Current and Future Development in Ceramics - An Interview with The American Ceramic Society

AZoM conducted a series of interviews at the MS&T 07 trade exhibition in Detroit between September 17 and 18. Here's what one of the exhibitors had to say when asked about their latest developments, products and technologies.

Interviewee: Megan Mehan (M) and Jennifer Burnham (J), Marketing and Membership Services, The American Ceramic Society
Interviewer: Cameron Chai, AZoNano

AZoNano: This is Cameron Chai from and I’m reporting here from the MS&T Trade Show. And I’ve got with me now Megan Mehan and Jennifer Burnham from the American Ceramic Society. Welcome ladies.

American Ceramic Society (M): Hi, thanks for having us.

AZoNano: Pleasure. So how’s the trade show been going for you so far?

American Ceramic Society (M): I really think I came … and this is one of our best ever. We’ve had a great turn out. We’ve been doing some new things this year. We have our Section Q pub, the members have been hanging out every night, lots of action in our membership booth and really the presentations are top notch.

AZoNano: Great to hear that the event’s going so well and seems to be of such high quality. So just tell us quickly, for anybody who doesn’t know about the American Ceramicists, who are you and what do you do?

American Ceramic Society (M): Yeah, certainly. We’re basically a society that has been around nearly 110 years. We’re one of the oldest societies in the science world and we serve the ceramic engineers, scientists, academics and industry professionals.

AZoNano: So anybody who’s got any involvement in ceramics, that’s who you cater for?

American Ceramic Society (M): Exactly. Whether you’re working primarily in ceramics or you’re working with a material that you have some relation to ceramics, we probably have … actually, not probably, we have the most information out there on ceramics and glass in the industry.

AZoNano: And you cater for anybody from students through to professionals all the way through to retired professionals?

American Ceramic Society (M): Exactly. We’re about 50/50 with our younger members and our older members, and yeah we have everyone from engineers to students to those working on the floor in manufacturing.

AZoNano: Very good. So I understand there’s some new developments that you’ve had recently that you … new things you’re doing for the members?

American Ceramic Society (M): That is correct. Once of our new things is we’re rolling out our new website and it’s really exciting because was have a lot of online communities on there and we have really the latest up to date news on ceramics, right on our front home page that you can go on and look at things like …

American Ceramic Society (J): Electronics information, basic science information, nanotechnology.

American Ceramic Society (M): I was thinking biomedical, fuel cells. So pretty much we run the gamut of anything that ceramics can be related to.

AZoNano: So you think you’re a bit of a one stop shop for ceramics information?

American Ceramic Society (M): That is exactly true. We also have the number one in the world cited journals in ceramic materials.

AZoNano: And that would be which journal?

American Ceramic Society (J): The Journal of the American Ceramic Society and the Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology.

AZoNano: And they’ve been going for how long now?

American Ceramic Society (J): The Journal of the American Ceramic Society has been going on since the 1900s.

American Ceramic Society (M): I’ll tell you one thing about the journals that’s really great too. It really gives those who need to publish and would like to get published, really an outlet for that and we have some of the top professionals in the industry right now that are publishing in our journals. And the journals themselves, if you wanted to buy them, would cost more than $1,200, but if you’re a member, you get free online access back to 1912. So that’s quite a ways back.

AZoNano: Sounds like a pretty comprehensive membership package then.

American Ceramic Society (M): Yes, I believe so. And I think really too, Cameron, one of the best things about our membership is really the networking opportunities that we offer through meetings, our online communities, and I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me just during this conference and say, you know what, I solved three problems just by coming here that I was working on a year, but I was able to sit and chat with other people that were members and we were able to do some idea sharing and problem solving.

AZoNano: It sounds like you’ve really developed your website to cater for the evolving internet market with all the communities that you speak about and things like that?

American Ceramic Society (M): Oh definitely. We’re about 30% international too. So we’re all over the world and our international base is growing every day.

AZoNano: Very good. Alright Jennifer, you mentioned before that you’ve got some new products that you’ve got coming online as well?

American Ceramic Society (M): Yes. We just launched our new phase equilibria diagrams online, so they’re now available by going out to the web. So it’s easily searchable for the diagrams that folks need and updates will be more frequent than they have been in the past. So it’s based on a subscription service so you can have flexible pricing options. So if you only need one diagram, you only pay one price. If you want a one year subscription, you can have a one year subscription with unlimited access to the diagrams. So it’s really a convenient way for folks to access the diagrams. It’s a flexible pricing plan and we think it’s a really great way for folks to get the information that they need from the phase diagram programme.

AZoNano: Are the phase diagrams are all fairly up to date, the latest in systems and ..?

American Ceramic Society (J): Yes, that’s right. We have over 20,000 diagrams that are available on line and you can … we will be updating the diagrams approximately every three months with new information as it comes out.

AZoNano: Sounds to me like a lot easier way than going to the library and looking for them and searching them out in great volumes that I used to do back when I was a student.

American Ceramic Society (J): Sure, yeah. We hope that this will be much more easy. You know, you have access 24/7, 365, so it’s a great way for people to access the information they need anytime, anywhere, anyplace.

American Ceramic Society (M): Cameron, you mentioned students, and that made me just think really quick that another thing that we have coming out is a really great career and job search site on our web where students and professionals can post their resumes, they search for jobs, companies can come in, post, and it’s a real career centre. It’s more than just tacking up a few jobs and students looking at those or professionals looking at those. So we’re getting a great response from that.

AZoNano: Is that service only available to members?

American Ceramic Society (M): It’s available to everyone but it’s free to members.

AZoNano: Very good. Though, just speaking about upcoming meetings and things like that, you’ve got some conferences coming up that you’re organising?

American Ceramic Society (M): Yes, we do. Our next conference is in Daytona Beach at the end of January. It’s the 32nd International Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites. This meeting is really well attended meeting by our members. There’s a lot of sharing of ideas and information that goes on here and it’s a real exciting programme. And more information can be found on our website about the symposia topics, if you to you can find the information that you need about the conference there. Then following that we have another meeting at the end of February and that is the Materials Innovations in an Emerging Hydrogen Economy. That conference is going to explore all the issues related to a hydrogen economy. And such issues of facing production, safety, leakage detection, storage. So those sorts of things will be discussed at this meeting as well. So I think we’ve got two really exciting meetings coming up in early 2008 and more information about those can be found on our website.

AZoNano: A hydrogen event. That sounds particularly topical.

American Ceramic Society (M): Yeah, ah-ha. I think it’ll be really exciting. We have some top speakers lined up for this event and it’ll be an opportunity to discuss the future of hydrogen in our society and hopefully there will be a lot of sharing of ideas and discussions on solving the issues that face the folks that are working on getting hydrogen into our economy.

AZoNano: Fantastic. Alright Jennifer and Megan. Thanks very much for spending a few minutes with us and we hope that the rest of the show goes well for you and I look forward perhaps to attending future MS&T shows and some maybe some American Society events in the future.

American Ceramic Society (J): Great, thank you. Thanks for having us.

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