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Society/Division/Section/Chapter News

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ACerS and USACA partner on hypersonic materials training program

On Jan. 8, 2024, the Department of Defense Cornerstone Consortium under the DOD Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment program and the National Imperative for Industrial Skills initiative awarded The American Ceramic Society a contract to develop a sustainable, targeted, workforce training program on the science and engineering of materials for hypersonic applications.

illustration of hypersonic vehicle

An artist’s rendering of a hypersonic vehicle. Credit: NASA



The program will focus on ultrahigh-temperature ceramic materials, ceramic matrix composites, and, where used in combination with advanced ceramics, carbon/carbon composites, refractory metals, and cermets. Subject matter experts will develop full-day tutorial sessions for delivery in environments compliant with International Traffic in Arms Regulations, as well as half-day tutorial sessions for delivery over an online distance learning platform.

“ACerS has a long tradition of supporting the ceramic and glass industry with continuing education. This program will allow the Society to extend its valuable skills training to those working in the hypersonics industry,” says Mark Mecklenborg, ACerS executive director.

The American Ceramic Society, a 501(c)(3) professional organization, will partner with the United States Advanced Ceramics Association (USACA), a 501(c)(6) trade association, on the effort.

“This ACerS–USACA partnership fills a critical knowledge gap for engineers, designers, technicians, and allied personnel working with these materials,” says Ken Wetzel, USACA executive director.

The first course under this program took place at the Composites, Materials & Systems Conference in St. Augustine, Fla., on Jan. 21, 2024. Purdue University professor and ACerS Fellow Rodney Trice taught the one-day short course. A second one-day, in-person course will take place at the NSMMS/CRASTE conference on June 28, 2024, in Madison, Wisc. Two half-day virtual courses on ceramic-based materials for extreme environment applications are in development.

Questions about the program can be directed to Amanda Engen, ACerS director of communications and workforce development, at

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Call for 2024–2026 EPDC co-chair

The Education and Professional Development Council (EPDC) is the central location for exchanging ideas between education and professional development organizations within ACerS. The EPDC co-chairs serve as a resource for organizing events throughout ACerS, including the development of new initiatives. The EPDC co-chairs operate on a two-year term, with staggered elections.

ACerS members who have interest or experience with education or professional development initiatives are encouraged to apply. To review the position details and apply, visit The deadline to complete the nomination form is Wednesday, May 8, 2024. Contact Yolanda Natividad at with any questions.

Dayton/Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Section hosts lecture on superconductors at the University of Cincinnati

On Feb. 16, 2024, the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Cincinnati hosted Michael Sumption, professor of materials science and engineering at The Ohio State University, who gave a lecture on recent developments in the field of superconductors.

Sumption explained how superconductors have potential in sustainable energy applications, such as to create magnetic fields for tokamaks and high-energy accelerators. He shed light on current advancements in Type II superconductors, including both A15 compounds and high-temperature superconductors. His main focus, however, was on engineering nanoscale precipitates in internally oxidized Nb3Sn superconductors to optimize the material’s flux pinning centers.

Sumption Speaking

Michael Sumption’s seminar on Feb. 16, 2024, focused on recent advances in high-temperature superconductors.

Sumption with Prof Donglu Shi

Michael Sumption, right, with University of Cincinnati professor Donglu Shi and graduate students after the seminar.

Michael Sumption, right, with University of Cincinnati professor Donglu Shi and graduate students after the seminar.

Michael Sumption’s seminar on Feb. 16, 2024, focused on recent advances in high-temperature superconductors.

ACerS International United Arab Emirates Chapter welcomes featured speaker

The ACerS International United Arab Emirates Chapter organized its inaugural event, a talk on “Additive manufacturing and 3D printing of ceramic structures,” on Feb. 26, 2024. Rashid K. Abu Al-Rub of Khalifa University presented the talk, which was attended by more than 50 guests from around the world. The Chapter plans to host similar events in the future to discuss scientific research and discoveries, share ideas, and initiate international and industrial collaborations and engagements.

Member Highlights

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Volunteer Spotlight: Christina Bisulca

ACerS Volunteer Spotlight profiles a member who demonstrates outstanding service to the Society.

ACerS is pleased to announce Christina Bisulca has been selected for Volunteer Spotlight, a program that recognizes a member who demonstrates outstanding service to The American Ceramic Society through volunteerism.

Bisulca is the Andrew W. Mellon conservation scientist at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). She has a Ph.D. in materials science through the heritage conservation science program at the University of Arizona and an M.S. in objects conservation through the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture offered by the University of Delaware and Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library.

Bisulca works with conservators and curators at DIA to conduct scientific investigations of collections for a deeper understanding of their history, manufacture, and condition. She is chair of the Art, Archaeology & Conservation Science Division.

We extend our deep appreciation to Bisulca for her service to our Society!

Christina Bisulca

Christina Bisulca

ACerStudent Engagement: Nathan McIlwaine

Nathan McIlwaine is a Ph.D. candidate at The Pennsylvania State University and serves as a member of the ACerS President’s Council of Student Advisors (PCSA). McIlwaine has attended a variety of ACerS conferences and events, and has volunteered with the Ceramic and Glass Industry (CGIF) for outreach events.

“My student involvement in ACerS has been invaluable for my professional development and networking skills. The mentorship I experienced through various ACerS activities helped me build my ideal career trajectory, and I found the ACerS educational outreach volunteering opportunities to be fulfilling ways to help inspire the next generation of materials scientists and further my passion for the field.”

You can take advantage of these opportunities as well by becoming a student member of ACerS. Learn more.

Nathan McIlwaine

Nathan McIlwaine

Names in the News

Members—Would you like to be included in the Bulletin’s Names in the News? Please send a current head shot along with the link to the article to The deadline is the 30th of each month.

Raj N. Singh, FACerS, Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University, was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Induction will take place at the NAE Annual Meeting in September 2024.

Raj Singh

Raj Singh

The outsized research impact of ACerS members and journal authors

In October 2023, the latest version of a regularly updated and publicly available database of top-cited scientists was published. Analysis of the rankings revealed that the ceramic and glass community has a substantial impact on scholarly literature given its size relative to much larger fields, such as biomedicine and physics.

ACerS Fellows, such as Yuri Gogotsi, and Distinguished Life Members, such as the late luminaries Anthony Evans and Larry Hench, are highly ranked among all the researchers on the career impact list. When considering only “materials” researchers, 17 of the top 25 career high-impact researchers are contributors to ACerS journals, many of them frequent contributors.

When considering only recent years for impact, ACerS journal authors are once more among the most highly ranked. In rankings based solely upon metrics for the year 2022, 17 of the top 25 most impactful materials researchers published in ACerS journals.

In an email, Michel Barsoum, FACerS, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University, noted that “for a small society that is great impact.” Barsoum, who has authored 50 papers in ACerS publications, is ranked third among materials researchers and 124 among all researchers in all disciplines based on 2022 impact.

Awards and Deadlines

For more information:

Nomination deadlines for Division awards: May 15, May 30, July 1, or July 31 , 2024

Contact: Vicki Evans

Nomination deadlines for Society awards: August 1, 2024

Contact: Erica Zimmerman

Ceramics and Glass Industry Foundation Logo



Student engagement at ICACC 2024: IGNITE MSE and shot glass competition

The Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation oversees student engagement within ACerS, from professional networking and outreach events to award competitions and leadership opportunities. The CGIF helped organize several events at the 48th International Conference and Expo on Advanced Ceramics and Composites (ICACC 2024) designed specifically to enhance the conference experience for students.


IGNITE MSE participants at ICACC 2024. Credit: ACerS



IGNITE MSE professional development symposium

The second International Gathering and Networking of Individuals To Explore Materials Science and Engineering (IGNITE MSE) took place before and during ICACC 2024 from Jan. 28–Feb. 2, 2024.

A symposium featured three speakers who talked about the importance of soft skills to elevating one’s career and shared their career journeys. The speakers included Marissa Reigel of Saint-Gobain NorPro, Bryan Harder of NASA Glenn Space Research Center, and Andrea Vozar of GE Aerospace Research.

In addition to the symposium, IGNITE MSE included networking activities, a luncheon featuring professionals from Saint-Gobain and Boeing, and a bonus tour of the Kennedy Space Center.

Twenty-one students from seven different countries participated in the IGNITE MSE activities and enjoyed networking throughout ICACC 2024. Learn more about upcoming IGNITE MSE events at ACerS conferences.

Shot Glass Winners

Marwan Ben Miled (left) and Manon Faral (right), winners of the ICACC 2024 shot glass competition.

Bryan Harder of NASA

Bryan Harder of NASA Glenn Space Research Center gives his talk titled “My career at NASA: From coatings to combustion.”

Bryan Harder of NASA Glenn Space Research Center gives his talk titled “My career at NASA: From coatings to combustion.” Credit: ACerS

Marwan Ben Miled (left) and Manon Faral (right), winners of the ICACC 2024 shot glass competition. Credit: ACerS



PCSA shot glass competition

The President’s Council of Student Advisors (PCSA) organized the annual shot glass competition at ICACC 2024. In this competition, participants must build a protective device using pipe cleaners or straws to prevent a shot glass provided by SCHOTT North America Inc. from breaking; the shot glass that stays intact when dropped from the tallest height wins.

Marwan Ben Miled from the University of Limoges, France, and Manon Faral from the University of Montreal, Canada, took home first place in the ICACC 2024 shot glass competition.



Support students through innovative programming such as IGNITE MSE and the PCSA by visiting