text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
Discoveries
design element
Discoveries
Search Discoveries
About Discoveries
Discoveries by Research Area
Arctic & Antarctic
Astronomy & Space
Biology
Chemistry & Materials
Computing
Earth & Environment
Education
Engineering
Mathematics
Nanoscience
People & Society
Physics
 

Email this pagePrint this page

Discovery
Students Give High Marks to First U.S.-Japan Glass Science School

Meeting brings U.S. university students and researchers together with their Japanese counterparts to talk about new developments and potential collaborations in glass research

Photo of professors and graduate students.

Professors and graduate students meet over dinner at the Winter School.
Credit and Larger Version

August 21, 2008

"It was a fabulous academic and cultural trip."

That's what one of the participating students had to say about a first-of-its-kind, international meeting of glass scientists that allowed U.S. university students and researchers to meet their Japanese peers, brush up on developments in their field and discuss future collaborations.

The two-week-long U.S.-Japan Winter School on New Functionalities in Glass, held in Kyoto, Japan, paired 15 U.S. engineering students with 15 from Japan. Experts from the U.S., Japan, Brazil and France taught classes in glass research.

The school was sponsored by the International Materials Institute (IMI) for New Functionality in Glasses at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science's (JSPS) Global Center of Excellence at Kyoto University.

The American students gave enthusiastic reviews of their experience.

"I was very impressed by the Japanese students' hospitality and friendship," said Donghui Zhao, a graduate student in materials science and engineering at Lehigh. "They were so helpful that the American students didn't even have to read the sightseeing maps or try to figure out what to eat in the restaurants."

"I very much appreciated this experience," said Shai Shafrir, a research associate at the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics. "It exposed me to important theoretical and experimental tools in glass science. A special mention has to go also to the high quality of the school's practitioners."

The topics covered at the school included laser patterning, the use of glass surfaces and coatings in biotechnology, the application of glass to fuel cells and the novel functionalities of chalcogenide glasses.

Zhao said some of the Winter School classes will directly benefit his research into chalcogenide glasses, which have applications in optics.

"I met professor Takayuki Komatsu of Nagaoka University of Technology," said Zhao. "We discussed the possibility of writing crystals in our chalcogenide glasses. After the school, with IMI support, I traveled to Nagaoka, where professor Komatsu and I did some preliminary experiments."

Shafrir conducts research into magnetorheological finishing (MRF), a technique used to polish optical glass and optical ceramic substrates. He found two seminars especially relevant to his research. One discussed how new, ultra-hard transparent ceramics have improved fracture resistance. The other discussed the designing of glasses to achieve desired mechanical properties.

Melodie Schmitt, a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri-Rolla, said the Winter School rejuvenated her interest in glass science.

"Attending the school re-sparked my passion for glass," said Schmitt. "Meeting new people and learning about different research areas have made me excited to be part of such an important field at such an influential time."

Besides attending seminars, the students at the Winter School visited manufacturing facilities and presented their research projects. The students paired off in hotel rooms with their Japanese peers in order to optimize the opportunities for networking.

"Sharing hotel rooms gave us more chances to communicate," said Zhao. "We also had a lot of spare time for activities. We visited temples, hiked Daimonji Mountain, tried out Japanese foods and sake, and played musical instruments.

The school was co-organized by professors Kiyotaka Miura and Katsuhisa Tanaka of Kyoto University, professor Carlo Pantano of Pennsylvania State University, and Himanshu Jain, professor of materials science and engineering and director of the IMI at Lehigh.

"We believe the school helped provide the next generation of scientists and engineers with training in a global setting," said Jain. "The Japanese and American students met as strangers but left as professional colleagues and personal friends. They are the future leaders who will find solutions to challenges in energy, healthcare, safety and telecommunications."

The U.S. National Science Foundation, which provides financial support to the IMI, also helped fund the Winter School.

--  Kurt Pfitzer, Lehigh University 610-758-3017 kap4@lehigh.edu

Investigators
Himanshu Jain
Carlo Pantano
Kiyotaka Miura
Katsuhisa Tanaka

Related Institutions/Organizations
Lehigh University
Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science's Global Center of Excellence at Kyoto University

Locations
Pennsylvania
Japan

Related Programs
Office of Special Programs

Related Awards
#0409588 International Materials Institute: New Functionality in Glasses

Related Websites
International Materials Institute for New Functionality in Glass: http://www.lehigh.edu/imi/
International Materials Institutes (IMI) program: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5328&org=NSF&sel_org=NSF&from=fund

Photo of Kyoto's Kinkakuji Temple.
Students at the Winter School took a field trip to Kyoto's Kinkakuji Temple.
Credit and Larger Version

Photo of students  Katherine Burgess and Sakiko Goto sharing a light moment..
Students Katherine Burgess and Sakiko Goto share a light moment..
Credit and Larger Version

Photo of woman playing a  Japanese flute.
Laura VanCott, a student at Alfred University, tries her hand at a Japanese flute.
Credit and Larger Version

Photo of Himanshu Jain, director of Lehigh's IMI, lecturing at the Winter School.
Himanshu Jain, director of Lehigh's IMI, lectures at the Winter School.
Credit and Larger Version

Photo of Lehigh University graduate student Donghui Zhao.
Lehigh University graduate student Donghui Zhao.
Credit and Larger Version



Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page