the 2018 Glass Summit last month. The Summit helps to build and strengthen Corning’s relationships with the academic glass community by stimulating a broader discussion among researchers in academia, funding agencies, and other stakeholders around fundamental glass science.
“The Glass Summit highlights Corning’s dedication to research and development and supports a commitment to leadership in materials science,” said David Morse, executive vice president and chief technology officer. Morse encouraged participants to collaborate, communicate, and connect with one another; “We hope your conversations inspire new approaches to inorganic glass problems."
“Interdisciplinary collaboration fosters knowledge sharing and gives us new tools to identify areas of opportunity that will enable the next generation of 'glass-centric' innovations,” said Mike Pambianchi, research director, Glass Research, and Glass Summit program director. “Fifty universities, government agencies, and professional organizations were represented at this year’s event.”
The Summit aimed to leverage research and development in adjacent fields that can be applied to glass research; such as plasmonics, mechanical deformation, polymer science, geochemistry, and surface characterization.
“The goal is simple,” said Gary Calabrese, senior vice president, Glass Research, “we want to leverage research in adjacent fields and apply it to the work we are doing at Corning. We need scientists from diverse backgrounds to look at the problems in glass from their perspective and find solutions.”
“This year’s theme – ‘Glass across Boundaries’ – emanated from a desire to expand the current view of what constitutes glass research into new fields of study,” said Pambianchi. “Many of the most successful Corning researchers, such as Donald Stookey and George Beall, joined the company after studying in adjacent fields to glass science.”
Looking back at her time at the conference, Irene Peterson, senior research associate, Glass Melting, said; “This conference gave me a more interdisciplinary perspective on my work. It was fascinating to learn how new experimental and modeling tools developed in adjacent fields can be used to study glass. The excellent combination of lectures and networking time led to many interesting and useful technical conversations.”
2018 marks the third time Corning has hosted the biennial Glass Summit. The first Summit took place in 2014 and addressed problems facing the glass science and technology community and articulated research areas of significant interest to the industry. In 2016, Corning proposed a vision for the future of glass technologies by exploring emerging applications.
A new addition to this year’s Summit was a poster session focusing on academic research. Post-doctoral researchers, undergraduate, and graduate students presented on a variety of topics related to glass and materials science. This event created a unique opportunity for Corning employees to interact with promising researchers from leading universities across the country early in their careers.
Closing the event was Dr. Chris Heckle, research director, Inorganic Materials Research. Her discussion echoed the sentiments of the Glass Summit.
“We are dedicated to creating new businesses based upon materials science research. We focus on developing a fundamental understanding to drive technology forward by collaborating with selected external partners,” said Chris. She continued; “While forming collaborations we hope to provide industrial context for academic problems, support regional economic development, foster pipelines in core disciplines, and encourage revitalization of academic glass research.”