Corning scientist honoured

On 17 September 2006, Sujanto “Janto” Widjaja, a research associate in Corning Inc.“s Corporate Research Division, was honoured with Science Spectrum magazine“s Emerald Award, which recognizes excep…

On 17 September 2006, Sujanto “Janto” Widjaja, a research associate in Corning Inc.“s Corporate Research Division, was honoured with Science Spectrum magazine“s Emerald Award, which recognizes exceptionally talented scientists from multicultural backgrounds. Widjaja grew up in Indonesia and, after earning a mechanical engineering degree at Trisakti University in Jakarta, he did graduate work at the University of Massachusetts, where he earned both a master“s and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering. At the University of Massachusetts, Widjaja studied under two experts in the fields of mechanical behaviour of ceramics and glasses and the reliability of optical fibers: John E. Ritter and Karl Jakus. “We spent time looking for cracks and understanding what causes a crack to form, and how the presence of cracks subsequently affects the mechanical behaviours of brittle materials,” Widjaja said. As a result, he and his associates were nicknamed “crack watchers.” Widjaja, considered an expert in the mechanical behaviour of ceramic materials, joined Corning Inc. in March 2001. He has also worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Metals and Ceramics Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and as an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Widjaja said the award caught him by surprise. “To me personally, the award continues to serve as a beacon for celebrating the diversity within the community … and as a challenge to perform better in whatever I do,” he said. He received the honour at the Minorities in Research Science Conference, sponsored by Career Communications Group, publisher of Science Spectrum, in Baltimore.