Xin Li, University of California, Los Angeles
Glass is an extraordinary material. With a slight change to its elemental composition, you can drastically change the material’s characteristics to be more damage resistant or flexible among other things. Here at Corning, we’re continually exploring the properties of glass and are excited to see where glass science leads us in the future.
Just as glass is comprised of a variety of elements, glass science research is as well – with one of those key elements being academic glass science research. To build awareness of glass science in academia, Corning invites graduate students to apply for its Glass Age Scholarship, which involves conducting a year-long glass science research project aimed at advancing the field in topics especially relevant to industrial glasses.
In her third year of undergraduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Xin Li has had a love affair with glass since first discovering its use in architecture.
“I feel as if glass buildings express both a sense of high-tech and modernism,” said Li. “But I was also curious about how to balance the aesthetic of glass with its performance – why is glass the only building material that is not only transparent but provides the structural strength architects desire?”
Li’s interest in glass’s role in architecture steered her to take her first materials science course where she began to analyze the material at an atomic level, growing her desire to understand the myriad properties inherent in glass just by simply changing its composition. Li’s curiosity and passion has led her to be named the 2017-2018 Glass Age Scholar.
“I was very excited to hear I was named the Glass Age Scholar and thankful for the opportunity,” said Li. “Glass is a very versatile and reliable material. We can drastically change the properties of the material just by altering the composition or the way it’s produced, and I’m looking forward to beginning this project.”
Li’s interest in the versatility of glass paired with her curiosity in atomic structures inspired her to study civil engineering at UCLA. As a member of UCLA’s PARISlab, Li works on computation simulations on the atomic level, trying to better understand the structural analysis of glass relaxation. She’ll be carrying this research focus over into her work as the Glass Age Scholar.
For this year-long research project, Li will work at UCLA with mentoring from Corning Incorporated scientists, exploring glass relaxation and its compositional dependence.
“I will be working with aluminosilicate glass, which is the display glass used on mobile devices and other displays,” said Li. “By using modeling and simulation techniques, I will try to predict the optimal glass composition to handle glass relaxation.”