Mengyi Wang, University of California, Los Angeles
Mengyi Wang is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Physics of AmoRphous and Inorganic Solids Laboratory (PARISlab) at the University of California, Los Angeles – she is the 2015-2016 Glass Age Scholar. Wang was selected for her academic research proposal, which spanned multiple areas of interest to the glass science industry, as part of Corning’s Glass Age Scholarship Program. She will be working collaboratively with Corning Incorporated scientists and UCLA engineers to continue research in glass science and highlight the importance of research at the academic level.
Wang first became interested in glass while riding on high-speed trains. "I was amazed by the ability of rail windshield glasses to withstand potential moderate impact damage while the train traveled at high speeds,” she said. Her interest continued to evolve during her undergraduate work studying materials science and engineering. After being introduced to Corning’s “A Day Made of Glass” video in one of her glass courses as an undergraduate student, Wang’s curiosity eventually led her to pursue a Ph.D. focusing on the material. She said she is continually amazed by the atomistic nature of glass.
During this year-long research project, Wang will work with Corning scientists as well as glass science professionals at UCLA. Her research project involves creating modeling techniques and gathering results for chemical durability and mechanical processing of borosilicate glasses. “She’s helping us to better understand the design for glass compositions, which is critical for building models and understanding our glasses,” said Wang’s program advisor, John Mauro, senior research manager of Glass Research at Corning. One aspect of Wang’s project focuses on testing the dissolution rates of oxide compositions as they come into contact with water and other solutions.
Wang said she is thankful for the opportunity to conduct research that will benefit the glass industry as well as work with a company such as Corning that values the fundamentals of research and glass science. Her advisor, Mauro, said she has been a delight to work with, citing her creativity, productivity, and positive attitude as the essential traits of a Corning scientist.
Once she has completed her PhD studies, Wang said she hopes to continue working in glass simulations. While unsure as to whether this work will be in the glass industry or academia, Wang believes simulations can be very powerful tools to understand the structure of glasses down to an atomic level, leading researchers to identify “useful” glass compositions.
Wang will present a portion of her research project to the glass science community during the Glass Summit, hosted by Corning, from June 1 to 3.
The Glass Age Scholarship was awarded to one student at the collegiate level, providing an opportunity to work closely with Corning scientists on a research project to help guide academic glass science research.
Students were required to propose a research project highlighting one of twelve topics important for enabling future advances in glass science and engineering – as cited by an article authored by Corning scientists on the need to continue glass science education and academic research.
The goal of the scholarship is to encourage students studying glass science to begin to conduct work in the areas most important to the glass science industry. By doing so, students will gain a solid foundation to prepare “well for a future career in industrial glass research, product or/process development, or manufacturing.”